These days doctors recommend exercise, rather than bed rest, for patients with lower back pain. However, not all exercises are suitable if you are suffering from pain in the lumbar region.
Indoor exercises to try if you have a painful lower back
Toe Touching is not for you if you have lower back pain. It puts a great deal of stress on the ligaments in your spine as well as on your discs. You might also hurt your lower back muscles by overstretching them and they could also hurt you hamstrings.
Partial crunches: – you can try these, but not all medical practitioners recommend them, for lower back pain. These can help you strengthen your stomach muscles as well as those in your back.
Hamstring Stretches can be beneficial, but only do them up to four times for each leg. If you can only manage two per leg, that’s fine.
Lifting weights can help, but be sensible, or you could damage your back even more.
How to do partial crunches
Lie on the floor and bend your knees, keeping your feet flat on the floor. Either cross your arms over your chest or put both hands (with elbows pointing out) behind your neck. You’ll need to make your stomach muscles taut in order to raise your shoulders off the floor. Raise your shoulders while breathing out. Do this without using your arms or elbows to help you move. Ideally you should repeat this exercise 8 times and do it no more than 12 times in succession, with small pauses between each ‘crunch.’
Don’t be tempted to do sit ups. These will not help your back pain at all.
How to do hamstring stretches
For these exercises you’ll need a towel. Lie on your back on the floor and put the towel under the ball of your foot, straightening your knee as you pull back on the towel slowly. Hold your position for 15 seconds, or up to 30 if you can. Do the same exercise two to four times for each leg.
There are other exercises you can try, but before you embark on any fitness programme, ask your doctor for advice and follow it. If you experience pain while exercising, stop immediately and consult your doctor.
If you need to wear a back belt for back pain, do so while you exercise gently.
The best exercise for lower back pain
Swimming, or simply floating in water, is arguably the best form of exercise for people with lower back pain. This is because the water will support your body weight, so taking the pressure off your spine and back. Take it easy though and only swim for a short time to begin with. You can swim for longer each time. Stick to strokes that don’t require you to twist your body.
If you need aids to support your back, check out our Backrack products by following this link. They are all designed to help people with lower back pain.