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10 Simple Physiotherapy Exercises For Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is one of the most common types of pain in the world. It is estimated that 80% of people will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives.

Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to ease the pain. This article explores 10 simple physiotherapy exercises for lower back pain that can be done from the comfort of your own home.

Effective Lower Back Pain Relief Exercises in Ottawa


If you are experiencing lower back pain, it’s important to stay active and continue moving. Doing so can help your body stay strong and avoid serious complications such as muscle imbalance and weight loss. But what are the best exercise regimes to relieve back pain?

Person performing a Pilates knee hug stretch on a mat.

1. Knee to Chest

When lying on your back, gently bring your knees into your chest while holding for 10 seconds. Release the hold and repeat 10 times, 3 times a day. Remember to breathe!
Person performing a spine twist stretch on a yoga mat.

2. Lumbar Rotation

Begin by bending your knees and putting both feet together. Making sure your feet don’t come off the ground, let your knees fall down to one side under control, then roll them back up and to the other side like a windshield wiper motion. Complete 15 rotations each way. Do this 3 times per day.

Woman doing back extension workout for core strength.

3. Hyperextension

Start on your stomach, with a pillow under your lower abdominals. Bring your feet together and your palms facing down under your shoulders.
Slowly lift your chest while keeping your navel on the floor, taking a deep breath as you go up, and releasing it as you go back down.

Woman demonstrating cow pose in yoga class.

4. Cat-Cow Pose

Start on your hands and knees. Lower your head towards the chest, round your back, and tuck your tailbone while drawing your belly button inwards to the spine, creating an “n” shape with your spine. Hold for one second before releasing the pose and going in the opposite direction, gazing up with your head, belly lowers towards the floor, tailbone lifted up, creating a “U” shape with your spine. Perform this transition 15 times, remembering to breathe while you are moving.

Woman demonstrating Balasana for yoga relaxation tutorial.

5. Child's Pose

Starting with your knees apart and toes touching, sit back with your buttocks towards the heels, while your arms stay outstretched ahead and your head down. Hold this position for 1 minute and repeat 3 times a day.

Person performing upper back foam rolling exercise on mat.

6. Foam rolling

Foam rolling can be a great part of exercises for lower back pain. Place the foam roller under your mid back, keep your backside on the ground, gently extend your spine backward. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times. Take big, slow, deep breaths.

Woman performing a bridge pose exercise.

7. Pelvic Tilts

Laying on your back, arch your lower back, then flatten it into the ground. Perform this 15 times, 3 times per day.

Woman performing self-massage on glutes with therapy ball.

8. Therapy ball roll on glutes

Roll a hard therapy ball (size of a tennis ball) around the hips and buttocks for 2-3 minutes to loosen hip and lower back muscles.

Woman performing kneeling hip flexor stretch.

9. Hip flexor stretches

Get into a very deep forward lunge position, then lower the back knee onto the ground. Try to lunge forward a little bit more, as well as keeping your chest up tall to make the most out of the stretch. Hold for 1 minute, then switch sides.

Woman demonstrating butterfly stretch exercise.

10. Groin stretch

Sit up against a wall, bring the bottom of your feet together by bending your knees. Pull the feet as close as you can towards your body, keep your chest up, and try to keep the knees down towards the ground. Hold for 1 minute, repeat 3 times a day.