7 Exercises for Lumbar Injuries: Speeding up Recovery with Targeted Exercises and Stretches

7 Exercises for Lumbar Injuries: Speeding up Recovery with Targeted Exercises and Stretches

Lumbar injuries, including strains, sprains, and disc injuries, can be debilitating and hinder your daily activities. However, a well-structured rehabilitation program can significantly aid in the recovery process. This blog will delve into specific exercises and stretches that target lumbar injuries, helping to strengthen the muscles, improve flexibility, and promote healing.

Lumbar strains, sprains, and disc injuries are common afflictions of the lower back. Strains and sprains occur when the muscles and ligaments in the lumbar region are stretched or torn, often due to sudden movements, lifting heavy objects, or repetitive motions. On the other hand, disc injuries involve damage to the intervertebral discs, such as herniation or bulging, which can result in nerve compression and pain.

Rehabilitation Exercises for Lumbar Injuries:

1.) Pelvic Tilts: Lie on your back with knees bent. Slowly tilt your pelvis upward, flattening your lower back against the floor. Hold for a few seconds before releasing. This exercise helps strengthen the abdominal muscles and improves stability.

2.) Cat-Camel Stretch: Position yourself on all fours, hands under the shoulders and knees under the hips. Arch your back upward, dropping your head and tucking your tailbone (cat pose). Then, reverse the motion, lowering your belly toward the floor, lifting your head, and arching your back (camel pose). This stretch promotes flexibility and mobility in the lumbar spine.

3.) Glute Bridge: Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips off the ground, engaging your gluteal muscles. Hold the position for a few seconds and then slowly lower your hips back down. The glute bridge strengthens the buttocks and helps stabilize the lumbar spine.

4.) Bird Dog: Begin on all fours, with hands under the shoulders and knees under the hips. Extend your right arm forward while simultaneously extending your left leg backward. Hold for a few seconds and then switch sides. This exercise improves core strength and stability, targeting the muscles around the lumbar region.

5.) Wall Sit: Stand with your back against a wall and slide down until your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Hold the position for as long as comfortable, then slowly stand back up. This exercise strengthens the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, providing support to the lumbar spine.

6.) Hamstring Stretches: Lie on your back and loop a towel or strap around your foot. Slowly straighten your leg, gently pulling the towel towards you until you feel a stretch in the back of your thigh. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch legs. This stretch helps alleviate tension in the lower back.

7.) Hip Flexor Stretches: Stand with one leg forward and one leg back. Push your hips forward and tilt your pelvis backward (think of pointing your belt buckle up, or think of a scared puppy hiding its tail) until you feel a stretch in the front of the hip. This will stretch the hips and release pressure from the low back.

8.) Child’s Pose: Begin on all fours, then sit back on your heels, reaching your arms forward and resting your forehead on the ground. Hold the position for a minute, focusing on deep breathing and relaxation. Child’s pose gently stretches the lower back and promotes spinal decompression. While the above exercises can be helpful for many people, each exercise has its limitations. Some people may find an exercise easy or too difficult, which may make it less than ideal to progress through lumbar injury. As your control, strength and endurance improves in a given exercise, progressions may be needed to continue building towards optimal strength and function within your chosen activities. For example, a lumbar spine that meets the demands of carrying groceries may not necessarily be ready for lifting children into carriers, or lifting a bicycle onto a bike rack. Working with a therapist that understands your needs can help optimize exercise selection and progress you towards feeling ready for the activities that are most important to you. This may include strengthening with higher level exercises, such as loaded squats, to improve leg strength and build physical competencies above and beyond what they were before injury to help protect against similar injuries in the future.

Unlocking recovery: How Physiotherapists aid in healing lumbar injuries

Physiotherapists are healthcare professionals specialized in treating musculoskeletal injuries and conditions. They play a crucial role in the management and rehabilitation of lumbar injuries, working closely with patients to design personalized treatment plans. A physiotherapist will assess your specific condition, considering factors such as the type and severity of the injury, your overall health, and any pre-existing conditions. With their extensive knowledge and hands-on skills, physiotherapists provide a comprehensive approach to your recovery journey.

