Exercises That Help Ease Back Pain
In this article I am going to share with you some stretches and exercises that will ease back pain.
When back pain strikes you may feel like the best thing to do is to rest and avoid activity, as you feel that movement causes you pain and discomfort.
But that is the worst thing you can do, as you need to keep mobile.
Gentle stretches and exercises focusing on improving your core strength are so important at helping your recovery and reducing the risk of further back pain in the future.
The stretches and Pilates exercises that I am sharing with you are the same exercises that I teach my members and practice regularly myself to keep back pain at bay.
These exercises where key to helping hundreds of customers recover from back injuries and chronic lower back pain and aiding my own recovery from a Prolapse Disc and Sciatica.
Exercises That Help Ease Back Pain
Lying on your back, knees bent and feet hip distance apart
Slowly draw the belly button in towards your spine as you push the lower back in towards the floor.
Then tilt the opposite way causing an arch in the lower back.
Continue backwards and forwards.
Pelvic tilts can also be done from a standing or seated position.
Cat / Cow
Start in a Four Point Kneeling Position (hands under shoulders, knees under the hip bones)
Cat – Then draw the belly button in towards your spine as you slowly start to curl your spine. Starting with the lower back, then moving to mid back, upper back, then finishing with tucking your chin in towards your chest
At this point you can hold as a stretch or continue to the next phase below and perform as a mobility exercise
Cow – Keeping your chin tucked in, start to drop the belly button down towards the floor slowly then dropping the chest towards the floor, retract the shoulders back and down and lengthen through the neck.
Be mindful of this phase if suffering with a prolapse disc – just perform the Cat then go back to neutral position
Perform from a standing or seated, upright position
Place hands together, thumbs rested on the centre of your chest. Retracting the shoulder’s back and down (not allowing them to slouch forward).
Breathe in, then breathe out to twist – keeping the hip bones facing forward.
Breathe in to come back to centre, breathe out to twist to the other side
Lying face down on the floor
Bring the legs in line with the hips then relax the heels out to the side
Bring your arms up so your hands are at the side of your head, elbow in line with the shoulder, bent at a 90 degree angle. If shoulder problems, you could keep the arms down by the side of the body instead.
Once in position, lengthen through your neck and lift the chest away from the floor. Trying not to push with your arms.
If suffering with a Prolapsed Disc, please DO NOT perform.
Lying on your back extend your arms out to the side in line with your shoulder, palms towards the ceiling
Bend your knees and take them a bit wider than hip distance apart
Then slowly take the legs over to one side as far as you can, keeping the shoulders pinned to the floor.
Engage the abdominals gently to bring the legs back to centre.
Continue alternating sides
This can also performed as a stretch by resting the legs to one side for a minute or two.
Lying on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor, hip width apart
Arms are relaxed down by your side, chin tucked gently in towards your chest and shoulder relaxed.
Then tilt your pelvis and imprint your lower back in towards the floor
Contract your Glutes (bottom muscles) as you slowly and segmentally work your way up the spine towards the upper back.
Then slowly move back down the same way until your bottom brushing the floor.
Try not to let the bottom completely relax at the bottom before going into the next repetition.
From a Four Point Kneeling Position, widen your hips by taking the knees apart
Then gently push your bottom back towards your heels, whilst resting your upper body down towards the floor
Hands can rest underneath your head as a headrest, down by the sides of the body or reaching out above the head for a deeper stretch.
Head rests on the floor, hands or hangs towards the floor releasing tension in the neck.
Knee to Chest Stretch
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor
Using both hands bring one knee in towards your chest and hold.
Continue by doing the same on the other side.
If comfortable then bring both knees in and the same time and gently rock from side to side
Performing these simple exercises daily will help you ease your back pain.
Most people find first thing in the morning good, as it gets them more mobile for the day ahead.
If suffering with chronic back pain though, I would advise performing the exercises more frequently throughout the day.
Maybe first thing in the morning, a few exercises throughout the day such as Pelvic Tilts or the Cat whilst standing then a few exercises and a deep stretch in the evening.
Attending a Pilates Class regularly would also help you reduce your back pain and improve your core strength quicker.
Pilates instructors have the knowledge and skills to ensure you are performing the exercises correctly, give alternatives if needed and adaptations for progression once you get stronger.
They also teach a full body approach, so you will learn loads more exercises. You will not only end up with a stronger back but a much stronger, more mobile and flexible body.
For more information about how our Pilates classes and exercises can help you ease back pain check out the link below
If you would like more tips and advice on what everyday things you can also do to help keep back pain at bay check out one of my other articles below