Back pain is one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor or miss work, and it is a leading cause of disability worldwide.
Fortunately, you can take measures to prevent or relieve most back pain episodes. If prevention fails, simple home treatment and proper body mechanics often will heal your back within a few weeks and keep it functional. Surgery is rarely needed to treat back pain.
The problem with doing exercises at home, of course, is that often you don't have access to the sort of equipment you'll find for lower back exercises in the gym. But the good news is that you don't need any of that equipment to stretch and strengthen your lower back.
Three of our favourite exercises to improving lower back pain are:
The Bird Dog
Position yourself on your hands and knees.
Squeeze your core to keep your back stable as you reach straight forward with your left arm.
At the same time, extend your right leg straight back behind you. Both limbs should be parallel to the floor.
Return to the starting position, then repeat the movement with your right arm and left leg.
Hold each position for 10 seconds before bring limbs back to the centre and planting on the floor
Pay close attention to your hips during this exercise. They should stay level — with no tipping to either side — throughout the motion.
Position yourself on your side, elbow bent and forearm resting on the floor. Your elbow should be directly below your shoulder, and your shoulders, hips and knees should all be stacked vertically.
Rest your bent knees on the ground or, for more of a challenge, straighten your legs and balance on the side of your lower foot.
Lift your hip off the ground and into a straight line with the rest of your body, keeping your forearm/elbow and knees (or feet) on the floor.
Hold for 20 seconds, before dropping your hip back to the floor.
Lie face-down on an exercise or yoga mat(if you have one available), legs straight and hands by your shoulders as if you were about to do a press up
Push through your hands and raise your chin, chest, and then stomach off the floor, while keeping your hip bones on the ground.
Hold this position briefly, then return to the starting position.
Repeat as often as you like, so long as it's comfortable.
As long as you don't have any contraindications for performing back extension (think of arching what happens to your pain when you arch your back) you can do this exercise