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Chronic back pain can be debilitating and make it difficult to go about your everyday activities.
Fortunately, there are a variety of exercises that you can do to help alleviate the pain and strengthen your muscles.
Chiropractic back exercises are an effective way to reduce discomfort while improving overall flexibility.
These exercises should be done under the guidance of a chiropractor who will create a personalized treatment plan for maximum results.
In this article, we’ll explore 15 basic chiropractic back exercises that you can do at home or with assistance from a professional practitioner.
Table of Contents
15 Best Exercises for Back Pain
1. Diagonal Curl-Up
This is a core exercise that targets the abdominal muscles.
Strengthening these muscles helps alleviate strain on your back, leading to improved posture and less pain.
Strong abdominal muscles also reduce the risk of vertebral slippage or disc herniation due to poor posture.
To do the diagonal curl:
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Extend your arms in front of you and tighten your abdominal muscles.
- Then lift your upper back off the ground and touch the outside of your right knee with both hands.
- Go back to the lying position and repeat the motion on your left knee.
- Continue alternating sides for 5-10 reps each.
2. Pelvic Tilt
Pelvic tilts can help alleviate low back pain by decompressing the spine, promoting flexibility, and reducing muscle tension.
Additionally, it can improve balance, coordination, and stability, making activities like walking or running easier.
Lastly, it helps increase circulation in the lower back area to reduce stress on the nerves.
To perform the pelvic tilt:
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat.
- Cross your arms over your chest.
- Tighten your core and press your lower back into the floor.
- Hold this position for 1-2 seconds and then let your stomach relax.
- Repeat for 2-3 sets of 5-10 reps.
3. Cat Camel
Studies have shown that this movement reduces discomfort associated with chronic back issues.
The flow of the Cat Camel stretches out and strengthens the lumbar spine, relieving tension in tight areas and loosening joints and ligaments.
Furthermore, this exercise helps to improve mobility, making everyday tasks easier and more comfortable to complete.
- With your back in a neutral position, get down on all fours.
- Arch upwards with your back while taking a deep breath in.
- Then slowly extend your spine downwards as you breathe out.
- Repeat the entire sequence for 5-10 reps.
4. Piriformis Stretch
The piriformis is a small muscle located deep in the buttocks that runs from the lower spine to the upper inside of the thigh bone (femur).
When it is tight, it can have a negative impact on your posture and cause pain in other areas such as your lower back.
Stretching this muscle can help release tension in your spine and relieve discomfort.
- Lie flat on the floor and slowly lift your right leg toward your chest.
- Then use your left hand to pull the leg across your body until you feel a gentle stretch.
- Hold it for 30 seconds and switch legs.
5. Hamstring Stretch
Hamstrings are muscles located on the back of the thigh, and when they become tight, they can cause tension in the lower back.
A simple hamstring stretch can help alleviate this tension by increasing flexibility in the affected area.
To begin stretching your hamstrings:
- Lie down with your upper body and feet flat on the floor with your knees bent.
- Lift your left leg vertically up while maintaining a 90-degree bend in your left knee.
- Keep your right foot flat on the ground.
- Grab the bottom of your left thigh with both hands.
- From here, slowly bring your lower leg straight upwards so your entire leg is perpendicular to the floor.
- Hold the stretch for 30 seconds before switching to the other leg.
6. Pelvic Lift
Pelvic lifts focus on strengthening your hips, glutes, and core muscles, which helps improve your posture and balance.
By properly engaging these muscle groups, the pelvic lift stretches out tight muscles in the pelvis that could be causing low back pain.
Additionally, improving strength in these key muscle groups can naturally reduce pain by allowing you to better support your spine and move more easily.
- Lay down on your back with your knees bent and feet shoulder-width apart on the floor.
- Tighten your abdominal muscles.
- Bring your glutes upwards until your upper and lower body is in a straight line.
- Hold this position for 2-3 seconds, then slowly lower back to the start position.
- Repeat for 1-2 sets of 5-10 reps.
7. Trunk Rotation
Trunk rotation is a simple exercise that helps strengthen and stretch the muscles in your abdomen.
It involves rotating and pivoting your trunk while keeping your upper body and feet aligned.
- Lay on your back with your feet flat on the floor with your knees bent at 90 degrees.
- Rotate your knees to the right side while keeping your upper body flat on the floor.
- Then rotate them to the left side.
- Repeat this motion for 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps on each side.
8. Lying Hip Flexor Stretch
By loosening up tight hip muscles, circulation improves, allowing for more oxygen and nutrient delivery to the lower back area.
This can help relieve tightness and reduce inflammation that might otherwise cause chronic discomfort.
- Lie down on your left side with your knees bent.
- Grab onto your right ankle using your right hand.
- Gently pull your right foot back until you feel a stretch in your right hip and thigh.
- Hold for 30 seconds before returning to the starting position.
- Repeat on the opposite side.
9. Lumbar Extension
Lumbar extensions can help reduce pain and improve flexibility, as well as correct any postural imbalances that cause spinal issues.
Regularly doing this exercise can assist in stabilizing the spine, stretching your core, and improving overall back health.
