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Back Exercises

For Back Pain

As we’ve seen, back pain will likely effect 80% of the worlds population at one point or another in a lifetime. It’s our Croydon chiropractors job to help control the effects that back pain can have on society. As primary health care practitioners we can prescribe individual back rehab stretching and strengthening exercises  which can can help relieve spasm and pain in the lower back, buttocks and hips. Exercises to relieve hypertonic muscles should be done every day as a matter of routine. Stretching the back helps to mobilize the spine and keep the lower back healthy. Stretches for back pain focus on the gluteals, hip flexors, quadratus lumborum and hamstrings. They can often provide immediate back pain relief if they are done properly.

Back exercises *(before starting any activity always consult your health physician. These back stretches and exercises are intended for healthy backs or patients that have undergone the necessary assessments to enable us to provide them with professional back exercise prescription. These exercises for back pain should not be copied unless your chiropractor, physiotherapist or health professional advises it is safe to do so).



Back exercise 1 – The buttock and piriformis stretch for lower back pain relief

How to stretch the lower back and buttocks

low back stretch, South Croydon chiropractor

How to stretch the lower back and buttocks

  • 1. Lying on your back cross one ankle over the opposite knee
  • 2. Place your hands around the thigh and pull towards you
  • 3. Hold the back stretch for 30 seconds to 60 seconds
  • 4. Repeat the same stretch on the opposite side of the body
  • 5. Stretch each side three times, as often as you can every day to help relieve back pain and loosen the tight lower back muscles

The back muscles includes the Quadratus lumborum:

The quadrates lumborum or Q-L originates from the transverse processes of the T12 vertebra and spreads over the thoraco-lumbar fascia then attaches over the iliac crests. The Q-L is a lateral bender of the spine, helping is bend sideways and works hard to keep our back’s straight. When the Q-L is tight or strained it can twist the pelvis and rotate the lower back and cause antalgia and back pain. The Q-L is a key lower back muscle to focus daily stretching on to avoid back pain and disability.


Back exercise 2 – Stretches to relieve back pain – The Q-L and lat stretch

The Latissimus Dorsi- The lats

back exercise - stretching lats

The Latissimus Dorsi – The Lats

The Lats originate from the Pelvic crests, coursing over the lower back para-spinal muscles and attach to the posterior part of the arms (humerus). The lats are strong back muscles that work in pulling movements towards the body.

There are many strengthening exercises with varied grips that work the Lats in pulling movements. If the lats get tight they can cause back pain and stiffness and develop knots that take a lot of trigger point therapy to get rid of.

To keep your lats loose and limit muscle spasms we’ve included some back exercises as examples of the prescribed exercises we give to our patients. These back exercises can be followed every day for maximum benefit.


How to do the back stretch for the upper back stiffness in the Lats and Q-L

back stretch for the upper back stiffness in the Lats and Q-L

Back stretch for the upper back stiffness in the Lats and Q-L

  • 1. Either seated or standing, raise the arms above the head and bend the elbows
  • 2. While the arms are overhead and bent, grab each elbow with the opposite hand
  • 3. Slowly side bend (laterally) bend either left or right while keeping the lower body perfectly still
  • 4. Slowly lean to the side and feel the stretch on the opposite side as you exhale
  • 5. Hold for 20 seconds, begin to gradually come back to neutral at the centre start point
  • 6. Repeat the same stretch on the opposite side and note if there’s a difference.
  • 7. Do the same stretch 3 times each side

The lower back stretch for the buttocks and piriformis

The lower back stretch for the buttocks and piriformis

Back Stretch 3 – The lower back stretch for the buttocks and piriformis

How to stretch the buttocks and piriformis

  • 1. Seated (preferably on the floor) with both legs extended bring one knee up towards your chest
  • 2. Grab the flexed knee or thigh with one hand and the foot or shoe with the other hand as you pull towards yourself
  • 3. Hold that position for 30 seconds and repeat three times each side

Piriformis stretch – Hurdler Stretch

Piriformis stretch – Hurdler Stretch

Back and hip stretch 4 – Piriformis stretch – Hurdler Stretch

How to do the hurdler stretch for back pain relief

  • 1. Lie on your side on the floor and bring one knee up towards you while keeping the opposite knee /leg straight
  • 2. Place the outer surface of the thigh flat against the floor as you flex the upper body forward while feeling the stretch for the lower back, glutes and piriformis
  • 3. Repeat the stretch twice each side, holding for 30 seconds each.

back exercises to strengthen lower back

Strengthening the lower back, Q-L

Back exercise 4 – Strengthening the lower back, Q-L

How to do the exercises for the Q-L

  • 1. Lying on your side with knees slightly bent and resting on the elbow
  • 2. Push the hips up off the floor and hold for 10-20 seconds. This exercise helps strengthen the lower back and Q-L

Chiropractic stretches for the back are done as part of routine treatments at Croydon Sports Injury Clinic Ltd. These back stretches and exercises are intended for healthy backs or patients that have undergone the necessary assessments to enable us to provide them with professional back exercise prescription. These exercises for back pain should not be copied unless your chiropractor, physiotherapist or health professional advises it is safe to do so).

For help with exercises for back pain and stretches to relieve back pain call Croydon Sports Injury Clinic Ltd today!


Croydon Sports Injury Clinic Ltd | 0 208 651 4439