Physiotherapy Exercises for Lower Back Pain

Physiotherapy Exercises for Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain can be a constant, unwanted companion that impacts your daily life. Whether it’s caused by an injury, poor posture, or a sedentary lifestyle, the discomfort can be debilitating.

However, there is a ray of hope in the form of physiotherapy exercises for lower back pain. These exercises can provide relief and help you regain control over your life.

Understanding Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is a common ailment that can arise from a variety of factors, each of which has its unique characteristics and causes.

Some of the primary reasons behind lower back pain are as follows:

1. Muscle Strain:

Muscle strain is one of the most prevalent causes of lower back pain. This often occurs when individuals overexert themselves or use improper lifting techniques.

The muscles of the lower back can become strained or injured, causing discomfort and pain.

Causes of muscle strain:

  • Overexertion during physical activities, such as lifting heavy objects or vigorous exercise, can cause micro-tears in the muscles.
  • Lifting objects in poor posture, such as bending at the waist instead of at the knees, can put undue stress on the muscles of the lower back.

2. Poor Posture:

Maintaining correct posture is important for spinal health. Prolonged sitting, hunching, hunching, or sitting with improper posture can cause chronic lower back pain.

Causes of poor posture:

  • Sitting for long periods with a rounded back or hunched shoulders can put pressure on the muscles and ligaments that support the lower back.
  • Poor ergonomics in the workplace, such as an unsupported chair or an improperly placed computer monitor, can contribute to poor posture.

3. Herniated Discs:

A herniated disc, also known as a slipped or ruptured disc, occurs when the soft inner material of a spinal disc pushes through the harder outer layer.

This can result in pressure on the nerves of the lower back, causing pain.

Causes of herniated discs:

  • Aging can weaken discs, making them more susceptible to herniation.
  • Trauma or injury to the spinal cord can cause a herniated disc.

4. Arthritis:

Arthritis includes a group of conditions that involve inflammation of the joints. Osteoarthritis, in particular, can affect the lower back as it causes the cartilage between the vertebrae to break down.

causes of arthritis:

  • Over time, the cartilage that supports the joints in the spine can wear down, resulting in lower back pain and stiffness.
  • Inflammatory forms of arthritis, such as ankylosing spondylitis, can cause chronic lower back pain.

5. Injuries:

Accidents and injuries, including those sustained in sporting activities, can cause acute or long-term low back pain.

These injuries may involve damage to the muscles, ligaments, or bones of the lower back.

How it Happens:

  • Lower back injuries can occur due to falls, automobile accidents, or sports-related impacts.
  • Fractures, sprains, and strains are common types of injuries that result in lower back pain.

Role of Physiotherapy:

Physiotherapy, also commonly called physical therapy, is a specialized healthcare field that uses non-invasive techniques to address a wide range of physical conditions and injuries, including low back pain.

The primary aim of physiotherapy is to enhance the overall well-being of individuals by improving their physical functioning, reducing pain, and preventing future problems related to their condition.

In the context of lower back pain, physiotherapy plays a vital role in several ways:

1. Assessment:

One of the first steps in physiotherapy is a thorough assessment of your lower back pain.

A trained and experienced physiotherapist will carefully evaluate your condition considering factors such as the type of pain, its location, and any underlying cause.

This evaluation helps determine the most appropriate treatment plan for your specific situation.

2. Tailored exercise:

Once your condition has been assessed, a physiotherapist will develop an individual exercise regimen tailored to your needs.

The purpose of these exercises is to precisely target the real cause of your lower back pain.

For example, if muscle weakness or imbalance is causing your discomfort, exercises will focus on strengthening and rebalancing those muscles.

3. Pain reduction:

Physiotherapists use a variety of techniques and exercises to reduce pain. This may include manual therapy, which involves hands-on techniques to improve joint mobility and reduce muscle tension.

Additionally, they may recommend modalities such as heat, cold, or electrical stimulation to provide pain relief.

4. Functional improvement:

More than just pain relief, the goal of physiotherapy is to increase your overall physical function.

Prescribed exercises are often designed to improve flexibility, range of motion, and posture.

This not only addresses the immediate discomfort but also works to prevent future problems by ensuring that your body is functioning optimally.

5. Preventive approach:

Physiotherapy also has a preventive aspect. Addressing the root causes of low back pain and improving overall physical health, can help reduce the chance of the pain returning or becoming chronic.

Physiotherapists educate patients on how to maintain their well-being and prevent future problems.

