Lower back pain treatment with 4 exercises for common causes

Lower back pain is the number one cause that people are not able to work. According to the World Health Organization about 60-70% of all people will experience lower back pain at least once in their life. Unfortunately there is a lot of bad advice or even harmful advice given to many people about lower back pain.

So we sort out four good ones for you to take a try.

Lower back pain treatment with 4 exercises

So to cure your back pain once and for all, we’ll have to do a couple of things:

  • Train you multifidus muscle
  • Train your big back muscles
  • Remove the fear for bending forward

When you do the right exercises for your back pain, there is a good chance you will recover eventually.

With every exercise I’ll explain what they do, why they work and for which back pain problems they work.

Lower back pain exercise 1: Training your multifidus muscle

As you already know, your multifidus muscle is the most important aspect for treating low back pain the right way.

But you have to do it the right way.

Many people aim to train the multifidus muscle by training core stability. They try to achieve that by planking and training abs and back muscles.

This is not the right way.

To treat your back pain you have to train the multifidus to respond more quickly. You do not do that with planks. Instead, you tighten your abdominal muscles and back muscles, so your multifidus does nothing at all.

What you have to do instead is called the pelvic lift.

With this exercise you let your multifidus extend your back and keep you in line as much as possible. And the best thing is that your large back muscles do nothing because you lie down. This way you only focus on your multifidus muscle.

I know that this exercise is being taught in different ways. But in my experience, the way I explain it here is the best way:

  • Lay down on your back with your knees bend
  • Place your hands over your chest
  • Lift up your pelvis for 10 seconds
  • Repeat this 10 times

By crossing your arms over your chest, you will prevent compensation which affects the effectiveness of the exercise.

You can see how to perform the exercise in the video below:

Repeat this exercise twice a day.

In the beginning you can suffer from cramps in your hamstrings during the exercise. This is because they compensate for the fact that your multifidus muscles are too weak. They pull together to keep your pelvis up. This is a sign that this is a good exercise for you.

When you continue the exercise you will notice that these cramps disappear and you’ll feel pain in your back instead. This is a sign of improvement and you should continue.

To further increase the difficulty level, you can lift one leg for 10 seconds. This creates even more imbalance, causing your multifidus muscle to respond to sudden changes. This simulates its exact function.

Pro tip: You can even place your legs on an exercise ball to create even more imbalance and a better function.

This exercise is great in removing back pain when bending forward, during sleeping, turning in bed and during standing and walking.

Lower back pain exercise 2: Training your back muscles

The second exercise is intended to train the large muscles that help you get up and stand for long periods.

The function of these muscles is to extend your back.

This is something you do when you reach to a high point or when you come back up after bending forward.

You can do the exercise like this:

  • Lay down on the ground on your stomach
  • Place your arms under your head
  • Lift up your upper body including your arms
  • Keep your feet on the ground
  • Repeat this 10 times

On the image below you can see how to perform the exercise.

back strengthening exercises

Try to increase the number of repetitions to 15 or 20 times and repeat it 3 times.

Do it 2 times a day, both in the morning and in the evening.

Pro tip: You can increase the difficulty by extending your arms or keep some weight in your hands.

Lower back pain exercise 3: Regain the confidence to bend over in the right way

This is important. As long as the fear of bending over remains, your back pain will continue to exist.

That is why I will teach you how to regain your confidence to bend normally.

To do this we will bend in small steps. In this way you do not hold your back straight to protect it, but you bend it as you should.

You can see the steps in the picture below.

back pain bending forward

As you can see, you must first bend your neck and your chest. This is the easy part and will not excite fear. However, it ensures that your lower back is already slightly bent so that you can no longer brace it.

Now comes the difficult part: bending your lower back.

When you’ve bend your neck and chest you should now bend further down.

Do not forget to keep your lower back bent. Try to reach as far as possible without the fear strikes.

Now come up again, without using your hands to support you and do it again.

You will see that when you do it more often, you get a little further each time.

It’s okay to feel some stretching or discomfort in your lower back.

What you do not want is an increase in radiation in your leg. If this is the case, you must stop this exercise and continue to exercise 4 instead.

When you don’t feel this you can continue until you can touch the floor with your fingers. It is possible!!.

Pro tip: make sure you also bend the right way when you pick up your bag or shoes. If you find that you have not done so, do it again to train this new behavior in your daily activities so that it goes automatically again.

Lower back pain exercise 4: Reduce radiating pain in your lower leg.

The next exercise is designed to reduce radiating pain in your leg. As I told you before this is a factor that reduces the recovery speed. By solving your radiating pain, you will recover faster.

You can combine this exercise with exercise 1 and 2, but not with exercise 3 if this exercise increases your radiating pain.

The easiest way to do this exercise is by standing straight up:

  • Place your fingers on the painful spot on your back
  • Push your back forward with your fingers
  • Bend backwards at the same time
  • Repeat this 10 times

You can also see how to perform this exercise in the video below:

Repeat this exercise several times a day. Do this especially when you’ve bend forward a few times or when the radiation in your leg increases again. You want to keep the radiation away as much as possible.

Pro tip: You can also do this exercise when lying down if you have balance problems. Just lie down and push your upper body up with your hands for 3 seconds and repeat this 10 times as well.

Lower back pain exercise 5: Increase the mobility of your back

The last thing that can influence your back pain is stiffness of your back. Although the natural degeneration of your back doesn’t have to cause back pain, it can cause general stiffness of your back.

This can contribute to the difficulty and fear for moving your back which by itself does cause pain in your back.

When the cartilage in your back reduces as well as the size of your intervertebral disc, the movement between the vertebrae might decrease. Your back needs a little extra help to stay flexible.

That is what this exercise is designed for.

Perform the exercise like this:

  • Lay down on the ground
  • Spread your arms sideways
  • Bend your kneesTurn your knees aside. Keep your shoulders on the ground, but your pelvis may rotate
  • Hold it for 10 seconds and do the same to the other side

You can see how to perform the exercise in the video below:

You will feel the stretch in your lower back when performing the exercise.

You can also use exercise 4 to increase the mobility of your back. This will reduce tension in your back and will make moving it easier.

Pro tip: you can also stretch your leg on the side you’re rotating towards, so that your back rotates even more.