How to Reduce Low Back Pain
Over time, we develop arthritic changes in our back due to normal wear and tear. Below are a list of exercises that can help reduce lower back pain. These exercises will help you, in time, return you to your normal activities and improve your quality of life.
Top 5 Exercises to Reduce Back Pain
1. LOWER TRUNK ROTATION
Lie on your back with your knees bent.
Keep your feet and knees together and lightly rotate your spine.
Stop the stretch when you feel your hips coming off of the table. Only rotate to approximately 45 degrees and rotate back and forth like a windshield wiper.
Repeat for 2 minutes.
2. ABDOMINAL BRACING
Lie on your back with your knees bent. Slightly elevate your hips but not high enough to where it comes off of the table. Simultaneously, squeeze your abdominal muscles down towards the table. Continue to breathe.
Hold this for 10 seconds and rest for 10 seconds. Repeat for 2 minutes.
3. SINGLE KNEE TO CHEST
Bring one knee to your chest.
Hold for 5-10 seconds. Repeat alternating legs to your chest for a time of 2 minutes.
4. FIGURE 4 STRETCH
Cross on ankle over to the opposite knee and press down on the resting leg. You should feel the stretch in your hip.
Hold this stretch for 30 seconds if you can tolerate it. Repeat for 3 repetitions, then switch legs.
5. PIRIFORMIS STRETCH
Cross one ankle over to the opposite knee. Pull the resting knee across your body and up towards your chest. (You should aim for your opposite shoulder as a reference). This stretch should be felt over the crossed leg buttock.
Hold for 30 seconds if you can tolerate it. Repeat for 3 repetitions on each leg.
Written by Laura Cifre, OTR/L, PT, DPT, Director at Green Oaks Physical Therapy – Irving, Texas.
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