Exercise to Help Lower Back Pain

By S.F. Heron
Exercise can help ease back pain.
Exercise can help ease back pain.

Back pain stops your golf game in its tracks. Every swing and every movement causes intense pain in your lower back. After an initial period of rest, doctors often recommend increasing physical activity to combat lower back pain. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, your doctor may ask you to perform a series of exercises to help restore the range of motion in your back before you attack the links again. These light exercises should be performed only as recommended by your therapist or surgeon.

Nurse your back for a day or two to help lessen pain and speed recovery. Apply heat or ice as recommended by your physician and, if necessary, take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication. Enjoy this rest period as much as possible because doctors generally recommend that you resume at least some activities after a few days of rest.

Do not perform sit-ups, extension type leg lifts or any twisting type exercises even if these exercise are included as part of your regular exercise routine.

Begin with gentle stretching exercises performed on a cushioned surface such as an exercise mat or carpet. Stand straight with feet hip width apart and arms relaxed at the side. Take a deep breath and press the shoulders down to relax the back and chest. Lean forward from the waist towards the floor, aiming for a steady movement until you reach a bent position. Do not strain to reach your toes as you hold this position for a 10 count. Curl slowly back up and repeat three more times.

Perform a cat and camel to relieve some of the pain in your back. Position yourself on your hands and knees on the exercise mat. Place the hands directly under the shoulders and the knees under your hips. Relax your back downward, allowing a slight curve. Tighten your stomach muscles and carefully arch the back upward for a five count. Release and repeat 10 times.

Perform an arm/leg raise by getting on your hands and knees as you did for the cat and camel stretch except keep your back flat. Tighten the stomach muscles and lift the opposite arm and leg straight out at the same time. Hold this stretch for a count of five and return to kneeling position. Repeat 10 times with each side. Make sure to perform this exercise in a slow and measured fashion to prevent injury.

Hop on an exercise bike for 10 minutes a few times each day. This simple exercise loosens the back with gentle motions of the legs. Don't aim for distance or speed, but instead keep a measured pace to work your back gently.

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