How to do Physical Therapy Exercises for Lower Back Pain Relief (10 best)

Heal Your Back

If you are currently going through physical therapy for your lower back pain, and are thinking to your self “how in the world am I going to remember how to do all of these exercises,” you are in the right place. The video above, in addition to the article below, will briefly outline some of the most common physical therapy pain relief exercises that you can do to strengthen your back and keep your body moving well. By implementing all of the exercises listed below, you may never need to go to physical therapy for your back ever again.

Before We Begin

Before we go over some of the exercises, I do want to give some caution when it comes to pain. If any of these movements are causing you any pain or discomfort, I would highly recommend to cease doing that exercise. Try another exercise, and then over time, hopefully you be able to slowly reintroduce the exercise over time, when you are feeling ready to do so.

Physical Therapy Exercises for Lower Back Pain Relief

A good majority of these exercises are done on the ground, which is why I highly recommend to get a yoga mat or something similar, to make sure you are comfortable. I am going to link the one that I enjoy using below. If you are confused about how to do any of the movements, I would highly recommend checking out the video linked above for your convenience.

Lying Side Twists

Lying side twists are a great exercise that will help to loosen up your lower back muscles, and strengthen them as well. Start on your back, with your feet about 2 feet from your butt. Gently allow your knees to lean towards your right and left, controlling the movement throughout.


Marching will help to strengthen your hip flexors, which keep your spine stable and strong. Keep on your lower back, and with your knees bent, alternate bringing one knee up as high as you can, slowly back down, repeating on both legs multiple times.


Bridging strengthens your glutes tremendously, which is crucial in keeping your lower back strong and resilient. Find the same position lying on your back, with your feet about two feet from your butt. Now, push through the ground with your feet, to allow your hips to rise up towards the sky as high as you can, below lowering them back down to the ground. Repeat multiple times until you feel a light burn.


For clam shells, you will shift all of your body towards right or left. Next, you will ben your knees and hips so that they are both in about a 90 degree angle. After that, you will try to bring the knee of the leg that is not touching the ground, up towards the sky as high as possible. The key is to keep both feet touching the entire time. Once you have done multiple repetitions, flip to the other side and complete the same exercise on the other leg.

Lying Straight Leg Raise

For this exercise, you will move back to the position lying on your back. This exercise is similar to marching in the overall muscles it works, but is slightly more difficult. Start with both legs straight out in front of you, while on your back. Next, bring one leg up as high as you can, while keeping it straight. Once you get to that point, lower it back down to the ground, and repeat multiple repetitions on both legs.

Bird Dog

The bird dog will have you start on all fours, and is great in working your core, glutes, and postural muscles. For this exercise, bring your right hand forward as far as you can, while pushing your left leg back as far as you can. Once you’ve reached as far as you can with both sides, bring the limbs in, and repeat on the other leg and arm

Cat and Cow

A classic back pain relief mobilizing movement. Start on all fours again, and focus on bringing your chin down into your neck, while curving and rounding your lower and upper back at the same time. Next, you will extend your lower back, upper back, and neck as far as you can the other direction. Complete multiple repetitions of extension and flexion of your back and neck, before going on to the next exercise.


For cobra, you will start in a pushup position, on your belly. Next, you will push up your upper body, while keeping your feet and hips sagging heavy towards the ground. Try to hold this position for a few seconds, before relaxing your arms and repeating again.

Half Plank

Once you’ve completed those exercises, you can start to add in a couple more demanding movements. The half plank is just like a regular plank exercise, except you will do it off your knees, instead of your toes. Try to hold for about 20-30 seconds, before resting and repeating.

Light Deadlifts

If you are going through physical therapy for lower back pain, chances are you have not done any deadlifting for a while. It is incredibly important to try to incorporate this movement into your life for increased quality of life and mobility. For deadlifts, start out with a couple of light dumbbells in your hand (links below), push your butt back, and while keeping your back straight, allow the dumbbells to ride down your body until they reach your shins. Next, you will then squeeze your butt, and stand tall to complete the full repetition. Make sure your knees are only slightly bent during this exercise.

Hold On!

If you want to keep healing your back pain, you need to subscribe to our blog. We help individuals of all abilities in life navigate through the gym, and become healthier. Otherwise, you can check out this other article below, showing a few stretches you can do for lower back pain relief, all from the comfort of a chair.

QUICK Back Pain Relief: Simple Stretches You Can Do In a Chair

Back Pain: Make it Stop! Back pain is something that many of us deal with on a day to day basis. Just because you are dealing with back pain, doesn’t mean that there is nothing for you to do. In fact, by the end of this article, you will know a few simple stretches that…

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