Help Prevent Back Pain with These Five Exercises

Earlier this month in our post Five Myths About How to Manage Back Pain, we discussed the importance of staying active and ensuring exercise is part of your daily routine.

We all have different pain triggers affecting our low back. Improper spinal movements, a fall, sports injuries and other muscle strains can have an impact on our everyday lives. Obviously, preventing those injuries — where possible — is key.

In this video, the Ontario Chiropractic Association demonstrates five easy exercises to help prevent and potentially reduce low back pain.

Just remember, you may need more stability while others may need more mobility, so it’s important to check in with a chiropractor to make sure these exercises are right for you!

Diaphragmatic Breathing

  • Start by laying on your back with knees bent.
  • Place a hand on your upper chest and the other over your belly. This will allow you to feel the movement of your diaphragm as you breathe in and out.
  • Breathe in slowly through your nose so that your belly expands out against your hand. The hand on your chest should remain as still as possible.
  • As you breathe out, gently contract your abdominal muscles inwards as you exhale, keep the hand on your upper chest as still as possible.

Cat and Camel

  • Start on the floor in a quadruped position, this is a tabletop position, with hands on the floor under your shoulders and knees on the floor under your hips, toes facing down and turned under.
  • Inhale deeply as you round your spine toward the ceiling, like a cat arching its back.
  • Then exhale, tighten your abdominals and drop your chest toward the floor as you lift your head slightly and arch the top of your head back towards your tailbone.


  • Lie on your back so your body forms a straight line with the arms in an extended T position.
  • As you bend your left leg up to the centre of your body, reach your right hand up to rest on top of the left knee, and slowly pull the knee down across your body towards the right side of the floor. Keep the right leg long and extended on the floor.
  • Now you are ready to begin the twisting torso stretch and breath work. Lift your extended left arm up and bend it against your left side, place your left hand on your belly. Now slowly rotate your left shoulder up off the floor and then back down while inhaling and exhaling.

Dead Bug Progression

  • Lie on your back with both arms reaching up, knees are bent with feet flat on the floor.
  • Lift your legs up one at a time, and position your hips and knees in a 90° angle.
  • Take a slow diaphragmatic breath, then exhale, brace your core and flatten your low back to the floor.
  • Slowly lower your right arm and left leg at the same time, exhaling as you extend them straight out and pause for a second before slowly return to the starting position as you inhale. Repeat with the left arm and right leg. Alternate this movement in a slow fluid motion.

Bird Dog

  • Start on the floor in a quadruped position, a tabletop position, with hands on the floor under your shoulders and knees on the floor under your hips, toes facing down and turned under. Find a neutral spine position – you back should be relatively flat, your neck and head in general alignment.
  • Actively engage and brace the core to avoid any arch in the low back, extend your opposite arm and leg up and away from your body, until they are in line with your torso and parallel to the floor. Being mindful not to twist the back and pelvis when you are in this extended position, hold for 5-10 seconds.
  • Slowly return to starting position and repeat on the opposite sides.

If you’re experiencing back pain, consider visiting the chiropractic and massage therapy team at Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage. We help our patients build better pathways to overall wellness, as well as provide relief from back pain and muscle aches.

Contact our clinic today at 905-427-3202.



With content from the Ontario Chiropractic Association