Top Exercises for Back Pain Relief: Physio Recommendations

Top 5 Exercises for Back Pain Relief: Physio Recommendations

While many exercises can exacerbate back pain, certain physiotherapist-recommended routines can actually provide relief. Simple movements like the cat-cow stretch or child’s pose can greatly ease your discomfort and improve your spinal health.

These exercises target specific areas, enhancing both flexibility and strength, rather than just stretching.

Want to know about how pelvic tilts or the bird-dog exercise can benefit your lower back? Let’s explore these techniques and their potential to transform your back pain management strategy.

1. Cat-Cow Stretch for Back Pain

Among the exercises recommended for back pain relief, the cat-cow stretch stands out for its ability to enhance spinal flexibility and reduce muscle tension. This yoga-inspired exercise involves arching your back (cat) and then rounding it (cow), creating a dynamic movement that targets the entire spine. It’s particularly effective in improving spinal mobility, warming up the spine, and increasing circulation, all of which are critical for managing back pain.

The above video is a clear and simple tutorial on how to do the Cat-Cow Stretch from CA Public Health.

Incorporating the Cat-Cow stretch into your daily routine can greatly alleviate back pain by reducing stiffness and promoting relaxation in the back muscles. As part of a thorough plan of back pain exercises, it’s an excellent choice for maintaining spine health and preventing future discomfort. For the best results, follow your physiotherapist’s specific exercise recommendations tailored to your needs.

2. Child's Pose for Pain Relief

Child’s Pose, a fundamental yoga stretch, effectively targets the lower back, hips, and thighs to alleviate tension and promote relaxation in the back muscles.

Physiotherapists recommend Child’s Pose for its ability to gently stretch the spine and increase circulation to the lower back, which promotes healing and reduces discomfort. It’s particularly beneficial for individuals experiencing chronic low back pain, as it encourages muscle relaxation and improves blood flow.

The below video is a great resource from Baptist Health on how to properly perform the Child’s Pose.

You can easily modify a child’s pose to suit your comfort level. Widen your knees for additional space, or use a pillow under your torso for extra support. Regular practice can lead to significant improvements in back pain management, providing a non-invasive option for pain relief.

Incorporating Child’s Pose into your daily routine can help maintain spinal health and prevent future episodes of back pain

3. Pelvic Tilts

In addition to Child’s Pose, incorporating pelvic tilts into your routine can further enhance lower back flexibility and strengthen the abdominal muscles. Pelvic tilts are a foundational exercise often recommended by physiotherapists due to their simplicity and effectiveness.

Please watch the below video tutorial from Rehab My Patient to see how to properly to perform the pelvic tilt.

By engaging your core muscles during the tilt, you contribute to the stabilisation of your lower back, which can alleviate discomfort and improve overall spinal health. Repeating this exercise for 10–15 repetitions can progressively enhance your flexibility and abdominal strength.

Regularly practicing pelvic tilts not only helps to reduce current back pain, but it also helps to prevent future episodes by maintaining the health of your lower back. This exercise is particularly beneficial for those experiencing mild-to-moderate back pain and seeking non-invasive methods to manage their symptoms.

4. Bird-Dog Exercise

For individuals seeking to stabilise their spine and reduce lower back pain, the bird-dog exercise is an effective core-strengthening technique that targets the erector spinae, glutes, and abdominal muscles.

Here is a great video tutorial from Penn State Health on how to perform the Bird-Dog exercise.

The bird-dog exercise enhances spinal stability and promotes proper alignment, which is essential for reducing lower back pain. Engaging the core muscles supports the spine and distributes forces evenly, reducing the risk of injury. Regularly performing this exercise not only strengthens essential muscle groups but also improves balance and coordination.

Evidence suggests that the bird-dog exercise can greatly improve posture and overall back health. Consistently incorporating this exercise into your routine will likely result in a reduction in back pain and an increase in functional movement. Always make sure to perform the exercise with controlled movements and proper form, as this maximises benefits and minimises the risk of strain or injury.

5. Bridge Pose

Bridge pose serves as a powerful exercise for strengthening the lower back muscles and enhancing core stability, making it an essential component of any back pain relief regimen. When you practice bridge pose, you’re engaging the glutes, hamstrings, and abdominal muscles. 

This combination of muscle activation helps alleviate back pain by distributing load more evenly across these muscle groups, thereby reducing strain on the lower back.

Here is a clear and easy to understand tutorial from Children’s Hospital Colorado you can watch on executing the Bridge Pose.

To optimise the benefits of the bridge pose, consider the following points:

Bridge pose is particularly effective because it’s low-impact, making it accessible for many people, regardless of fitness level.

Consistent practice can contribute significantly to your overall spinal health and back pain relief strategy.

In Closing...

Incorporating exercises like the Cat-Cow Stretch, Child’s Pose, Pelvic Tilts, Bird-Dog Exercise, and Bridge Pose into your routine can greatly enhance spinal health and alleviate back pain.

For example, consider John a client of ours, a 45-year-old office worker who experienced chronic lower back pain. After consistently performing these exercises for eight weeks, he reported a 70% reduction in pain and improved flexibility.

Regular practice can yield similar results, enhancing your quality of life and spinal stability.

Don’t let back pain hold you back any longer – take control and start your journey towards a pain-free life today.     Our Back Pain Physiotherapist has many years of experience in successfully dealing with people just like you who have been suffering from back pain for too long.     Please don’t hesitate to call our friendly Reception on (03) 4821 5023 or book online for a back pain assessment & treatment plan appointment.  

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Rosanna Physio

Rosanna Physio

Rosanna Physio has been serving the people of Rosanna and its surrounding suburbs since 1989. We have the education, qualifications and experience to effectively treat any muscle or joint injury that requires expert physical therapy care.

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