Back pain is one of the more prominent health issues people deal with throughout their lifetime. In fact, 8 out of 10 people will suffer from some form of back pain during their life. While back pain makes everyday tasks like bending over, reaching, exercising and in some instances getting out of bed, there are exercises you can do to strengthen your back muscles to help prevent back pain episodes. Let’s look at a few easy exercises you can do at home to help strengthen and stretch your back muscles. For best results perform these exercises to help reduce back pain twice a day.

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Double knee to chest stretch

Lie on the floor with your feet flat and legs bent. Lift your feet and pull both knees towards your chest. Hug your knees to your chest for 20 to 30 seconds, while keeping your back relaxed. Release the position and repeat 3 to 5 times.

Supine bridge

While lying on your back with your arms flat on the floor at your sides, slowly bend your legs at the knees making sure you keep your feet flat on the floor. Tighten your abdomen and glutes and slowly lift your hips off the floor. Keep your back as straight as possible while lifting your hips. Slowly lower your hips back down to the floor. Repeat this motion for 10 reps.

Piriformis stretch

Lie on your back with both knees in the bent position. Place your hands on one knee and pull up towards the opposite shoulder. Right knee to left shoulder and left knee to right shoulder. Keep your back flat on the floor and do not twist. Hold your knee towards the opposite shoulder for 20 seconds and return to the starting position. Repeat 3 to 5 times.

Wall Squats

Stand with your back against the wall with your feet flat on the floor 1 to 2 feet away from the wall. Standing with your feet shoulder width apart squat half the way down, making sure your knees do not extend over your toes. Hold this position for 10 seconds and repeat for 10 reps. Perform this exercise twice a day for best results.

Doing these few simple exercises will strengthen and relax the muscles in the back helping to alleviate back pain issues. It is always important to consult a physician before starting any exercise routine. As with all exercises it is important to start off easy and slowly build up over time.

Author: Dr. Roger Walker is the Founder and COO of Valley Pain Centers in Phoenix, Arizona. Walker was also a practicing physician for over 25 years specializing in chiropractic and acupuncture. Dr. Walker is a Fellow of the International Academy of Clinical Acupuncture.