Exercises for Low Back Pain and Leg Pain

Are you stuck at home and need a way to manage your low back pain and/or leg pain?  Here are a few easy and effective exercises to help you move better!  All of these low back exercises can be performed on either the floor or a bed.

Z lying

Palms should be facing UP

This positioning is a way to provide decompression for your back to alleviate pain and radiating symptoms.  You can lay on the floor using a chair to put your legs up, or lay on a couch or bed using pillows/blanket to support the lower legs.  The important thing to remember with this exercise is that the thighs need to be parallel to the wall (you need to have your legs elevated enough) in order for appropriate decompression to occur.  Once in position, you can maintain for several minutes, as long as you are comfortable.  Remember to stay relaxed during this exercise.  Your arms should be resting at your sides with your palms facing the ceiling. 

Posterior Pelvic Tilt

Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.  Slowly roll your pelvis back which will cause your back to flatten.  Hold this position for 5 seconds. Then tilt your pelvis hips forward until you’re back to where you started.  Perform 10 repetitions

Single Knee to Chest

Lay on your back with your knees bent and both feet flat on the floor.  Use your hands (or use a towel hooked behind your thigh) to pull one knee in toward the chest and hold for 10 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite leg.  Perform 10 times on each leg. 

Piriformis Stretch

Begin lying on your back with one leg bent and your other ankle resting on your knee.  Grab underneath one leg, pushing your elbow into the lower thigh of the opposite leg. Gently pull your leg toward your body until you feel a stretch in your buttock and hold 30 seconds.  Complete 3 repetitions.  Make sure to keep your low back flat against the floor during the stretch.

Sciatic stretch

Begin lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Grasp one leg behind your thigh and straighten that knee.  Bend your foot down toward your body, then away toward the ceiling, keeping your leg straight. Repeat this movement 10 times.

Many of these exercises can be modified so it is important to talk to your therapist if you are having difficulty performing any of these exercises.  Physical therapy for back pain and leg pain can be beneficial in addressing functional limitations you may be having.  A physical therapist can tailor a low back pain exercise program specific to your needs and deficits and can provide valuable hands on therapy to address mechanical limitations within the muscles or joints.  Call Lifeline therapy today for your low back pain evaluation and tailored treatment plan, and remember we are also offering telehealth evaluations and visits!     

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