As Physical Therapists we are often asked “what are the best exercises for low back pain?”
Unfortunately that is not an easy question to answer. Every patient is different, and the cause of their back pain is unique to them. In order for a Physical Therapist to accurately determine the best exercises we first need to perform a Physical Therapy evaluation. A Physical Therapy evaluation will identify what is actually causing the back pain. For example; is it joint stiffness, is it muscle weakness or shortening, is it a ligament or tendon, is it an alignment issue, is it the sacro-iliiac joint, it is lifestyle, is it stress….the list goes on and on. As Physical Therapists, we want to treat the CAUSE of the low back pain not just the SYMPTOMS, there is a huge difference!
Fortunately, Physical Therapists are experts in diagnosing what the problems are. Once identified, we can then formulate a treatment plan that would likely involve specific exercises to correct the issues that were identified in the evaluation.
However, if I really had to…
Having said all that…..if a patient, friend or family member were to call me in dire need complaining of low back pain, asking for some temporary exercises to help with their back pain until they could schedule a PT evaluation, or an evaluation just wasn’t possible for whatever reason, I would pick the following three exercises.
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