Managing Low Back Pain: There is No Cookie-Cutter Approach

  • author name Kevin Markovic, DPT
Managing low back pain

If you have ever dealt with low back pain, you know the condition can include a variety of signs and symptoms—burning, numbness, stabbing pain, tingling, dull aching—and these symptoms can change over time.

Back Pain Causes

The wide range of low back pain symptoms results from an equally wide variety of causes. Perhaps you suffered a fall or lifted something too heavy. Maybe the chair you sit in at your home or work isn’t the best. You could have a spinal condition or be recovering from surgery.

Just as the causes of low back pain are unique, so are the appropriate treatment strategies to successfully manage it. In other words, treatment should be anything but “cookie-cutter.”

Consider the exercises below as starting points if you have been cleared for physical activity without restrictions by a medical professional. Start conservatively with 10-15 repetitions of each (or what you can tolerate). Increase to a maximum of 30 repetitions as you progress.

Flexion-Based Exercise

If you have been diagnosed with advancing arthritis of the spine or more specifically, spinal stenosis, a flexion-based program may be appropriate for you. These exercise below may be considered to begin stretching your spine and the muscles surrounding it..

Single knee to chest
Single Knee to Chest
Double knee to chest
Double Knee to Chest

Extension Based Exercise

If you have been diagnosed with a disc injury or condition, extension-based exercises may be recommended.

Prone lying
Prone Lying
Prone on elbows
Prone on Elbows
Prone press up
Prone Press Ups

Core Strengthening Exercise

For conditions like osteoporosis, compression fractures in the lower spine, and post-spine surgery rehabilitation, it is important to strengthen muscles in and around the spine. These exercises can help.

Bridging step 2
ta iso step 1
Abdominal Brace
Supine Alternate Leg 1
Hook-lying Alternate Leg Marching

Note: While a number of diagnoses were classified with common approaches for treatment, remember every case is unique. What works for one person may not be appropriate for another. Always consult with a medical professional to discuss the best treatment options for you.

author name

Kevin Markovic, DPT

Kevin Markovic, DPT, is a physical therapist and rehabilitation supervisor at Lancaster General Health Norlanco. He earned a B.S. in Biology from Messiah College; and a B.S. in Exercise Science and a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Lebanon Valley College.

Call: 717-544-6300

About LG Health Hub

The LG Health Hub features breaking medical news and straightforward advice to help individuals of all ages make healthy choices and reach their wellness goals. The blog puts articles by trusted Lancaster General Health clinical experts, good 'n healthy recipes, videos, patient stories, and health risk assessments at your fingertips.


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