Back pain is incredibly common, and frustrating. It impacts lots of age groups and lifestyles. Really, no one is safe!
The best back pain exercises can relieve, stretch, and strengthen your back muscles to decrease pain levels, improve range of motion, and keep chronic back pain at bay. We’ve rounded up five of the best ones!
Here are common causes of back pain and the best exercises/stretches for relief.
There are many common causes of back pain. The pain can also become acute or chronic. Acute pain is short-term (lasting six months or less), while chronic pain lasts longer than six months.
Some of the most common causes of back pain include:
Lower Back Pain Causes
Lower back pain is the most common. Many spine-related conditions cause low-back pain, including arthritis, ruptured discs, osteoporosis, pinched nerves, scoliosis, torn or pulled muscles, and vertebrogenic pain.
It can also stem from unresolved hip or pelvic issues because our lower back, hips, and pelvis all work together.
Upper Back Pain Causes
Upper back pain tends to be less common. Sitting at a desk or non-ergonomic setting for long periods of time with poor posture can lead to upper back and neck pain. (Office workers tend to experience this.)
When we have a forward-bending posture, it puts additional pressure on bones, discs, muscles, and ligaments in our upper spine.
Upper back pain can also stem from the shoulders. Rotator cuff tears, bursitis, and scapular dyskinesis are all top contenders.
Moving your body might be the last thing you’re thinking of with back pain. But the truth is, exercise is the number one prescription for many instances of it!
If you’re dealing with chronic aches or pains from poor posture or simply getting older, exercises for back pain can be a good idea.
Back pain exercises work wonders by helping to:
The Best Back Pain Exercises
Whether you are trying to fix back pain or avoid it, we have the five best exercises/stretches for you!
No matter what the cause, back pain can be helped by two things:
Use proper form to practice the following five back pain exercises on a weekly or bi-weekly basis and get rid of that aching back.
Before starting any new exercises, we always recommend checking in with your healthcare provider of choice if you have any concerns.
Let’s get started!
The full-body roll-up exercise strengthens your core in a slow, controlled motion. It teaches you to articulate your spine and stretches the muscles in the back and legs that cause tightness in the back.
How To Do A Full Body Roll-Up:
Be sure to keep your feet on the ground as you move slowly. Perform 6-8 roll-ups.
The bird dog exercises teaches your body to use the core for stability. It strengthens your ab muscles and low back, and lengthens the spinal column for better posture.
How To Do A Bird Dog:
Perform 8-10 per side. Move slow and steady, holding arm and leg out momentarily before switching.
The forearm plank strengthens all of your core muscles. It engages your stabilizers while lengthening and improving posture.
How To Do A Forearm Plank:
Hold forearm plank for 30 seconds to start, trying to progress to a 60 second hold.
The swimming exercise strengthens back extensors while teaching core muscles to grip during movement. It’s a great way to engage your core!
How To Do The Swimming Exercise:
The goal is to keep the body stable as the limbs flutter quickly. Try for 30 seconds and work your way up to 60 seconds.
Technically, this is a stretch, not an exercise, but you don’t want to leave this off your list! The relief feels amazing.
How To Do Child’s Pose:
Hold for 30 second to 1 minute.
Adding targeted back pain exercises to your weekly routine is one of the best ways to help existing back pain and prevent future injury. This simple adjustment to your exercise routine can help you maintain an active healthy lifestyle for years to come.
One of the best things you can do to stay healthy and active with age is to make mobility exercises a regular part of your routine. Did you know that limited mobility is actually the thing that makes you look the oldest?
A quick mobility routine is often all it takes to start feeling better!
To see the benefits firsthand, try the 15 best mobility exercises to keep you in action and impact your overall health for years to come.
15 Best Mobility Exercises for Seniors to Stay Active
According to the CDC, injuries from falls are the leading cause of injury-related death for Americans 65 and older. One of the main risk factors for falling is poor balance.
Luckily, we have pulled together exercises you can do to help reduce the risk of taking a fall. At the end of the day, balance is a big part of graceful aging and being independent.
Balance Exercises for Seniors: Tips (& Video!) To Improve Balance
As the largest joint in your body, your hips play a central role in healthy aging.
These mighty structures enable you to perform a wide range of daily activities, from standing to walking to climbing stairs — so it’s hardly surprising that hip weakness and pain can be debilitating to your everyday life!
9 Hip-Strengthening Exercises for Seniors