Lower back pain is often caused by damage to, or pressure being placed on the sciatic nerve – a condition referred to as sciatica. This is the longest nerve in the body and runs down the spine to its base as well as down the legs and causes of sciatica include the nerve becoming trapped by the disks in the spine, being bruised or bashed, being pushed against by muscles or becoming infected. If you suffer from sciatica you will likely feel numbness or tingling in your buttocks and legs in addition to pain in the lower back. Fortunately there are several lower back pain exercises that can help alleviate these symptoms and that can help fix your back over time.
Many of these exercises are similar to those found in yoga and pilates. Pilates is actually a particularly good hobby to take up if you suffer from sciatica as it focuses on not only building up the core stabilising muscles that will help give your back support, but also on stretching out the spine which can help temporarily or even permanently relieving a trapped nerve.
One of the lower back pain exercises from pilates that is especially effective, involves lying on your back and hugging your knees. This way you should be in a ball resting on your back so that only your lower spine is touching the floor. As your legs and arms are bent round and you are folded over in the middle, this will stretch your spine around your body and will loosen any trapped nerves or muscles. At the same time by doing this on a soft surface such as that provided by an exercise mat, you can then use this position to rock backwards and forwards which will gently massage the lower spine and again help alleviate the source of the pain or at least take your mind off of it.
There are many other lower back pain exercises you can do at home that will have a similar effect. One simple one is to get onto all fours and then to alternate between dipping and arching your back to loosen it up and both stretch and compact the spinal column. Hold each position for ten to thirty seconds and it should provide some immediately relief. The simplest way to stretch out your lower spine however, is simply to stand up and bend over while trying to touch your toes. Make sure you progress slowly and don’t launch straight into an attempt to touch the floor or you may cause more damage than good.
While stretching your spine is one good method, another is to try and align it and to get it perfectly straight. One of the best lower back pain exercises you can use do this is to lie flat on the floor with your legs at a right angle to you over a sofa or chair. Make sure your buttocks are pressed firmly against the side of the chair to get your body as straight as it can be. This again should provide immediately relief and as it requires no effort you can easily hold the position while watching TV for example. You should also practice keeping your back straight and well aligned normally while seated or standing. When sitting down you should mimic this position by getting your back as flat as you can against the back of the chair.