Exercises To Help Lower Back Pain
At some point, everyone has experienced some form of lower back pain. It may range from short term intense pain to long term low pain. Either way, it affects your day to day life (and more than likely your exercise program), more than likely restricting your confidence to do certain exercises or reduce your mobility.
Coming from someone who has suffered from back pain quite often (now at the point it is self-managed) here are a few exercises that I have found to reduce back pain to a manageable level without the assistance of chiropractors or physiotherapy treatment.
*Disclaimer: This is not medical advice or proven techniques to reduce lower back pain. Please seek professional help and work within your means. Everyone has their limitations and some of these exercises may not be suitable for your situation.*
Let’s talk through the different types of back pain that are experienced by many of my clients (and myself).
Broad lower back pain running horizontally across the dimple of the back
This is usually due to muscle fatigue or CNS fatigue (central nervous system). Could also be an overuse of the lower back throughout the day.
- Deload the weight- not just for the exercises but a few days of training
- Lift with proper technique to ensure you are working all muscles to lift the weight. Get external help (a trainer/ coach) to help with form.
Sore/ fatigued erector muscles (the muscles that run either side of the spine)
This usually will happen when doing higher volume training and the muscles fatigue just like any other muscle. Not too much of a concern unless you round or extend your lower back while lifting (either way, using your erectors too much while lifting).
- This may not be an issue as you could be building up muscle
- Weak/ uncoordinated trunk muscles (work on a neutral spine position).
Burning/ biting feeling in a particular area.
Usually a sign of a slight muscle tear (usually only happens when a particular muscle is used incorrectly e.g. jerking the weight off the ground without bracing).
- Brace adequately before lifting
- Don't use momentum to drive the weight off the floor- use your strength.
Sharp pain running down the back of one of your legs from the glute to the heel (or anywhere in between, Decompression pain, glute pain or numbness
All common signs of disk compression or a compressed nerve.
- This is one of the hardest to diagnose and fix. Daily exercises and educating yourself is going to be the best thing for this.
- A daily ritual/ routine of stretching and releasing is going to be the best thing for you.
Instability or shaking through your midsection
Smaller muscles/ stabilisers are inactive or weak.
- Work on stability exercises- smaller load, more precise exercises to increase core stability.
Pain when doing core exercises through the lower back
Likely weak through your anterior core (front abdominals).
- Strengthening your anterior core/ only doing certain exercises within the limitations of your anterior weakness, whether it be the duration or load of the exercises. Ensure your anterior core is working to hold the position, not just the lower back.
Exercises/ stretches/ releases to help out with lower back pain
- Glute Med Stretch
- Glute Med Release
- Hip Flexor Stretch (with a band if you can)
- Hip Flexor Release
- Lower Back Release
- Dead Bugs (banded if you can)
- Quadruped (banded if you can)
- Paloff Press (squatting if you can)
- Cobra/ Upward Dog Stretch