- Lie down in the prone position.
- Create a curve in your low back by elevating your chest off the floor with your elbows.
- Relax your hips and back to achieve a deeper lumbar extension.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds.
10. Childs Pose
This pose is great for reducing stress and restoring calm energy after a stressful day or practice.
It also helps to increase flexibility in the upper back.
Many people find that child’s pose aids in relieving tension headaches and calming anxiety.
Since it reduces pressure on many parts of the body and allows you to relax into the position.
- Assume a tabletop position with your chest and palms facing down.
- Slowly push your glutes back onto your heels.
- Tuck your head down and slide your hands forward to feel a nice stretch.
- Hold it for 10-30 seconds.
11. Knee to Chest
This simple but powerful move targets the abdominal muscles while simultaneously engaging the glutes and hips.
Maintaining control and good form throughout the movement is key for maximum benefit.
Doing 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions can help build a strong and stable core that will support you in all of your other activities!
- Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet on the ground.
- Raise your left foot off the ground so your left hip is flexed at 90 degrees.
- Hold for 2-3 seconds before returning to the starting position.
- Switch to the other leg.
12. Door Stretch
This easy stretch opens up the back, chest, legs, and shoulders, leaving you feeling stretched, toned, and relaxed!
- Place your toes against one side of a door frame.
- Cross your arms over one another and grab the door frame with your hands just below chin height.
- Tuck your chin into your chest and lean your butt back and down until you feel a complete stretch.
- Maintain this position for 20-30 seconds.
- Then, press into the door using your hips and arch backward through your upper back.
- Hold for 20-30 seconds before repeating the entire sequence.
13. Lateral Leg Raise
The lateral leg raise targets both your hip abductors and glutes, which are essential for good balance, posture, and core stability.
- Lay on either side and support your head with the bottom hand.
- With your knees slightly bent, fully extend your top leg while keeping your hip forward.
- Lift the leg upward while keeping your glutes, core, and hips tight.
- Perform 8-10 reps on one leg before switching to the other leg.
14. Upper Back Pop
Popping your upper back can be a great way to relieve tension and stress that has built up in the area.
It is important to understand the proper technique for popping your back.
You should speak with a certified chiropractor to assist you first.
Once you start, listen for popping sounds that indicate the release of tension.
Doing this several times will help you feel more relaxed throughout your body and allow for improved posture.
- Lie on a firm bed with your shoulders and head hanging off the edge and a rolled-up towel under the area you want to target.
- Slide your body upward until the area of pain is on the edge of the bed.
- Place your hands on the back of your head.
- Shift the weight of your shoulders and head toward the ground as far as you can comfortably go.
- Place light pressure on your hands with your head and flare your elbows toward the ground.
- Hold for 15-20 seconds.
15. Cobra Scorpion
The cobra scorpion stretch is an invigorating and dynamic exercise that provides significant benefits to the body.
It stretches both the anterior muscles of the spine, as well as stretching the back, hip, and glute muscles.
This posture helps to strengthen the core, improve balance, reduce fatigue, and increase flexibility in the back.
- Lie flat on the ground on your stomach.
- Sit upright on your elbows so your chest is off the ground.
- Bend your knees at 90 degrees and press your feet together.
- Rotate your legs to one side as far as you can while keeping your upper body in place.
- Hold for 2-3 seconds before switching sides.
- After 10-15 rotations, place your legs and hips flat on the floor.
- Use your hands to push your chest higher off the floor until your arms are straight.
- You should feel a stretch in your low back.
- Hold this position for 20-30 seconds.
What Causes Back Pain?
Back pain is a common complaint and can be caused by several factors.
These include improper posture, poor sleeping habits, tightness or weakness in surrounding muscles, and repetitive motions.
Injuries, heavy lifting, or straining the back muscles can also lead to considerable discomfort.
Medical conditions such as spinal stenosis or disc herniation may also cause lower back pain.
Stress and anxiety can contribute to worsening symptoms.
It is recommended that lifestyle changes are made in order to alleviate any pain associated with this condition.
Chiropractic Exercise FAQs
Is Chiropractic Adjustments Good for Your Back?
Chiropractic adjustments have been linked to improved posture, back flexibility, and range of motion.
Studies show that chiropractic care can help reduce inflammation and muscle tension, as well as increase joint mobility.
How Do Chiropractors Stretch Your Back?
To begin, the chiropractor will often warm up the area with massage or heat therapy before manipulating your joints in a safe and supportive manner.
This helps to increase your range of motion and reduce any built-up tension that might be causing discomfort.
The chiropractor may also use specific stretches designed to target tight muscles or areas of reduced movement within your spinal column.
Closing Thoughts on These Exercises for Back Pain
By incorporating these 15 chiropractic exercises into your daily routine, you can help keep your body pain-free.
It’s important to stay consistent with the exercises, especially if you are in chronic pain.
Doing them just once or twice won’t do much good.
Instead, focus on doing them regularly for the best results.
Remember to always consult a medical professional before beginning any type of exercise program, as some may not be suitable for certain conditions or bodies.
With regular practice and dedication, soon enough you will notice an improvement in your overall health and well-being!