If you suffer from lower back pain that has lasted longer than a couple of weeks, you will most likely be referred to a physical therapist for treatment. This entirely personalized method of care can relieve pain, improve motion, and increase strength to an injury or condition. Physical therapy for lower back can be done in as little as a few weeks in office, or even at home.
Our experts at Desert Edge Physical Therapy believe in the power of simple, at-home stretches and exercises that can actually be done from anywhere. Mike King, PT, DPT, OCS has compiled multiple laser-focused and easy-to-do videos for lower back pain and the like, for your convenience. Learn some valuable physical therapy for lower back pain tricks below – with videos! To see all the videos, click here!
The foundation of all our lower back pain videos is focused on an active range of motion. As with all our exercises, you should not feel pain. You should feel comfortable.
First, lay on a yoga mat or something similar on the floor. With the arch of your back, gently push your hips up towards the ceiling and slowly down flat with the floor. Again, it’s not about holding or stability, it’s about smoothly moving in and out of the motion. Most people progress out of this quickly, and we’ll go over that next.
Now that you’ve mastered the pelvic tilt laying down, it’s time to level up to the sitting position. With the arch of your back, you are going to ‘sit tall and sit small’. This means, pushing your lower back out so you’re slightly hunched, and then moving the lower back in, so you’re sitting in a tall posture. Once again, you should not feel pain and you should be leading in fluid movements.
This physical therapy exercise for lower back pain is good to do periodically during the day.
The hamstring stretch is next in the progression after mastering the pelvic tilt. This stretch is great because it can literally be done from anywhere. All you need is to be able to sit down in a chair or on your couch.
What you will need to do first is stretch your leg out either on the floor or on a stool. From there you will want to sit tall, chest up, and head up. If you aren’t feeling a stretch yet, lean forward until you feel a pulling sensation behind your thigh.
If you are not feeling the stretch in your thigh, you’re probably doing it wrong. Typically people lose their upright posture resulting in an incorrect stretch. With this targeted stretch, there is no need to lean forward to grab your foot or your toe, because this then becomes a backstretch. Which is fine, but not what we’re trying to target, which is a hamstring stretch.
In the same position for a pelvic tilt (laying down), rest your arms on an exercise ball (hands not touching) placed on your stomach with your knees bent up. Simply press your arms down on the ball towards your legs. Hold in place for five seconds to ensure stability in your abdominal area.
There are progressions you can do from here, but for now, we are focusing on a simple brace and stability progression.
In this physical therapy exercise for lower back pain, begin on a solid surface like the floor. On your hands and knees and with a neutral back (not elevated and not arched), raise your right arm out straight and your left leg out straight as well. Be sure to never lose the stability in your back!
Alternate your arms and legs a few times. Maintain balance, strength, and stability to get the most out of this exercise.
Neglecting movement to a problem area like lower back pain will only increase pain and discomfort. With these smooth and easy exercises you can do from anywhere, you can decrease pain, increase strength, and improve range of motion.
Are you experiencing lower back, ankle, neck pain, or other areas of pain? Desert Edge Physical Therapy has a number of targeted videos for areas all over the body. Move better and live better in the comfort of your own home with the help of easy, at-home videos.
Do you have further questions? Are you interested in physical therapy? Reach out to us today! We’re happy to answer any questions you may have and to help get your journey started.