Effective exercises for hip and low back pain relief

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Winter is a season when many people hurt their backs and looking for back pain relief. Forgetting that prevention is always preferable to dealing with pain.  A few minutes a day of simple postural exercises can prevent or at least minimise injuries at the first place. Today, I am going to give you a set of easy movements for hip and back pain relief.

Simple exercises for low back pain relief

Since I started doing Egoscue exercises several years ago, I developed a personal favorite routine for hips and low back pain relief. I always do it in the morning. When I don’t have time to do my regular menu, I do these several exercises before I start my day. If I feel stiff after sitting at the computer for several hours, I do this sequence and it always brings back pain relief.  It also works well before and/or after snow shoveling.  It is a combination of several easy movements that naturally flow into each other:

  • Knee Drops
  • Knee ABduction-ADduction on the floor
  • Assisted Hip Lift Position
  • Hip Crossover Stretch
  • Pelvic Tilts

Knee Drops and Knee Abduction-Adduction on the Floor

These sequence allows the low back muscles to relax. It will also increase the flow of the synovial fluid to the hip joints. These gentle movements often bring a noticeable back pain relief.

Hooklying-Starting-Position
Starting Position
 There are three parts to this sequence:

  • Unilateral Knee Drops.
  • Bilateral Knee Drops.
  • Abduction-Adduction movement.

For all of them, start in the Hooklying position:

  • Your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Feet are wider than hips and pointed straight ahead. You can use the edges of the yoga mat to guide your positioning.
  • Arms should be out to the side at a 45 degree angle, palms up.
  • Keep your upper body relaxed

Hooklying-Knee-Drops-Unilateral
Knee Drops – Unilateral
 Unilateral knee drops:

  • Slowly reach your right knee inward toward your left heel as far as comfortable, do not stretch.
  • As your knee drops, you will roll on the inside of your foot, the other leg is relaxed.
  • Keep your shoulders on the mat.
  • Let your back and waist muscles on the right side relax as your pelvis rolls slightly and left leg moves slightly out of the way.
  • Repeat 10 times, and then do it on the left side.

Hooklying-Knee-Drops-Bilateral
Bilateral Knee Drops
 Bilateral knee drops:

  • Slowly drop both knees to one side then reverse to the opposite side.
  • The outside of one knee and the inside of the other knee will be reaching toward the floor.
  • Your feet will roll from outer edge to inner edge as you go back and forth, like a windshield wiper.
  • Repeat 10 times of left-right movement.

 

Hooklying-Abduction
Hooklying-ADduction

 

Abduction-Adduction movement:

  • From the same starting position, bring your knees together, slowly, until they touch.
  • Bring your knees apart, slowly, so that your feet roll out to the sides: the bottoms of your feet will come off of the floor and the outsides of your feet will touch the floor
  •  Repeat 10 times.

    Hooklying-Abduction
    Hooklying-ABduction

Assisted Hip Lift Position

This exercise improves pelvic position through external femur rotation. Especially beneficial for people with internal femur rotation, pelvic disparity, hip elevation, or pelvic rotation.

Assisted Hip Lift Position for back pain relief
Assisted Hip Lift Position
  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
    • Keep the feet pointing straight, in line with your knees and hips.
  • Your arms are about 45 degrees out on the floor, palms up. If it feels comfortable, you may try placing your arms out to the side at shoulder level. But bring arms lower if you feel strain in your shoulders-upper back area.
  • Cross the ankle of one foot to just above the other knee.
  • Press the crossed leg knee away from you using your hip muscles.
    • Do not allow your hips to shift to the side.
    • Keep the spine in alignment
  • Hold this position from 30 seconds to a minute.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

Keep your shoulders and arms relaxed.

One side will feel harder to do. Try doing it 2-3 times in a row to feel that that stiffer side feels more mobile. It often brings back pain relief.

Hip Crossover Stretch

This exercise is a natural progression from the Assisted Hip Lift Position. It promotes hip and spinal rotation with scapular engagement. It increases the hips mobility and may help to improve the SI joint position and back pain relief.

Hip Crossover Stretch with palms down
Hip Crossover Stretch with palms down
  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
    • Keep the feet pointing straight, in line with your knees and hips.
  • Place your arms out to the side at shoulder level, with your palms flat on the floor.
  • Cross your left ankle over your right knee and rotate the ankle/knee junction down toward the floor.
    • Your left foot should now be flat on the floor, along with the outside of your right leg.
  • Look in the opposite direction and relax your shoulders.
    Press the left knee away from your body using the left hip muscles.
  • Hold this position from 30 seconds to a minute.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

One side will feel harder to do. You may want try doing it 2 times in a row to feel that the stiffer side feels more mobile to experience back pain relief.

Pelvic Tilts

Pelvic tilts is one of the best exercises for the back pain relief. Use small pelvic movement to bring tailbone towards the floor (low back down) and tailbone away from the floor (low back arched). Use your pelvis to facilitate the movement. Do not engage abdominals or press feet too strong into the floor. Keep your body relaxed.

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet hip width apart, parallel to each other.
    • Make sure your hips, knees and feet are aligned on the imaginary line from shoulders to toes.
    • Relax arms at 45 degrees from sides with palms facing up.

Pelvic Tilts - tailbone up
Pelvic Tilts – tailbone up
  • Roll your hips backward to flatten your lower back to the floor.

 

Pelvic Tilts - low back arched
Pelvic Tilts – low back arched
  • Then roll your hips forward to arch your low back.
  • Repeat 10 times slowly.

You may want to put a pillow between your knees to keep legs at the same position during the tilts.

All these movements improve position of hips, pelvis, and surrounding joints. They are gentle but may effectively mitigate the effects of snow shoveling or stiffness associated with lack of movement. Try them yourself and see if they bring back pain relief.

Be Healthy. Be Active. Live Pain Free.

Learn here how YOU can restore your posture at my Upright Posture Fitness Studio in Hudson, MA

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Natasha

Natasha

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