Five ways to reduce lower back pain

23 Jun 2020
Health & Fitness Health & Fitness

Estimates from the ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) in 2017-2018 indicate that around 4.0 million Australians (or 16% of the general population) have back problems.  
In addition, many of us have also had to make changes to our regular routines and the ways we are moving every day since the COVID-19 pandemic began. 
If you are finding that you have some newfound tension in your back, you're not alone. So, we have asked our accredited Exercise Physiologists for some tips on how we might be able to reduce lower back pain. 

Our backs are made to move! 

The reality is our backs are made to move. So, when we sit for long periods and sustain a certain posture for a long period of time, it can contribute to back pain. 
Our backs like to bend, twist, rotate and manoeuvre in many different ways. When we sit down, we limit the amount of movement our back is doing. When we sit for longer periods than normal, our backs can become even stiffer.

There is no one size fits all approach to back pain, everyone’s pain is different and you are the expert on your own body. However, sitting in a sustained certain posture for long periods may be one of the reasons you are experiencing a form of back pain.

If you’re feeling stiff in your lower back and think it may be from sitting too much, then here are five ways you can work towards more movement.

Five ways you can help to reduce your back pain

  1. Set a reminder - While working, you can set a timer or reminder for every 30 minutes to move 

  2. Break up your sitting time as much as you can - if possible, try using a standing desk, take regular breaks or walk around the house.

  3. Don’t go straight into the next episode on Netflix - before you watch the next Netflix episode, get up, do some washing or do some stretches! Try to break up your length of sitting time.

  4. Go for a walk - Walking is such a great way to allow your body to move. It gives you a reason to get out of the house and get some fresh air while we are still working through the COVID-19 restrictions. Try and schedule in a 30-minute walk each day.

  5. Make time for exercise - One of the best things you can do for you back is exercise regularly. Specifically, stretching and strengthening your back are great options that can help with lower back pain and pain in general. 

Easy exercises to do at home

  • Bridge exercise - Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Push your hips to the ceiling and squeeze your glutes at the top. Try 2 sets of 10.

  • Hip flexor stretch - get into a kneeling position on the floor. Keep your chest up, squeeze your glutes and hold - perform two sets of 30 second each side.

  • Lumbar rocks - Lie on your back with your knees and feet together. Your feet should be flat on the floor with your knees bent. Gently rock side to side and to feel the stretch in your lower back. Perform 10 rocks each side twice.


There is no one size fits all approach to back pain, everyone’s pain is different and you are the expert on your own body. Our facility accredited Exercise Physiologists are now offering consultations online via Telehealth. Find out more here
*Please note: If you believe you have an underlying issue present, and/or your back pain is getting worse, please seek individualised expert advice from a health professional.

Source: Article written by Darcy Vipond. Darcy Vipond is an accredited Exercise Physiologist with Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA).

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