A Non-Pharmacological Approach, Exercise for Relieving Lower Back Pain

A Non-Pharmacological Approach, Exercise for Relieving Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain (LBP) affects a significant number of individuals worldwide and can have a substantial impact on their quality of life, regardless of whether it is chronic or acute. Among the various treatment approaches available for LBP, exercise has emerged as a recognized and effective non-pharmacological strategy.

When performed correctly, exercise can help alleviate pain, enhance functionality, and potentially prevent future episodes of lower back discomfort. This article explores different exercises specifically designed for lower back pain, explaining how they alleviate discomfort and improve spinal health.

Understanding Lower Back Pain

To better comprehend the exercises, it is essential to grasp the underlying causes of back pain. The lumbar region, also known as the lower back, consists of a complex network of bones, joints, nerves, ligaments, and muscles. Pain may arise from any of these components due to strain, structural issues, or certain medical conditions such as arthritis or disc disorders. Lifestyle factors such as poor posture, lack of exercise, or heavy lifting can also contribute to lower back pain.

Exercise as a Treatment Modality

Exercise therapy is increasingly being used as a primary component in the treatment of lower back pain. Regularly performing targeted exercises strengthens the muscles supporting the spine, enhances flexibility, and promotes better posture and balance. Furthermore, exercise triggers the release of endorphins—natural painkillers produced by the body—helping manage chronic pain effectively.

A study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science in 2015 revealed that patients who engaged in targeted exercises for 12 weeks experienced a significant reduction in pain intensity and disability compared to those who did not exercise. However, it is crucial to note that the effectiveness of exercise therapy depends on the cause and nature of the back pain, and not all exercises are suitable for every type of back pain. It is always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before initiating a new exercise regimen.

Exercises for Alleviating Lower Back Pain

1. Pelvic Tilts

This exercise strengthens the abdominal muscles and increases the flexibility of the lower back. Gently tilt your hips towards your head and hold the position for a few seconds before returning to the starting position. Repeat this exercise 10-15 times.

2. Bridge Exercise

The bridge exercise focuses on engaging the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back muscles. Begin by lying on your back, ensuring your knees are bent and feet planted firmly on the floor. Keep your arms relaxed by your sides. Lift your hips upward, forming a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Maintain this posture for a brief duration before gradually lowering your hips back down to the floor. Perform the bridge exercise for a repetition range of 10 to 15 times.

3. Child’s Pose

Derived from yoga, the child’s pose provides a restful stretch for the back. Lean forward to stretch your arms in front of you, lowering your head to the floor. Hold this pose for 20-30 seconds, feeling the stretch in your lower back.

4. Cat-Cow Stretch

This yoga pose enhances flexibility in the lower back. Begin on your hands and knees, ensuring that your knees are under your hips and your hands are under your shoulders. Inhale and arch your back (cow pose), then exhale and round your back upwards (cat pose). Repeat this flow of movements 10-15 times.

5. Knee-to-Chest Stretch

This exercise stretches the lower back and aligns the pelvis. Use both hands to pull one knee close to your chest, while keeping the other foot on the floor. Hold this pose for 15-30 seconds, then repeat with the other knee.

6. Bird-Dog Exercise

The bird-dog exercise improves balance and strengthens the spine and abdominal muscles. Begin on your hands and knees, then simultaneously stretch one leg and the opposite arm, ensuring they are aligned with your body. Hold this pose for a few seconds, then repeat with the other arm and leg.


Incorporating these exercises into your routine can help alleviate lower back pain, strengthen core muscles, improve flexibility, and maintain spinal health. However, it is important to remember that exercise alone may not eliminate lower back pain, especially if the underlying cause is a structural problem or a specific medical condition. Exercise should be part of a comprehensive treatment plan overseen by a healthcare professional. Additionally, always ensure that exercises are performed correctly and safely, warming up beforehand and cooling down afterward to minimize the risk of injury. If any exercise causes increased pain, it is important to stop immediately and seek professional advice. With the right approach, exercise can be a powerful tool in managing and preventing lower back pain.