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6 Exercises For Low Back Pain Rehab And Prevention.


If you suffer from low back pain then you are not alone!

Approximately 80% of all Australians will suffer from low back pain in their lifetime and around 25% of adults will seek help over a six-month period. A lot of acute onset low back pain episodes settle but only about 33% will completely resolve over a 12-month period. 60% of cases will recur and have an on-going relapsing pattern and in about 10% of people it does not resolve at all.

This is why it is super important to get on top of your back pain and to do it early too.

To ensure that you return your low back to optimal function we suggest a 2 part process:

Firstly you need to consult a practitioner like one of the chiropractors at SUPERWELL who will conduct a thorough history and examination process and provide you with the in room care you require and a management plan that involves the second part of the process which is some at home care.

We have found that the requirements of the modern lifestyles often lead to people presenting to our centres with the similar patterns of dysfunction and therefore resulting in similar exercise prescriptions for their lower back rehab.

The extra great news is that these same 6 exercises can also be undertaken to remove physical stressors that may be building up in your back and prevent future episodes of back pain.

Please see the video below for some instructions on how to complete these 6 exercises for low back pain rehab and prevention.

Exercise 1 – Angry Cat Happy Cat

  • Starting on all fours with your hands and knees on the ground in a neutral back position.
  • Take a deep breath in and lift your head right up and extend back so there’s a curve in your low back and your belly button is dropping down to the ground.
  • Hold that position for a 3 seconds.
  • Then as you breath out drop your head down tucking your chin your chest as you lift your back up towards the sky.
  • Hold that position for three seconds.
  • Repeat this 10 times.

Exercise 2 -Bird Dog

  • Starting on all fours with your hands and knees on the ground and your spine in a neutral position.
  • Lift one arm out in front of you whilst at the same time extending the opposite leg back behind you trying to keep your body in one long line.
  • Hold that position for a few seconds then bring your arm and leg back down to the ground.
  • Repeat the same action with the other arm and leg.
  • Repeat this cycle 10 times.

Exercise 3 -Bridges

  • Start by laying down on a firm surface on your back with your knees bent up and your feet flat on the ground.
  • Bring your pubic bones upwards to flatten your lower back into the ground.
  • Lift your bottom off the ground and up into the air so your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to the tip of your knees.
  • Hold this position for a few seconds then lower your body back down to the ground.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Exercise 4 -Side Plank

  • Lay on a firm surface on your side with your legs out straight, hips on the ground and your elbow on the ground underneath your shoulder.
  • Lift your hips off the ground so you form a straight line from your shoulder down the side of your whole body to either your knees or your feet, which are remaining on the ground.
  • Going up onto your feet is a higher degree of difficulty than going up onto your knees.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Exercise 5 -Glut Stretch

  • Start on all fours on your hands and knees.
  • Slide one leg backwards while at the same time tucking the other ankle underneath and across your body.
  • Lower your body down and allow the outer thigh of the leg which is tucked underneath your body to lay on the ground.
  • Once in this position rotate the opposite side of your pelvis and hip away from the thigh that is on the ground to increase the stretch feeling in the gluteal/butt muscles on the side of the leg tucked underneath the body.
  • Hold for 30 seconds then legs.
  • Repeat twice on each leg.

Exercise 6 -Hip Flexor Stretch

  • Kneel down on one knee and place your other foot out in front in a lunge position.
  • With your hands on your hips and keeping your body straight up, move your pelvis forward so the weight starts to go through your front foot feeling the stretch in the groin/hip region of the back leg.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds and the switch sides and repeat with the other leg.
  • Repeat twice on each side.
  • If you want to get a deeper stretch then lift the arm on the side of the back leg up to the towards the sky and tilt your body to the side away from your back leg.

Why you should do these exercises – the impact of back pain on quality of life.

According to the NHS, in 2017–18, after adjusting for age, people with back problems:

  • aged 15 and over were 1.9 times as likely to report ‘fair’ to ‘poor’ health compared with those without back problems (23% and 12%, respectively).
  • aged 18 and over were 2.1 times as likely to report experiencing ‘high’ to ‘very high’ levels of psychological distress compared with those without the condition (24% and 11%, respectively).
  • aged 18 and over were 2.4 times as likely to experience ‘moderate’ to ‘very severe’ bodily pain compared with those without the condition (48% and 20%, respectively).
  • were 2.3 times as likely to report that bodily pain interfered with their daily activities at least ‘moderately’ compared with people without back problems (38% and 17% respectively).
  • aged 15–64 were less likely to be employed compared with people without back problems (73% and 77%, respectively) and more likely to not be in the labour force (22% compared with 19%).
  • were almost as likely to be unemployed as people without back problems (5% and 4% respectively).


  1. Kent PM, Keating JL. The epidemiology of low back pain in primary care. Chiropr Osteopat. 2005 Jul 26;13:13. doi: 10.1186/1746-1340-13-13. PMID: 16045795; PMCID: PMC1208926.
  2. https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/chronic-musculoskeletal-conditions/back-problems