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Effective Exercises for Low Back Pain

written by: Rachael Gerkensmeyer • edited by: Cheryl Gabbert • updated: 6/29/2011

Learn how to greatly reduce or maybe even eliminate the discomfort by performing easy exercises for low back pain.

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    The Whole Idea

    Back Ache Learning the most effective exercises for low back pain and actually putting them to work for you can really change the way you go about your day. When pain is not at the center of attention, it leaves room for you to focus on the things that really matter to you in life like having fun, spending time with friends and family, and maybe just getting a good night’s rest.

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    Loosening the muscles in your back is the first step in relieving the pain. Stress and exertion can play a big role in the pain you might feel in your lower back region so letting that go will help you to better perform the back exercises that will help strengthen your muscles and mend the pain.

    Start by lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor, with your knees bent. One at a time, use your hands to hold on to a knee and bring it toward your chest as far as you comfortably can and hold the position for five seconds. Do the movement one time with each leg, then bring both knees toward your chest and hold the position for up to ten seconds.

    Put both legs back into starting position and this time move both of your legs to the left side as far toward the ground as you can, feeling the stretch throughout the entire back, especially the sides of the back. Turn yourself to the right side and repeat the steps until your back feels looser. You are ready to do some exercises at this point.

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    Strengthening Exercises

    Most low back pain is caused by putting too much pressure on the area which in turn wears the muscles out and makes them sore. In order to effectively combat this, it is important to strengthen the core muscles in the lower back so that it can better handle the stress you put on it.

    Lying on your back with legs in the same position as the stretching routine, raise your lower back into the air slightly while keeping your upper back and feet on the ground. Hold the position for a few seconds and then push your lower back into the ground for a few seconds. Repeat these moves 10-12 times each.

    Next, roll over and position yourself so that you are on your hands and knees. From there you will raise your back from the middle, like a cat does when it stretches. After holding the position for three to five seconds, lower your back as if you are stretching it the other way. Repeat this process 6-8 times.

    Finally you need to sit on a bench or in a chair that does not have arms on it. Sit so that you are not slouching but instead your shoulders are square with each other and your back is fully extended. From there, arch your shoulders back like you are rolling them and reach your arms back behind you, leaving the arms straight instead of bent. Hold the position for just a few seconds, and repeat seven to nine times. For additional strength building, consider using a set of three or five pound dumbbells.

    Repeat these exercises one after another, three to five times. Do these exercises two or three days a week for best results and within a couple of weeks, these exercises for low back pain should greatly reduce or even eliminate the discomfort.

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    MayoClinic: "Back Exercises in 15 Minutes" Retreived July 13, 2010

    WebMD: "Lower Back Pain: Exercises to Reduce Pain" Retreived July 13, 2010

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    Image Credits

    Wikimedia/Public Domain