Introduction

These exercises can help to get you moving normally, and safely, if you have back pain. To feel the most benefit, combine any, or all, of these exercises with walking regularly at a comfortable pace.

How many and how often

Start by doing 5 repetitions of each exercise, 3 times a day. Add an extra 1 or 2 repetitions every few days as long as you feel comfortable.

When to stop

Stop these exercises if they make your symptoms worse, or cause new pain.

Help and support

If your back problem hasn’t improved within 6 weeks of following this advice, it’s a good idea to talk to a healthcare professional about your symptoms.

Rolling your knees

You should do this exercise while lying down.

Rolling your knees from left to right is one repetition.

Instruction Key movement
With your knees bent and feet on the floor, slowly roll your knees to the right and hold for 2 seconds
Return to centre
Slowly roll your knees to the left and hold for 2 seconds
Return to centre

Tilting your pelvis

You should do this exercise while lying down.

Pressing and releasing your back is one repetition.

Instruction Key movement
With your knees bent, and feet on the floor: 1. Press your back against the floor and hold for 2 seconds
2. Release your back and relax

Good posture

You should do this exercise while sitting down.

Holding and then relaxing this posture is one repetition.

Instruction Key movement
With your knee bent, and feet on the floor, sit up as straight as you can, letting your shoulders drop forwards a little. Hold for as long as is comfortable and then relax.

Back bends

You should do this exercise while standing up.

Bending backwards then returning to standing is one repetition.

Instruction Key movement
With your back and legs straight, and feet shoulder width apart, slowly bend backwards, supporting your back with your hands
As you increase the stretch, work into the movement to loosen off your back
Hold for as long as is comfortable and then return to standing

Back bend from lying

You should do this exercise while lying down.

Lifting and lowering your chest is one repetition.

Instruction Key movement
While lying face down with you hands at shoulder height, slowly straighten your elbows and lift your chest as far up as you can
Keep your pelvis and legs relaxed throughout this movement
Hold for as long as it comfortable and then relax