Low Back/Lumbar Spine

Gentle Low Back Stretches

If any of the exercises cause pain please stop immediately and as with all exercise and stretches if you are uncertain as to whether it is suitable for you please contact us or your medical provider.

Reduce the Strain on Your Back

Lie flat on your back, with your feet resting on a chair. Relax in this position. You can place your arms above your head if you wish. This exercise is a decompression exercise for the spine, especially useful for lumbar disc problems.

Improve Lower Back Mobility

Bend your knees, and keeping your feet flat on the floor, rotate your hips to one side creating a rotation through your lower back. Only go as far as feels comfortable, you do not need to get your knees to the floor. Return to the opposite side. This is an excellent lower back mobility exercise, especially if you have acute lower back pain or disc problems.

Low Back Stretch

Lie flat on your back, and bend your knees towards your chest. Hold this position and feel a gentle stretch in your back. If you get any groin pain while doing this exercise, stop and inform your therapist. Relax, and repeat as necessary.

Pelvic Tilt Sitting

Sit down with good posture. Draw your belly button inwards (towards the back of the chair slightly) and tilt your pelvis backwards (i.e. flatten your spine against the chair). Return to the start position (arching your back – known as a lumbar lordosis). This exercise strengthens the deep abdominal muscles and improves core control.

Sitting Low Back Stretch

Sitting down, lift the heel of one foot off the ground to lift your hip, then repeat to the other side. This will create a gentle side-bend to your lower back. This is an especially good mobility exercise for people who travel long distances in a car or sit for long periods who may get a stiff lower back.

Cat and Cow Stretch

Start in a neutral four point position on your hands and knees, and round your back from an arched position. It should feel like a gentle stretch to your lower back. Don’t over-arch your back; keep it comfortable.

Lumbar Spine Self Massage

Stand up straight, with good posture, and place a spikey ball between your lower back and a wall. The ball should be placed just to the side of the bony part of your spine, on the softer muscles. Move yourself around to create pressure into your lower back (lumbar erector) muscles.

Other 'Spine' Toolkits

You may be interested in our other ‘Spine’ chapters within the Exercise Toolkit: