7 Exercises For Arthritis In Lower Back

Want To Learn The Best Exercises For Arthritis In Your Lower Back?

Watch the video to learn the best exercises for arthritis in your lower back plus what's even more important than doing exercises if you have arthritis pain in your lower back.

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What Are The Best Exercises For Arthritis In The Lower Back?

The best exercises for arthritis pain in your lower back are generally lumbar flexion exercises.  Essentially that means exercises that bend your lower back in a forward direction.

The reason this type of exercise is good for lower back arthritis this that arthritis develops in the facet joints in your spine.

facet joints in the lower back

As you you can see from the picture above, when you bend backwards, the facet joints in your spine get jammed together.

If you've been in the habit of leaning back for years, those compressive forces add up over time.

That means the cartilage in your joints can become progressively more irritable over time.

If you have degenerative disc disease in your lower back, this further compounds how much your joints compress together.

However, when you learn forward, that opens up the spaces between the joints in your lower back.

So doing forward bending exercises is good for lower back arthritis.

Child's Pose Exercise To Help Lower Back Arthritis

Rocking back on all fours is one good exercise for arthritis in the lower back.

childs pose exercise for arthritis in lower back

This is one of my favorite exercises for lower back pain because you can stretch your hips, your lower back, your upper back and your lats depending on what version you use.

However, if you happen to also have some knee arthritis, that may not be the best exercise for you.

Single Knees To Chest Exercise

If you do have knee arthritis, you can also do a similar exercise lying on your back.

Start by pulling one knee toward your chest so that it flattens your lower back down into the table.

single knee to chest exercise for arthritis in lower back

Double Knee To Chest Exercise

You can also do another version where you bring both knees up to your chest.

double knee to chest exercise for arthritis in lower back

However, this is a little harder to do, and it takes a little more abdominal control to do it. If you don't keep your lower back flat on the table while doing this, it can cause a muscle spasm in your back.

You shouldn't have increased pain when doing either of these exercises, so if doing the double knee to chest exercise is too difficult or painful, stick with just doing one leg at a time to start.

Pelvic Tilt Exercise For Lower Back Arthritis

Just stretching your lower back muscles isn't enough though. You also need to be able to keep your spine in the correct position under your own power.

To do that you need to get your abdominal muscles stronger so that they can support your spine in that more rounded-out position.

You can do that do that by lying down on your back and rotating your pelvis toward your head so that you're flattening your lower back into the table.

pelvic tilt exercise for arthritis in lower back

You want to get really good at being able to do that and control that motion so that you can keep your back flat.

Once you can do that, you can start to add movements.

Marching Lower Back Exercise For Lower Back Arthritis

One example of such an exercise is lifting one leg and lifting the other leg with your lower back flat on the table.

pelvic tilt with marching exercise for lower back arthritis

It's important that you keep your lower back flat on the table throughout the exercise.

Alternate legs as if marching.  Functionally, this helps you stabilize your spine with the alternate leg movements that you use during walking or running.

Leg Sliding Lower Back Exercise For Lower Back Arthritis

Sliding one leg out and bringing it back and sliding the other leg out and bringing it back can also help develop the stability in your trunk and in your stomach muscles.

Functional Exercises For Lower Back Arthritis

So those are some common exercises for  lower back pain that people typically use in physical therapy.

But how does that affect you when you actually go to stand up?

If you just do exercises for your lower back and your abdominal muscles, it's probably not going to make a big difference in your back pain

Ultimately, if you want long-term relief from lower back pain, you need to be able to do some of those same exercises while you're standing up going about your day.

Exercise To Help Lower Back Pain When Standing

Many people with spinal arthritis have lower back pain when standing for long periods.

In order to function comfortably in a standing position, you need to able to keep your back in a neutral position while standing and walking.

standing pelvic tilt exercisse

It takes a lot of endurance to be able to maintain that type of position all day long, especially if you have some tightness in your hip flexor muscles or if you have tightness in your back extensor muscles.

If you've stood with your back arched for a number of years, your back muscles can get really stiff!

This makes it difficult to keep your spine in a neutral position all day.

If you bend your knees a little bit and allow your hips to flex, but it still takes a lot of effort.

So, what do you do to make it easier to stand all day long without your back muscles tiring out?

Hands-on treatments from a professional such as spinal manipulation, trigger point therapy, or dry needling. can help both loosen up your muscles and get your joints moving better.

However, it's not just as simple as "getting your back cracked".

These types of treatments are just part of an overall treatment plan along with exercises, proper nutrition, and changing postures, and other habits.

What's best for YOUR back pain will ultimately depend on your circumstances and what things you'd like to get back to doing.

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