Beginner Intermediate and Advanced Exercises for Back Pain

According to the American Pain Foundation, back pain affects 8 out of 10 Americans throughout some point in their life and it’s the primary cause of disability in the U.S. for people under the age of 45. Those with back pain may feel like resting, but getting your body moving and preforming light exercises to strengthen your back can be very beneficial. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons suggests some of the exercises shown below to restore the strength of your back and a way to gradually return to everyday activities after surgery. To ensure your safe recovery, be sure to check with your therapist or orthopedic surgeon before performing any of the exercises shown.

 

BEGINNER
Exercises for Back Pain Relief

Wall Squats

  1. Stand with your back leaning against wall.
  2. Walk feet 12 inches in front of body.
  3. Keep abdominal muscles tight while slowly bending both knees to 45°.
  4. Hold 5 seconds.
  5. Slowly return to upright position.
  6. Repeat 10 times.

Straight Leg Raises

  1. Lie on your back with one leg straight and one knee bent.
  2. Tighten abdominal muscles to stabilize your low back.
  3. Slowly lift leg straight up about 6 to 12 inches and hold for 1 to 5 seconds.
  4. Lower leg slowly.
  5. Repeat 10 times.

INTERMEDIATE
Exercises for Back Pain Relief

Straight Knee to Chest Stretchs

  1. Lie on your back with both knees bent.
  2. Hold thigh behind knee and bring one knee up to chest.
  3. Hold 20 seconds, and then relax.
  4. Repeat 5 times on each side.

Straight Leg Raises

  1. Lie on your back with legs bent.
  2. Hold one thigh behind knee.
  3. Slowly straighten knee until a stretch is felt in back of thigh.
  4. Hold 20 seconds.
  5. Relax
  6. Repeat 5 times on each side.

ADVANCED
Exercises for Back Pain Relief

Hip Flexor Stretch

  1. Lie on your back near edge of bed, holding knees to chest.
  2. Slowly lower one leg down, keeping knee bent, until a stretch is felt across top of the hip/thigh.
  3. Hold 20 seconds.
  4. Relax.
  5. Repeat 5 times on each side.

Piriformis Stretch

  1. Lie on your back with both knees bent.
  2. Cross one leg on top of the other.
  3. Pull your opposite knee to your chest until a stretch is felt in the buttock/hip area.
  4. Hold 20 seconds.
  5. Relax.
  6. Repeat 5 times on each side.