Today we are going to let you in on some of our favourite exercises to help with low back pain. These are best done as preventative exercises to get the back nice and strong, and prepare it for any movements and loads you might encounter in everyday life.
The tricky part about low back pain is that there are many structures and tissues involved in the movement of the back which can be ‘pain-causing’. Identifying exactly which structure is the culprit can often be difficult, even in person at the clinic. It is important to remember that the back doesn’t work in isolation, so the good news is, the exercises we are about to go through involve strengthening the key structures of the back and surrounds. In fact, often back pain can be a result of the back taking on too much load. We often blame our ‘dodgy’ back when pain arises, when we should be blaming the lack of strength or mobility in our hips, legs or mid back.
If you have ever been to Total Balance for an osteopathy appointment for your back, you will know that we pride ourselves on thoroughly assessing all of these structures so we can get an idea on what is causing the issue. With that in mind, you will see that the below exercises incorporate the legs, hips, pelvis and mid back. This is crucial as we need these areas to be able to work effectively with the low back to achieve optimal movement. We have purposely used bodyweight (ie. no equipment needed) exercises only in this program, so that it is accessible for everyone and can be done anywhere.
5 exercises to bulletproof your back:
- Side plank
- Bodyweight Squat
- Bird Dog
- Glute bridge
- Prone W lift
Click on the picture below to be taken to a video demonstrating the above exercises. This way you can get a good visual presentation of how they should be executed.
You can also click on the picture below to access a PDF version of this program. Here we outline the correct technique for each of these exercises. Suggested reps and sets are included on the program, but use these as a guide – if you are struggling to make it through half of the reps, for example, use what you can get to as your starting point and you can build up from there.
Is there a perfect exercise to cure back pain? Most certainly not. Not a universal one at least. So if you are going down a rabbit hole of youtube and Tiktok videos that claim you “will only need this one exercise/stretch to rid you of back pain forever”, be wary. These exercises can be great and for some may help relieve discomfort, but a one size fits all approach to back pain is always limited in effectiveness. The best thing you can do is to engage in physical activity regularly throughout the week, and follow a diverse exercise program like what we have supplied with this email!
It is also worth keeping in mind that strength takes time to build up – so be patient, and don’t expect an overnight fix! If you are finding any of these exercises particularly challenging (or easy!), let us know and we would be happy to offer progressions/regressions based on your current capacity. You can do this by contacting us at the clinic on 9773 8085 or by booking an appointment online.
Watch out for our next email in the low back pain series where we explore bed rest for back pain.
Chat soon, Bec from Total Balance Healthcare.
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This blog post is an educational tool only. It is not a replacement for medical advice from a registered and qualified doctor or health professional.
Phone: (03) 9773 8085