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5 Exercises for lower back pain and strength

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Sources of lower back pain

Lower back pain affects almost 100 million Americans adults each year (2011).  Lower back pain can be caused by any of the structures that make up your lower back.   Typical sources of lower back pain could include the muscles, ligaments, the facet joints or the spine, or the large nerve roots that originate from each spinal segment.   This could be from an acute injury like a sprain / strain, from degeneration or arthritis, or another pathological cause.

 Causes of low back pain

Typically younger adults between 30-60 years old are more likely to experience back pain from damage to the spinal disc or a sprain / stain or other soft tissue strain. Older adults over 60 years of age are likely to experience low back pain from degenerative changes such as osteoarthritis or spinal stenosis or even a compression fracture of the vertebrae.

Exercises for the lower back

Below are 5 exercises, generally for beginners who are not suffering from an acute injury or an active spinal disc with radiating pain into a leg. If you are experiencing low back pain with leg symptoms, active sciatic symptoms, fever, chills, difficulty in urination, or bowel movement then YOU REQUIRE IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE to further investigate you lower back pain.

THESE EXERCISES are for lower back pain maintenance and to strengthen the supporting ligaments and muscles of your low back (multifidi muscles, rotatory ligaments, quadratus muscles, abdominals), not to eliminate acute lower back pain. The muscle and support ligaments typically weaken leading to instability and weakness. When this progresses it leads to injury, inflammation and eventually development of degenerative changes to the joints of your lower back.  Movement, chiropractic treatment and natural anti-inflammatory relief  such as Turmeric can help keep your back strong, mobile and generally pain free.

ONE: Lie face-down on a Swiss Ball with your feet straight behind you and your arms fully extended in front of you, palms pressed against the floor. This is your starting.

TWO: Extend your back and raise your arms so they form a straight line with your torso. Hold, then return to the starting position.

ONE: Get on your hands and knees, using a mat if necessary for comfort. Make sure your back is flat and tighten your abs.

TWO: Reach one arm forward while simultaneously extending your opposite leg straight back. Hold the position and then return to starting position to switch sides.

ONE: Lie back on a Swiss ball with knees bent at a 90-degree angle and feet on the floor about shoulder-width apart. Interlace your fingers behind your head. The ball should be under your hips and lower back. This is your starting position.

TWO: Crunch your torso toward your knees, raising your chest upward. Stop when the middle of your back loses contact with the ball. Pause, then return to starting position.

ONE: Begin in high lunge with your right foot forward. TWO: Take your hands together in a prayer at the center of your chest. Take a deep inhale, using your thumbs to slightly lift your chest. THREE: Use your exhale to engage your navel to your spine and twist your torso to the right. FOUR: Hook your left elbow outside of your right thigh. Breathe here for at least three deep breaths, then repeat on the other side.

Plank 1



Lie on the floor with elbows directly beneath your shoulders and legs fully extended. Raise your torso into the air until it makes a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Tighten your stomach, squeeze your butt and hold this position for the desired amount of time.

Perform each exercise 5 times per week to keep your lower back strong.  Ad pelvic stretches to increase flexibility, have good ergonomics when sitting, to keep a healthy back.

Your Walnut Creek Chiropractor.


These exercises are not meant to diagnose or treat or substitute for the recommendations of your care provider.

Author: Curtis Haake D.C.

Hi I'm Dr. Haake and I help people live happy, healthy, and pain-free through modern chiropractic medicine and active health coaching. As your walnut creek chiropractor I employ a health-team approach to your health crisis. As your health-team member we get you back on your feet as quickly as possible; addressing diet, nutrition and exercise.

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