The typical presentation of the compression of a nerve is called a pinched nerve. It can be caused by bulging or herniated discs, vertebral openings or bone spurs that put pressure on the spinal nerve. This leads to pain and other associated symptoms, which largely depend on the localization of the nerve. For example, if the affected nerve is located in the lower back region, then pain will can be felt in your hips, buttocks, back, calves, thighs and can extend to the feet and toes. Luckily, physical therapy works amazingly to help alleviate these symptoms. Let's find more about it.

Exercises for Pinched Nerve in Lower Back

Prone Stretches

This is one of the most used exercises for the problem. First, you lie on the stomach with your legs extended behind you. Arch your back by lifting yourself onto your elbows and pressing your hands on the floor. This stretch should be held for 5 seconds with 10 repetitions. Another variant is you start with the hands and knees on the floor, under the shoulder and hips respectively, and arch your back slowly and then your stomach. This should be repeated 10 times.

Standing Stretch

Start in the standing position, with your hands on your hips and feet apart at the shoulder level. Bend the knees for better balance. Now, carefully arch the back as you feel the shoulders go back. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat for 10 times.

Supine Stretch

Lay on your back with your knees bent at a 45 degree angle. Place your elbows on the floor with your hand on the chest. Slowly arch your back by moving the bellybutton to the ceiling and hold for 5 seconds. Then straighten the lumbar area with the floor and hold for 5 seconds. This is one repetition and 10 repetitions should be done.

Knees to Chest

Another one of the great exercises for pinched nerve in lower back is to lie on your back, move the knees to your chest and wrap both hands around the knees, then hold them close to the chest. Remove your hands and descend your feet on the floor and then extend the legs straight out. The recommendation is to do this stretch for 30 seconds, three times daily. This stretch alleviates the pressure on the nerve and strengthens the lumbar muscles to help prevent future nerve pinching.

Back Twisting

Start by sitting on the floor with your legs in front of you stretched out. Carefully, move your left leg over your right leg with the knees side by side. Then you twist the back by taking your right arm and putting it on the left knee and rotate the upper body to the left. Hold this position for 15 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Cat Posture

This yoga stretch requires you to be on all fours with your hands and knees on the floor. Then proceed to raise your spine naturally to arch it while dropping your head. Hold the position for 15 seconds and release your back. Do this at least 5 times. Keep in mind to protect the neck and its muscles by having it in the same level with the shoulders.

Bike Riding

So simple, yet so effective, bike riding will help alleviate symptoms and prevent future compression. Keeping proper posture during bike riding is important as it strengthens the lumbar muscles. It is recommended to ride a minimum of 15 to 20 minutes daily at least 3 times weekly. Furthermore, this cardio exercise will raise your endorphin levels which are a natural reliever of pain that help alleviate flare ups and pain.

Good Posture

Maintaining good posture is actually one of the most effective, yet forgotten, exercises for pinched nerve in lower back. All you need to do is to sit in your chair with your shoulders straight, and pull back multiple times throughout the day. This stretching helps decrease compression symptoms and strengthens back muscles for future prevention.

Hamstring Stretch

This method is simple. Sit on the ground with proper positioning with the legs stretched out completely in front of you. Move and stretch your arms towards your toes. You should feel your hamstrings being stretched as you try to touch your toes or go as far as you can. Hold this position for 10 seconds and, in the beginning, do this 5 times in a row and gradually increase with more repetitions.

Stretching Your Buttocks

The final stretch is to lie on your back and bend your left knee towards your right shoulder as much as you can physiologically stretch it. Do not overdo it or force your body unnecessarily. Once you have reached the maximum point, hold it for 30 seconds as you will feel your buttocks and lumbar region being stretched. Do a minimum of 3 repetitions on both sides and this can be done multiple times each day.


It is essential to inform your doctor of your condition and the causes of your pain symptoms before starting exercises for pinched nerve in lower back. If at any point during the exercise program you feel pain, immediately stop and postpone your exercises, and inform your doctor about that.


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