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10 Exercises You Should Use to Recover from a Back Injury

Man and woman doing physical therapy

Around 80% of the American population will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Back pain is one of the most common reasons people miss work.

Use these back rehab exercises to strengthen your back muscles and reduce pain. Exercising your back muscles will increase your ability to be an active participant in life.

You too, can be free from back pain’s invisible prison.

Here are 10 back exercises that will help relieve back pain:

1. Back Rehab Exercises: Pelvic Lift

The multifidus muscle is one of the most important muscles to consider when treating back pain. This is a small back muscle that runs from vertebra to vertebra. Its job is to protect your vertebra from sliding forward in relation to other moving vertebra and gravity.

The pelvic lift trains the multifidus muscle to respond more quickly.

First, you lay down on your back and bend your knees. Then cross your arms over your chest to reduce compensation that affects the exercise’s effectiveness.

Finally, you lift your pelvis up towards the ceiling/sky and hold it there for 10 seconds. Repeat this exercise twice a day in sets of 10.

2. Leg Slides

Your core is made of the axial skeleton and muscles around your spinal column. This is one of the best exercises to strengthen your lower back and core.

First, you lay down facing up. Put your hands on your hip bones and find a neutral spine. Keep your feet firmly on the ground while you bend your knees.

Flex your abdominal muscles and exhale as you extend your right leg and move your heel on the ground. Then return to your starting position.

Do 6 to 8 reps of this exercise per leg.

3. Hip Bridge

Don’t like living with back pain? Here’s how you can build a bridge and get over it: do Hip Bridges. The Hip Bridge exercise strengthens your posterior muscles in the back, legs, and hips.

This exercise is relatively simple.

First, lie on the ground with your arms at your sides. Bend your knees while keeping your feet firmly on the ground.

While keeping your shoulder blades straight and fixed to the ground, lift up your hips. Hold your pelvis like this for 20 to 30 seconds.

4. Upper-Body Lifts

Upper-body lifts train the large muscles in your back to help you stand for long periods of time.

First, lie on your stomach. Put your arms behind your head as you lift your upper-body. (That includes your arms.)

Keep your feet on the ground while doing this exercise. Repeat this exercise in reps of 10. Try to increase your count to 15 or 20 and do 3 sets with more practice.

Do this exercise at least twice daily: once in the morning and once at night.

5. Bend Over

The more you fear bending over, the worse off your back pain will be. You must bend your back in a way that keeps it straight and protected.

First, you start off by bending your neck and chest. Then you bend further down. Keep your lower back bent as you reach for your toes.

Lift your body up without using your hands. This will strengthen your core and help you get used to bending.

It’s alright to feel a bit of tension in your lower back muscles as you bend.

6. Bird Dog

Doing the Bird Dog will increase your stability and balance. It will also strengthen your core and hip muscles.

Get down on all fours. Extend your left leg behind you and flex your foot, bending it forward. Then extend your right arm in front of you with your thumb facing upward.

Engage your abdominal muscles while stabilizing your left shoulder so it doesn’t fall into the pose. Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds before repeating it on the opposite side.

7. Walking

Low impact aerobics can help people with back pain strengthen and condition their muscles. Walking can improve various facets of your health, including your back.

The walking you do for chores, work, and errands won’t be enough. You need to get in 20 to 30 minutes of non-stop walking to reap the cardio benefits.

If walking sounds boring to you, listen to some music. This helps the time go a little bit faster while you’re walking.

8. Partial Crunches

Strengthen your back and stomach muscles with partial crunches. This exercise is considered especially safe for people with back pain.

First, you lie down with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. You can either cross your arms behind your back or across your chest. Then you tighten your stomach muscles and exhale as you lift your shoulders off the floor.

Hold the position for a second, then lower yourself down. Repeat this exercise 8 to 12 times. Be sure to not lead with your elbows or use your arms’ strength to compensate.

9. Wall Sits

Wall sits are another safe exercise people with back pain can easily do.

Start out by standing 10 to 12 inches from the wall. Then lean back until your back is flat and straight up against the wall.

Slowly slide down the wall until your knees are bent. Your back should remain pressed against the wall. Your position should look like you’re sitting in an invisible chair.

Hold this position for 10 seconds, then slide back up the wall into a standing position. Repeat this exercise 8 to 12 times.

10. Back Extension

Research has proven that using this Back Extension exercise reduces lower back pain and the degree of disability caused by back injuries.

Lie on your stomach with your arms at your side. (Seriously – Your arms shouldn’t leave your sides during this exercise.)

Then lift your head and shoulders off the ground using only your lower back muscles. Afterward, slowly lower yourself onto the ground. Repeat.

Kick Your Back Pain to the Curb With Exercise

Nearly 30.2% of women and 26.4% of men suffer from lower back pain. Doing these back rehab exercises will get you in better shape than ever.

Stop missing out on life and start exercising.

Looking for more information? Discover the different conditions that cause back pain.

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