Exercises to relieve back pain

A great way to relieve back pain caused by tension or strain is movement. The exercises we mention below aim to target both the upper and lower back. Practising the exercises help to stretch and strengthen the muscles, as well as relax them.

Back pain exercises

You may find relief during the exercise and after. However, if you suspect your back pain to be the result of something other than tension or strain, visit your GP before practising any of these movements.

Arm swings

Wide arm swings are a great way to lose tension from your shoulders and upper back. Stand with your feet apart and raise your arms up above your head. Bring them down behind you and swing them forward. Repeat this 10 to 12 times.

Downward dog

This exercise is effective in elongating your back and over time relieving pressure on your spine.

From standing, place your hands on the floor in front of you. This should have moved your body into a V shape.  Make sure your palms are flat against the floor, your back is straight and your weight is evenly distributed.

Back extension

Lie on your front and put your hands out to the sides of your head. Slowly raise your upper body, holding for five seconds. Be sure to breathe deeply throughout and keep your hips on the floor. Lower your body slowly and repeat 10 times.

Knee pull

Start by lying on your back. Grab your knees and bring them up close to your chest. Hold the position, counting to five then release. Repeat for five times. This exercise can help to relieve any built up tension in your back or abdominal muscles.

Shoulder roll

Upper backache is often a result of built-up tension. This can occur when you have been sitting for prolonged periods of time, for example sitting at a desk all day. Shoulder rolls help to relieve the tension in your shoulders.

Roll your shoulders up to your ears and back down towards your back, closing your chest. Bring them forward, rolling them back and opening up the shoulder blades. Repeat this 10 times.

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Written by Ellen Lees
Head of Content.
Written by Ellen Lees
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