Skip to Content
Sign in to Manage Your Health Care

In the Spotlight

Simple Exercises to Reduce Back Pain

Quick pain relief options

Regular back pain can make your life harder than it should be. If you have chronic pain, it may be difficult to exercise and can even cause stress. But did you know that there are things you can do to start feeling better?

Watch VA physical therapist Dr. Emma Shapiro share some exercises that may reduce your back pain.

Strengthen the body’s cornerstones

Your core muscles support good posture, breathing, and your back. Your core helps and supports all movements in your body. Strengthening these muscles can curb the chance of back pain.

One core strengthening exercise you can try is to lay on your back and raise your knees. Then, use one foot at a time to tap the ground. If that’s too easy, you can try extending one leg at a time in the air. For lasting relief, try to add this to your routine.

Self-care for muscles

Stretching your muscles is a great way to avoid injuries and pain. One good stretch for your lower back muscles is laying down and putting your feet on the floor. Lift one leg and cross it over your other bent knee. Hold your leg there, feeling the stretch in your lower back. Repeat this exercise for your other leg. It’s important not to stretch too far, or it could cause an injury.

Only you know your pain and what your limits are. If you start these exercises, be careful not to push yourself too hard. Schedule an appointment with your doctor through VA Appointments if any of these make your pain worse. You will need a My HealtheVet Premium account to schedule an appointment online.

Read More

How to Manage and Prevent Low Back Pain

Understanding Low Back Pain (Veterans Health Library)

Simple Exercises Video Series (YouTube)


Created March 29, 2021