Top 5 Back Pain Exercises


We have our top five back pain exercises. Safe to do when done properly, these exercises start to reduce pain and build back and core strength and back flexibility and movement.

Exercising when in pain is difficult.  It can cause more pain and anxiety so we follow some rules to make it easier. These rules are based around your pain levels. Zero out of 10 is no pain, 10 out of 10 pain is severe pain (as bad as it gets). 

Levels 0-3 are minimal pain. 

Levels 4-5 are acceptable pain. 

Levels 6-10 are excessive pain.

Aim to exercise between level zero and five.  If your pain goes above this level try to 

  1. Slow the exercise down
  2. Reduce the number of times you repeat the exercise
  3. Increase the rest period between exercises
  4. Relax your breathing

Exercise should not make your existing back pain worse although sometimes it can make the muscles sore for a short time. However that should not extend to the next morning.

Gradually introduce exercises one or two at a time to get used to them.  Start with a short period of time, several times a day and build on them from that point. So you may start with one exercise, working up to say 8 repetitions, rest for a minute and repeat the process two more times.

With a few basic rules and some good advice from your osteopath you can get much better, faster.

Here’s our top five exercises for low back pain.  

With severe back pain even breathing is agony. So that’s the first place to start.

Lumbar Rotation to get some movement back

Knee hugs great for pregnancy or acute low back pain

Pelvic roll

As you improve pelvic rolls can be developed to the bridge

These exercises are a guide, it may be best to seek professional advice first.

Ask for an urgent GP appointment or get help from 111 if:

You have back pain and:

  • a high temperature
  • you've lost weight without trying to
  • there's a lump or swelling in your back or your back has changed shape
  • the pain does not improve after resting or is worse at night
  • the pain is made worse when sneezing, coughing or pooing
  • the pain is coming from the top of your back (between your shoulders), rather than your lower back

Call 999 or go to A&E if:

You have back pain and:

  • pain, tingling, weakness or numbness in both legs
  • numbness or tingling around your genitals or buttocks
  • difficulty peeing
  • loss of bladder or bowel control (peeing or pooing yourself)
  • chest pain
  • it started after a serious accident, such as a car accident

Our thanks to Rehab My Patient for their kind permission to use their Videos.

Telephone:  01747 851726

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Selected Saturdays, please call for availability, closed bank holidays.






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