Physical therapy is widely used in the pain management of lower back pain, neck, and knee pain. In the majority of lower back pain cases, physical therapy will serve as the first-line approach for pain management.
The following exercises are commonly used as part of lower back pain physical therapy plan. These lower back pain exercises can be done at home without any equipment and in less than 15 minutes a day. These types of physical therapy exercises may help relieve lower back pain and even restore the ability to performing daily activities with only little or no discomfort and pain.
The full set of back pain exercises in this article are available on the Lower Back Pain Exercises in 15 Minutes playlist.
If you are a patient with back pain, before starting any back pain exercise or physical therapy plan, you should consult a doctor or physical therapist.
1. Cat and Cow Pose
- Kneel down and put your hands on the floor at shoulder height.
- Arch your back upwards.
- Stay in that position for 5-10 seconds.
- Arch your back downwards and put your head and neck up so you are looking straight ahead.
- Repeat each position for five repetitions.
2. Hip Flexor Stretches
- Kneel down on both knees.
- Place one foot in front of you while keeping your other foot stretch behind you.
- Keep your hips square and your chest forward.
- Lean onto your forward knee.
- Repeat with both sides for ten repetitions.
3. Upper Body Lifts
- Lie on the ground in the prone position (abdomen down).
- Prompt your body up at the waist using your hands. Straighten your arms.
- Push your body upward facing the ceiling.
- Stay in this position for 10-15 seconds and repeat two to three times daily.
4. Alternating Leg Raises
- Lay flat on your back.
- Lift one leg up to waist level while keeping the leg straight.
- Raise your second leg up to waist level.
- Put each leg down one at a time.
- Repeat for ten repetitions with each leg.
5. Bird Dog Stretch
- Kneel on your knees and hands.
- Lift your right arm forward and your left leg backwards.
- Lift your left arm forward and your right arm backwards.
- Stretch as far as you can with each motion.
- Repeat for ten repetitions.
- Lie down on your back.
- Rest your outstretched arms on your side.
- Lift your hips towards the ceiling with your feet firmly on the ground.
- Stay in this position for 30-60 seconds depending on your ability.
- Repeat 2-3 times.
7. Good Mornings
- Stand straight up while keeping your hands clasped behind your head.
- Bend forward to waist level.
- Return to the standing position.
- Repeat ten times.
8. Knee to Chest Pull-ins
- Lie on your back with your legs bent at the knees.
- Pull one knee towards your chest.
- Stay in this position for 5-10 seconds.
- Repeat with each leg ten times.
9. Seated Lower Back Rotational Stretch
- Sit on a chair with one leg crossed over the other.
- Rotate your arms across each side of your body.
- Switch legs and perform the exercise again.
- Complete at least ten repetitions.
10. Child’s Pose
- Kneel down on the ground.
- Sit on your heels.
- Bend forward with your arms outstretched.
- Hold for 30-60 seconds.
- Repeat two times.