Back Pain Relief Exercises for Seniors

There are many reasons seniors may need to perform back pain relief exercises. Pain can be triggered by a number of conditions including overuse, muscle strain, muscle injury, ligament injury, and disc injury.

The problem is that, over time, these muscle injuries that have not been managed properly, may lead to an imbalance in your spine. This will lead to a low level of tension in your muscles, ligaments, and spine, making the back more prone to an injury or even a re-injury.

  1. Pelvic Tilt.
  2. Alternating Knee to Chest.
  3. Supine Bridging.
  4. Cat and Camel.
Watch my instructional video

Certainly if your back pain has lasted more than two weeks and is not getting better, it is a good idea to see your primary care doctor. This is because pain can be caused by an injury to various parts of your spine and all the supporting structures. You doctor will be able to perform an exam to determine what structures are involved and come up with a proper diagnosis. This is because every situation will be approached in a slightly different way. Usually you will be given a program of stretches and exercises to help restore some balance in your spine.

Exercise 1

Pelvic Tilt. Begin by lying on your back with feet flat on the floor. Perform a posterior pelvic tilt and press your back to the floor. Place your hands on your hips, and help your hips tilt back, flattening your spine against the mat. Relax into neutral position. Repeat 10 times.

Exercise 2

Supine Knee to Chest. Begin by lying on your back with feet flat on the floor. Perform a posterior pelvic tilt and press your back to the floor. Inhale deeply and bring one of your knees toward your chest. If you have had hip replacement, bring knee only to 90 degrees. Feel the stretch in your lower back. Hold for 10-20 seconds, then repeat with your other leg. This stretch should feel good and not cause pain.

Exercise 3

Supine Bridge. Begin on your back with feet flat on the floor, your pelvis in posterior tilt pressing against the mat or bed. Slowly raise your hips off the bed or mat to a position that has your hips fully extended. Hold for 5 seconds and return to the start position. Repeat 10 times.

Exercise 4

Cat and Camel. Begin by assuming quadruped position on the mat.  Inhale through the nose deeply. Exhale and begin to arch your back while looking down between your knees. Hold this position for 3 seconds, then begin to move in the opposite direction, lifting head and flattening your back. If possible, rotate your hips forward, (anterior tilt), and bring your belly button toward the ground. This will encourage a reverse arch in your back. Hold this position for 3 seconds, then return to a neutral position. Repeat 3 times.

Most back pain relief programs concentrate on building strength in the abdominal muscles, and core to stabilize the spine. These programs will focus on strengthening lumbar muscles in addition to your core muscles to improve stability to reduce the risk of low back injury. These exercises will have to be done on a consistent basis, and also be done correctly in order to improve your back pain.

If you are recovering from an injury, these lumbar and core exercises will improve your stability and flexibility. These exercises should be done at least 5 times per week to see the benefits. A good schedule is to do at least 3-4 days of strengthening per week in addition to the stretching exercises.

I good idea is to familiarize yourself with your back and core muscles before beginning an exercise program. It is important to understand how your muscles work, and how the exercises should be incorporated into your program. Remember, exercising should not hurt. Stretching should feel good.

Your core is the most important area to understand. This is comprised of several muscle groups including the transvversus abdominus, multifidus, your diaphragm and pelvic floor muscles. All these muscles work to stabilize your abdomen and lumbar area.

As we can see, back pain relief exercises are an important part of your workout. Think about your core when doing back exercises and engage these muscles. It is not a consciously done thing but needs to be learned how to effectively contract these muscles while performing these rehabilitation exercises.

Need more help? Eldergym® Academy to the rescue!
https://vimeo.com/411227762

Click Here to start your free trial!

Doug Schrift

Doug Schrift is a Physical Therapist, Certified Geriatric Specialist, and senior fitness coach. Doug helps seniors become strong and stable even if they have never exercised before.