Low back strain, also known as a lumbar strain injury, can cause a great deal of back pain. It can also make performing certain job tasks challenging, if not impossible. Although rest may be part of the treatment or recovery plan, it’s also important to exercise and perform certain stretches within physician or therapist guidelines. This not only provides relief from pain but can also restore strength and flexibility.

Aerobic Exercise

With the advent of Pilates and more sophisticated ways of exercise, aerobics seem to have taken a back seat. However, these exercises can help soothe and relieve sore back muscles without placing excessive strain on them. 

Massage Therapy

Some Des Moines patients who suffer from lower back pain may benefit from massages. The therapy is even more effective when used in combination with other lower back pain treatments.

Heat Packs

There’s nothing like a good heat pack to soothe aching muscles. However, a heat pack should not be applied soon after an injury occurs. Wait 48 hours and then begin applications of heat packs to soothe the pain.


According to some experts, it helps if you can condition your body to believe that the pain is not as consistent as you think it is. Experts believe that mindful meditation can help achieve this.

Targeted Exercise

Exercises that benefit the hip, pelvis and abdominal muscles can help relieve back pain because they provide strong support to the back. These can be done with the help of a trainer in a gym or as one of the other home remedies for back pain.

Keep Moving

Don’t use back pain as an excuse to lie in bed all day. If you have an active lifestyle that includes walking, swimming or cycling, keep up the routine. Don't over strain yourself, but don't completely give up your old active lifestyle, either.


Consulting with a doctor is important before attempting any new exercise program, especially if there has been an injury. Some of the following stretches and exercises could help those with low back strain. 

Stretches for Lower Back Pain

You can do back stretches by lying on your stomach and then pushing your upper body off the floor with your arms. Hold for at least 15 seconds, relax the back and drop it down to the floor. Repeat.

Surprisingly, stretching your hamstrings can relieve lower back pain. Lie on your back with legs bent. Grab behind one knee and slowly straighten the leg until you feel the stretch in the back of the thigh. Hold for 30 seconds, relax, and repeat on the other leg.

Low Back Strain Exercises

Pelvic tilt exercises can help with pain. Lie on your back with knees bent. Tighten the abdominal muscles until the small of the back is pressed flat against the floor and tilt your pelvis upward. Hold for at least 15 seconds, relax, and repeat.

Knee to chest stretch: Lie on your back with legs straight out. Bring one knee up to the chest, pressing the small of the back against the floor (like you did in the pelvic tilt stretch above). Hold for at least 15 seconds and repeat on the other leg.

There are just some examples of stretches and exercises that can help with a lumbar strain from work. The doctor assigned by workers’ compensation may have other suggestions for exercises or stretches for lower back pain relief. Again, always refer to the doctor before performing these or other stretches or exercises. 

If you are pursuing a workers’ comp case as you recover from your work injury, check out our Iowa Workers’ Compensation An Insider’s Guide to Work Injuries – 7 Deadly Mistakes to Avoid if You are Hurt at Work.

Corey Walker
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With over 28 years legal experience, Corey has been recognized for his work as an injury attorney.
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