Physiotherapy Exercises for Lower Back Pain

Effective physiotherapy exercises to reduce lower back pain. These exercises target key muscles, promote flexibility, and provide support for a healthy, pain-free lower back.

1. Pelvic Tilts:

This exercise involves slowly rocking the pelvis back and forth, which helps strengthen the lower back muscles and improve spinal flexibility.

How to do Pelvic Tilts:

  1. With your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent, lie flat on your back.
  2. Press your lower back into the floor and also tighten your abdominal muscles.
  3. Hold for an instant (few seconds), then relax
  4. Repeat this exercise 10-15 times.


Pelvic tilts strengthen the abdominal muscles, which can provide better support for your lower back. This exercise also promotes flexibility in the lower back and can reduce pain caused by poor posture or muscle imbalances.

2. Bridging:

By lifting the hips while keeping the feet flat on the ground, bridging strengthens the lower back and gluteal muscles, providing support and relief to the lower spine.


  1. Lay flat on your back with your feet hip-width apart and your knees bent.
  2. Lift your hips from the floor, creating a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
  3. Hold for a few seconds, then lower your hips.
  4. Do 10-15 repetitions.


Bridging exercises target the gluteal muscles and lower back, promoting strength and stability. It is effective in relieving pain caused by muscle weakness or imbalance.

3. Cat-Cow Stretch:

This yoga-inspired movement, alternating between twisting and rounding the back, increases spinal flexibility and relieves tension in the torso and lower back.


  1. Begin with your hands in a tabletop position and knees bent.
  2. Arch your back (like a cat stretch) and tuck your chin into your chest.
  3. Then, lower your back and lift your head (like a cow looking up).
  4. Repeat this movement 10-15 times.


A great exercise for increasing spine mobility and flexibility is the cat-cow stretch. It can reduce pain associated with tight muscles and limited range of motion.

4. Knee-to-Chest Stretch:

Lying on your back and bringing your knees toward the chest, this stretch relaxes the lower back and hips, reduces tension, and improves mobility.


  1. Extend your legs and lie on your back.
  2. Bring one knee close to your chest and hold it with your hands.
  3. Hold for 25-30 seconds, then change legs.
  4. Stretch each side 2-3 times.


The knee-to-chest stretch helps relieve tension in the lower back and stretches the muscles and ligaments. It is especially useful for people suffering from sciatica.

5. Child’s Pose:

A restorative yoga pose that involves sitting on heels with arms extended forward, it gently stretches the lower back and is therapeutic for relaxing the spine.


  1. Begin with your hands in a tabletop position and knees bent.
  2. Sit on your heels and extend your arms forward, keeping your chest on the ground.
  3. Hold this stretch for 20-30 seconds.


A child’s pose is a relaxing stretch that can ease lower back pain by reducing tension and promoting relaxation in the lower back muscles.

6. Seated Forward Bend:

From a seated position, bending forward to reach your toes stretches the lower back and hamstrings, relieving stiffness and increasing flexibility.


  1. Extend your legs in front of you while sitting.
  2. Reach for your toes or as far as you can comfortably reach as you bend forward.
  3. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds.


Forward sitting helps stretch the hamstrings and lower back muscles. It is effective in relieving pain caused by muscle stiffness and improving flexibility.

7. Partial Crunches:

Focused on strengthening the core and lower back muscles, fractional crunches support the spine and can play an important role in managing lower back pain.


  1. While resting on your back, place your feet flat on the ground and bend your knees.
  2. Cross your arms over your chest.
  3. Tighten your abdominal muscles and lift your head and shoulders off the ground.
  4. Hold for a few seconds, then lower back down.
  5. Repeat this exercise 10-15 times.


Partial crunches strengthen the abdominal muscles, which can support the lower back. They are effective in reducing pain caused by muscle weakness or poor core stability.


Although these physiotherapy exercises for lower back pain can be highly effective, it is essential to do them correctly and consult a health care professional or physiotherapist, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions.

If any exercise increases your pain or discomfort, stop immediately and seek guidance from a healthcare professional.


In Conclusion, Lower back pain can be a challenging condition, but with the right approach and physiotherapy exercises, you can regain control and find relief. With time and dedication, you can strengthen your lower back, improve flexibility, and reduce pain. If you have persistent or severe pain, consult a healthcare professional for an individualized treatment plan. Your journey toward a pain-free back starts with the first step – incorporating these exercises into your daily routine.

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