• Cathrine Dinnie

Lower Back Pain: Part Three

Exercises and stretches

Gentle stretches, walking, and periodically standing up at your desk can help stabilise your spine and prevent muscle imbalances. Yoga is great too.

Physical therapy

A physical therapist can teach stretches to manage your back pain, and exercises to correct imbalances. Other treatment techniques, such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and dry needling may be helpful.

Alternative medicine

Acupuncture: Acupuncture may provide even more relief than painkillers, according to one 2013 review. The needles appear to change the way your nerves react and may reduce inflammation around joints.

Massage: People who have a regular massage, have less lower back pain and disability after 10 weeks, and general relaxation massage works just as well as remedial massage.

Osteopathic and chiropractic therapies—in which joints and muscles get stretched and repositioned—have been shown to work, too.

Medical News Today provides the following information regarding back exercises:

Exercise increases blood flow to the lower back area, which may reduce stiffness and speed up the healing process. Below are 10 exercises that strengthen the lower back and may help people manage lower back pain:

1. Bridges

Bridges work a person's gluteus maximus, which is the large muscle of the buttocks. We use this muscle when we move our hips, particularly when squatting. The gluteus maximus is one of the most important muscles in the body and keeping it strong can help support the lower back.

2. Knee-to-chest stretches

Doing a knee-to-chest stretch can help elongate the lower back, relieving tension and pain.

3. Lower back rotational stretches

The lower back rotational stretch can help relieve tension in the lower back and trunk. It also gently works the core muscles to improve stability.

5. Pelvic tilts

The pelvic tilt exercise can release tight back muscles and keep them flexible.

6. Lying lateral leg lifts

Lying lateral leg lifts work the hip abductor muscles. These muscles support the pelvis and can help reduce strain on the back. Keeping these muscles strong is essential, as they help a person maintain their balance and can affect mobility.

7. Cat stretches

The cat stretch can help lengthen the back, making it stronger, and easing tension in the muscles.

8. Supermans

A person needs strong back extensors to maintain good posture. These muscles run along either side of the spine. Weak back extensors can reduce spinal and pelvic support, but doing an exercise called a "Superman" can help.

9. Seated lower back rotational stretches

The seated lower back rotational stretch helps relieve pain, working the core muscles and strengthening the lower back.

10. Partial curls

Strong abdominal muscles play a significant role in supporting the spine and help keep the hips properly aligned. Weak abdominals result in poor core strength and lack of stability, which can cause lower back pain. Curls and partial curls help build a strong core.

If any of these back exercises make pain worse, it is vital to

stop doing them immediately and consult a doctor.

Muscles involved in lower back issues:

Lattisimus dorsi

Erector spinae muscles

Serratus anterior/posterior

Quadratus Lumborum



Iliocostalis Longissimus

Spinalis Intertransversarii




Gluteus maximus

Gluteus medius

Gluteus minimus


A person’s sitting position can have a great impact on posture and back health.


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