In my previous article, I talked about isometric exercises for hips and knees. Here, I want to discuss two major isometric exercises for low back pain, which greatly help in dealing with lower back pain. Some of the more complex isometric exercises are planks, push-ups, or holding certain yoga poses. However, They are more strenuous and intense exercises that should be performed by a healthy person with proper guidance. The two basic isometric exercises that are demonstrated in this article can be used in the acute stages of lower back pain or lower back injury.
Benefits of low back isometric exercises:
- Relieves and reduces lower back pain
- Relieves muscle spasm due to constantly being the same position. Like prolonged standing or sitting, etc..
- Helps relieve back muscle stiffness
- Can be performed as an initial step of an exercise regime for severe muscle weakness.
- Can be performed when full ROM (range of motion) is not allowed medically
- Good exercise regime for pre and post-operative surgeries.
Lower Back Exercises
The steps below will explain how to perform a Pelvic Tilt first, followed by performing Hip Adduction isometric.
Back Extensor Isometric/ Pelvic tilt for low back pain:
If you are a beginner for this exercise, you should start in supine (lying on your back) position. Feet should be shoulder-width apart on the floor, which both knees bent, and head and hands resting on the floor comfortably as shown in the picture.
Gradually, you can try to push back on the floor with your back muscles. This is as if you are trying to attempt to straighten your back – tilting your pelvis anteriorly (Anterior tilt of the pelvis is when two bony prominences on your hip area, moves forward).
You want to hold this position for 3 to 5 seconds, depending on pain level, and relax. Repeat it for 10 to 15 times.
You can even incorporate breathing into this exercise. Start by inhaling while trying to straighten your back and exhale while relaxing. Make sure you are not holding your breath while exercising.
You can also perform this exercise in standing position once you are comfortable with the motion. When you are standing, and want to relive some muscle stiffness, you can try to straighten the back (or in other words, tilt the pelvis forward) and relax. You should feel some relaxation. Also, always keep in mind that exercise should be in a pain-free range.
2. Hip Adduction Isometric for low back pain:
The picture below demonstrates how to perform isometric of hip adduction. You can place a pillow or a ball between your legs and squeeze it. Hold that squeeze for 3 to 5 seconds in a pain-free range.
This picture demonstrates this exercise in sitting position. The same can be done in lying down (on the back) or standing position as well.
Hope this helps in relieving some low back pain and spasm. You can find isometric exercises for the hips and knee here.