Struggling with lower back pain due to an injury, medical condition or poor posture? Try these gentle stretching and strengthening exercises to help ease the pain.


Back pain is a very common debilitating condition and is one of the most common reasons people see a doctor or miss days at work. Although you may think bed rest will help you recover from a bad back, it has been medically proven that people who carry out targeted physio exercises for lower back pain have a faster recovery, and relieve pain more effectively.

The cause of your back pain may be known, such as an injury caused by an accident, bad posture or after lifting something heavy. Sometimes though, it can be unclear. If you do not know the reason for your back pain, our specialist back physiotherapists can assess, diagnose and treat your condition with a personalised treatment programme.

The most common cause of back pain, particularly lower back pain, is a combination of poor posture and lack of exercise, most frequently seen in individuals who sit for prolonged periods. This has increased massively following the pandemic. Other common back pain issues which you can treat with physio exercise include scoliosis, arthritis, sciatica, herniated or ruptured discs, osteoporosis, strains, sprains and torn muscles.

If you are experiencing acute to chronic back pain, have noticed an increase in pain, discomfort, weakness or numbness, or are struggling to carry out your daily activities due to restricted mobility, we advise you to arrange an assessment at one of our nationwide physio clinic locations, or virtually via video call. In the meantime, keep reading for some preliminary exercise videos for a bad back.


Are you anxious to try back pain exercises at home, in case it causes more pain or damage? Most of the time, gentle tailored exercise is the best treatment for back conditions, especially for things like damage or strain to muscles, ligaments, spinal discs, nerves or bones, osteoarthritis, musculoskeletal pain due to poor posture, and herniated, ruptured, or bulging or slipped discs – but it is safer to be assessed by a physiotherapist first.

It is crucial that you begin treatment slowly, and build up over time. Exercise should not cause additional pain or make your back condition worse. Remember, sore muscles after a hard workout is normal, but sudden or sharp pain means you need to stop and seek medical assistance, as it could indicate a more serious condition.

We know it can be worrying approaching back pain exercises on your own, that is why our physiotherapists are here to help, whenever you need us.


Looking for physio-approved gentle exercises to help lower back pain?

Back pain treatment is usually most effective when it involves strengthening exercises to strengthen the core, restore mobility in the back and address any underlying imbalances or postural problems.

To get the best possible treatment for your back, you need to work with a physiotherapist who will address and treat the cause of pain directly. 

Here are some of the best exercises for back pain sufferers, including basic core exercises for back pain, stretching exercises for lower back pain and chronic lower back pain treatment exercises.

Lay on your side with your head supported and your arm outstretched in front of you. Lift your top arm up from the floor towards the ceiling and follow the movement with your head and upper body. Continue to move this arm up and over towards the floor. Lift the arm back up and slowly return it out in front of you.

Start on your hands and knees. Arch your back up towards the ceiling. Tuck your tailbone down, round your shoulders and drop your head down. Next, reverse the movement. Lift your head up. This your back and push your tailbone up towards the ceiling. Repeat the movement keeping your arms straight throughout.

Start on your hands and knees. Cross symptomatic leg underneath you. Then lower your hips down to the ground. Rest your body forwards on your arms. You should feel a stretch across the buttock.

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Take a ball of foam roller and squeeze it between your knees, maintaining the squeeze throughout the movement. lift your hips up keeping them level. Continue to squeeze as you look back to the starting position.

Sumo squat - To start stand with your feet wide apart and toes pointing at 45-degree angles. Drop into a squat by bending your hips and knees and sitting back. Keep your chest up and knees out. Then stand back up to the starting position.

Don’t have fitness equipment?

The ‘how to’ back strengthening exercises are demonstrated by an expert using easy to follow written and audible instructions. These exercises can be done at home to relieve pain before your appointment with us, without the need for any specialist equipment. If you do not have a piece of equipment used in any of our videos such as the foam roller, don’t stress. You can improvise with a household item instead, such as a rolled-up towel. Our more advanced exercises carried out by specialists at our clinics involve equipment provided by us and are monitored during your appointments.


Our team of advanced physiotherapists and sports injury experts can treat your acute to chronic back condition from any of our 17 clinics nationwide. Our experts will complete a full physio assessment and create a tailored back rehabilitation program before starting treatment.

Video call appointments

Not fancy visiting one of our David Lloyd locations? We offer virtual video call appointments for back pain, so you can speak with a physiotherapist and get targeted treatment from the comfort of your own home.

Nationwide physio clinic locations

Find a location near you

Response Physio & Sports Therapy offer physiotherapy appointments with individually designed treatment plans for customers across the UK. We offer flexible opening hours to suit busy schedules including early morning and late evening appointments, Saturday clinics, and remote clinics. There are no waiting lists and appointments are often available within 24 hours. We accept NHS referrals, self-pay, and all major private health insurers, including AXA, BUPA, and Medico-legal.

We have 15 locations that offer advanced physio treatment for back pain:

Disclaimer: The above exercises alone are not designed as a cure or long term solution for your back pain; if you are suffering from a back injury, illness or condition then you still need to see a physiotherapist.