Physiotherapists develop individualized treatment plans that address your unique needs. They utilize their expertise in anatomy, biomechanics, and exercise science to design exercises and stretches that target the affected areas. Whether you are dealing with a lumbar strain, sprain, or disc injury, your physiotherapist will focus on reducing pain and inflammation, improving range of motion, restoring muscle strength and flexibility, and enhancing overall function.

Physiotherapists employ various hands-on techniques to complement exercise programs. These may include manual therapy, such as joint mobilization, soft tissue mobilization, and myofascial release. Manual therapy techniques help reduce pain, release muscle tension, improve circulation, and restore proper joint alignment. By combining these techniques with rehabilitation exercises, physiotherapists maximize the effectiveness of your treatment, facilitating faster recovery.

Physiotherapists gradually progress your exercise program as your condition improves. They ensure that the exercises are challenging yet within your capabilities, taking into account your pain tolerance and overall physical condition. This progressive approach helps prevent re-injury while promoting continuous improvement. Physiotherapists also educate you on proper body mechanics and ergonomics to minimize the risk of future lumbar injuries.

Throughout your rehabilitation journey, a physiotherapist monitors your progress closely. They assess your response to treatment, making adjustments to the exercise program as needed. If you experience any setbacks or difficulties, your physiotherapist will modify the treatment plan accordingly, ensuring that you stay on track toward a full recovery. They are there to provide support, guidance, and motivation, encouraging you to stay committed to the rehabilitation process.

Physiotherapists are invaluable partners in the rehabilitation of lumbar strains, sprains, and disc injuries, providing personalized care and expertise throughout your recovery journey.


This appointment is your opportunity to tell us what hurts and discover whether physiotherapy or chiropractic care is a good fit for you! During this session, you will talk with a physiotherapist or chiropractor on a phone call (or online) and create the right care plan specifically for your pain. There is no obligation on this session is to find out whether physiotherapy or chiropractic care can help you getting back to doing the things you love in life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Lumbar damage can manifest in various ways, and the specific signs may differ depending on the nature and severity of the injury. Common signs of lumbar damage include persistent lower back pain, limited range of motion, muscle spasms, radiating pain down the legs (sciatica), numbness or tingling sensations, and weakness in the legs. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Lumbar pain can often be effectively managed and alleviated, but the notion of a complete cure depends on the underlying cause of the pain. Some lumbar conditions, such as muscle strains or mild sprains, can heal with proper treatment and rehabilitation. However, chronic conditions or degenerative disc diseases may require ongoing management to control symptoms and maintain functionality. The goal of treatment is to reduce pain, improve function, and enhance quality of life.

The duration of healing for lumbar pain can vary significantly depending on the specific injury, individual factors, and the treatment approach. In many cases, acute lumbar pain caused by strains or sprains can improve within a few days to a few weeks with proper rest, pain management, and rehabilitation exercises. However, more severe lumbar injuries or conditions like disc herniation may require a longer healing time, often ranging from several weeks to months. It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate prognosis and to develop a tailored treatment plan based on your unique situation.

About Botond Jakab

Eagle Ridge Aquatic Centre Physiotherapy Clinic Coquitlam Bc Physiotherapy Botond

Botond is passionate about helping people overcome injuries and return to their favourite activities as soon as possible. With a focus on manual therapy, exercise prescription and education, Bo strives to empower people to take charge of their health and wellness so they can get back to what they love, whether it’s competitive sport or playing with grandchildren in the garden.

Medical Disclaimer:

The information presented in this blog post is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, treatment or a diagnosis, consult with a medical professional such as one suggested on this website. The Clinic Accelerator Inc. and the author of this page are not liable for the associated risks of using or acting upon the information contained in this article.

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