Lower back pain affects approximately 80% of adults at some point. The pain can be acute and sharp or chronic and dull, and it can be caused by a variety of things, such as herniated discs, sprains, or lifestyle factors like sitting too much. Back pain affects everyone differently, but it can limit mobility and affect your mood and quality of life. The good news is that with some simple, at-home strengthening exercises, many people’s lower back pain can be managed or reduced, and mobility can be increased.
Bridges, also known as bridging, are a strength-training exercise that stretches the muscles of the lower back and buttocks. Begin by lying flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip-length apart on the floor. Next, slowly push your pelvis up until your back, shoulders, and knees are in a straight line with your palms flat on the ground, then slowly lower your pelvis back down and rest. As you raise your pelvis, keep your shoulders balanced on the floor and your back straight. Rep this process 12 to 15 times more.
- Lower Back Twists
Lower back twists give your back and glute muscles a deep stretch, often tight if you have lower back pain. Begin by lying flat on your back in a “T” shape with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and arms outstretched. Next, shift your knees to either side while keeping your shoulders flat on the ground and your arms outstretched. Hold the pose for 20 to 30 seconds before returning to the starting position and repeating the movement on the other side.
- Cat-Cow Movements
Cat-Cow is a two-part yoga stretch for the lower and mid-back. First, place your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees apart, starting on all fours.
Begin by inhaling deeply and slowly moving into the cat pose by leading with your tailbone and gently rounding your back. Hold the position for a few seconds. Then, push your chest outward while lowering your belly to the ground as you exhale. Hold it for a few seconds before repeating. Repeat the movement for a total of 30 seconds.
- Hamstring Stretches
For hamstring stretches, you’ll need a towel or another vital piece of fabric. Begin by lying on your back and bending one knee while keeping your foot flat on the ground. Wrap the towel around your foot’s ball. By gently pulling back on the towel, slowly raise your leg and begin straightening the knee. A deep stretch in your hamstring should be felt and a loosening of your lower back. Switch legs after 15 to 30 seconds of holding the pose.
- Aerobic Workouts
Sitting for long periods at the office or in the car leads the hips, buttocks, and lower back muscles to tense, resulting in acute lower back discomfort. However, it’s sometimes preferable to shake them loose when it comes to stiff and sore back muscles. Walking, jogging, and swimming are examples of aerobic exercises that stretch and stimulate the back and hip muscles while also training the heart and lungs. Swimming is beneficial since the water relieves tension in your back while you exercise.