5 Simple Exercises to Relieve Low Back Pain


Low back pain (LBP) is the most common medical complaint of otherwise healthy adults, often accounting for work absenteeism and overuse of pain medications. While low back pain can sometimes be caused by an acute injury, most LBP is the result of everyday movement and poor postural habits that can be corrected.

These 5 simple exercises can be done by most people, and when performed two to three times per week, they can reduce LBP and improve your spinal health.

  1. Supine hip lift: Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat, hip-width apart. Place your hands next to your hips, palms down. Inhale, then exhale as you lift your hips off the floor, thrusting them toward the ceiling, until you create a straight line from your ribs to your knees. Pause, then inhale and slowly lower to your start position. Begin with 10 repetitions and work up to 25 over the course of several weeks. [Image]
  2. Plank: Lie prone on the floor and position your elbows directly under your shoulders. Clasp your hands to create a triangle with your lower arms. Flex your feet to rise up on your toes. Contract your abdominal muscles and lift your body, supporting your weight on your elbows and toes, forming a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders, aligning your neck with your spine. Hold for 15 seconds, breathing normally, then slowly lower to your start position. Increase your hold time to 60 seconds or longer over several weeks. Novice modification: For a less challenging pose, support your weight on your knees rather than your toes, still striving for a straight line from knees to shoulders. [Image]
  3. Side plank: Lie on your right side and position your right elbow directly beneath your shoulder. Place your left hand on the floor in front of your chest. Stack your left foot atop your right. Inhale, then lift your body, tightening your abs and creating a straight line from ankle to shoulder. Hold for 15 seconds, breathing normally, then slowly lower to your start position. Repeat on the left side. Increase your hold time to 60 seconds or longer over several weeks. Novice modification: To make this exercise less challenging, perform your side plank from your knees to your shoulders. [Image]
  4. Superman: Lie prone, forehead resting on the floor, arms overhead, tops of your feet downward. Inhale as you lift your arms and legs off the floor, arching your back slightly. Hold your position for several seconds, breathing normally. Lower to your start position. Repeat 10-12 times. Novice modification: If lifting all four limbs at once is too challenging, do a contralateral lift, raising your right leg and left arm, then alternating with your left leg and right arm. [Image]
  5. Stability ball pike: Using a firmly inflated stability ball, kneel and rest your chest on the ball, then slowly roll forward, walking your hands along the floor until the top of the ball rests beneath your thighs. Position your wrists directly beneath your shoulders. Inhale, then exhale as you draw your navel toward your spine and pike your hips toward the ceiling, allowing the ball to roll beneath your legs. Inhale and slowly lower to your start position. Repeat 10-12 times. Modifications: To make this exercise more challenging, begin with the ball positioned beneath your shins. To make it less challenging, start with the ball closer to your hips. [Image]

Back Pain Therapy in NYC

If you are suffering from ongoing back pain, the back pain specialists at NYDNRehab can help. We use cutting-edge technologies and advanced treatment methods to diagnose and treat back pain. Whether your back pain stems from an acute injury or everyday lifestyle habits, the back pain team at NYDNRehab is dedicated to getting at the source of your back pain and resolving it.


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