Lower back exercises can make a difference in your lower back pain.

Lower back pain can be caused by so many things: having an accident, being overweight, or even sleeping in the wrong position. But there is relief from lower back pain through lower back exercises. Our core muscles, which support our entire body, must be healthy and strong in order to relieve lower back pain. (For more information on core muscles, click here to see our post).

Below are eight simple exercises that will stretch and strengthen the muscles in your lower back, also helping to ease your pain. Start out slowly, doing only five repetitions each day and slowly work your way up. As with all new exercises, we recommend you consult Dr. Hirst before beginning.

Standing Hamstring Stretch – Place one foot on a low step stool. Reach toward your toes with both arms, fingers extended. Repeat 5 times. Switch feet and repeat 5 times.

Exercises to Reduce Back PainCat and Camel – Kneeling on the floor and keeping your head in a neutral position, arch your back like a camel. Release all the way down until your back is stretched like a cat. Repeat 10 times, breathing in when you arch your back and breathing out when you stretch it.

Pelvic Tilt – Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Keeping your shoulders and head relaxed on the floor, tighten your abdominal and gluteal muscles. Then raise your hips to form a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Try to hold the position long enough to complete three deep breaths. Return to starting position. Repeat. Start with five repetitions each day and gradually work up to 30.

Quadruped Arm/Leg Raise – Kneel on the floor using your hands and knees. First raise your left leg and right arm up to make a straight line with your body. Keep your neck in line with your flat back. Slowly lower your arm and leg to the floor. Repeat this 5 times before switching to your right leg and left arm. Repeat this exercise 5 times on each side, gradually increasing repetitions as you gain strength.

Gluteal Stretch – Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Keeping your shoulders and head relaxed on the floor, cross your right leg over your left knee. Slowly lift your left foot off the ground, stretching your right leg as your go. Switch legs.

Partial Curl – Lie flat on your back with your arms at your sides, fingertips extended. Using your abdominal muscles, slowly lift your head and arms towards your knees, never letting your lower back leave the floor. Start with 5 repetitions and work up as you gain strength.

Extension Exercise – Lie on your stomach, leaning on your elbows with your hands in front of you and toes pointed out. Slowly push up with your hands, pushing your body to stretch backwards. Do not over extend. Return to starting position. Repeat 2-5 times.

Side Plank – Lie on your left side with your knees straight. Prop your upper body up on your left elbow and forearm. Raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Turn around so that you’re lying on your right side and repeat.