Low back pain? These exercises may help

August 30, 2018 by Len Canter, Healthday Reporter

(HealthDay)—Low back pain is a common health complaint. And if it sidelines you for too long, it can lead to weight gain, a loss in your fitness level and keep you from doing things you love.

But not moving isn't the answer—specific exercises can help you get back to everyday activities. If you're under the care of an orthopedist or physical therapist, you may be given a series of exercises to do up to three times a day.

Here are three in particular that may help.

Tummy contractions. Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor hip-width apart, and your hands on your tummy below your ribcage. Tighten your abs—it should feel as though your ribcage is being pressed toward your back. Hold for five seconds, then relax. Repeat 10 times.

Knee-to-chest stretch. Begin in the same starting position, but for this , place both hands on the back of your left thigh and gently pull the to your chest. Hold for 20 seconds, then relax. Repeat five times with the left leg, then switch to the right leg and repeat the entire sequence.

Body stretch sequence. Sit on a large exercise ball with knees bent at a 90-degree angle to the floor. Move your feet slightly out to the sides for balance. First, lift your left arm straight up over your head, then lower it and repeat with the right arm; alternate five times. Next, slowly raise and lower your left , then slowly raise and lower your right heel; alternate five times. Finally, raise your left arm overhead and your right heel off the floor at the same time, lower them and reverse, raising your right arm overhead and lifting your left heel off the floor; alternate five times.

Another type of exercise that may help is yoga. According to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, people who took a weekly class designed for those with low back were helped just as much as those who did traditional physical therapy, and needed less pain medication over time.

Explore further: Stabilize those stability ball workouts

More information: The University of California, Berkeley, has detailed information on low back pain and more exercises that can help ease it.

Related Stories

Stabilize those stability ball workouts

June 11, 2018
(HealthDay)—For fun and fitness, it's hard to beat the value of a stability ball. You can do exercises to strengthen muscles, improve balance and increase flexibility.

It's crunch time

April 4, 2018
(HealthDay)—Toned abs don't just look great, they're also vital for good posture and avoiding lower back pain.

Can't get to the gym? Work out in your office

July 24, 2017
(HealthDay)—Making time for exercise during your workday can be difficult.

Orthopedist offers tips for preventing shoulder injuries

April 23, 2015
(HealthDay)—As the most flexible joint in your body, your shoulder can move and position your arm in many ways. But this flexibility also makes it prone to instability and injury.

Stretches: the forgotten exercise

August 7, 2017
(HealthDay)—Along with aerobic and strength training, stretching is an important part of every workout routine. But many people make the mistake of skipping this key step or doing certain stretches at the wrong time.

Posture pointers for computer jockeys

June 21, 2017
(HealthDay)—Do you spend most of your day sitting at a computer? Being hunched over your keyboard for long periods can put stress and strain on your whole body.

Recommended for you

China's doctor shortage prompts rush for AI health care

September 20, 2018
Qu Jianguo, 64, had a futuristic medical visit in Shanghai as he put his wrist through an automated pulse-taking machine and received the result within two minutes on a mobile phone—without a doctor present.

Crunched for time? High-intensity exercise = same cell benefits in fewer minutes

September 20, 2018
A few minutes of high-intensity interval or sprinting exercise may be as effective as much longer exercise sessions in spurring beneficial improvements in mitochondrial function, according to new research. The small study ...

Time to ban the sale of energy drinks to children, says senior doctor

September 19, 2018
It's time to bring in laws to ban the sale of caffeinated energy drinks to children and young people in England to tackle the twin epidemics of obesity and mental health problems, argues Professor Russell Viner, President ...

For-profit hospitals correlated with higher readmission rates

September 19, 2018
Patients who receive care in a for-profit hospital are more likely to be readmitted than those who receive care in nonprofit or public hospitals, according to a new study published by University of Illinois at Chicago researchers.

Sugar content of most supermarket yogurts well above recommended threshold

September 18, 2018
A comprehensive survey of ingredients in yogurts highlights high sugar levels in many—particularly organic yogurts and those marketed towards children.

Research confronts 'yucky' attitudes about genetically engineered foods

September 18, 2018
Is a non-browning apple less "natural" than non-fat milk? In one case, people have injected something into apple DNA to prevent it from turning brown after it's cut. In the other, people used technology to remove something ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.