The Best 5 Exercises for Back Pain

What actually causes Back Pain?

Back pain is the most common injury treated in physiotherapy clinics the world over. About 85% of the population will experience back pain at some point in their life.  Contemporary evidence and research suggest that back pain is multi-dimensional and complex which may include factors such as an acute injury, anatomy, lifestyle, psychology, social factors, stress and weakness.  Common medical conditions and pre-disposing factors that can cause back pain include:

  • Muscle strain
  • Poor prolonged posture whether it be sitting or standing
  • Facet joint dysfunction
  • Herniated disc
  • Arthritis
  • Obesity
  • Sedentary lifestyle

So, what are the Best 5 Exercises to help back pain?

As the causes of back pain are multifactorial so the treatment needs to be.  However, more often than not, exercise is a key component of back pain treatment, so here are the 5 all-time favorites.

1.       Squats: You cannot beat the simple squat for overall health, passive activation of abdominal muscles and functionality.

2.       Cat/Cow:  Almost relevant for any spinal pain condition.

3.       Pelvic Tilts in sitting and lying:  Our pelvis and incorrect posture can affect the entire body.  In-activity and discordance between the pelvis and lumbar spine is common in back pain conditions.

4.       Hamstring Stretches: Almost everyone who sits in front of a desk for prolonged periods is going to have tight hamstrings which affect the pelvis and lumbar spine.

5.       Bird Dogs:  A nice safe and easy way to strengthen those abdominals and gluteal muscles.

And one for good luck, The Child Pose, who doesn’t like the Child Pose!

Obviously, there is no one size fits all solution for back pain, therefore treatment needs to be patient centered as some of these exercises may be contraindicated in specific cases. As with any exercise if it causes excessive pain and worsens the condition, cease immediately.

Happy Chaggim,


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