Laser Spine Institute Spine Exercises | Trunk Rotation

Laser Spine Institute surgeons recommend trunk rotations to strengthen back muscles

At Laser Spine Institute, we are often asked about spinal exercises that can be used to help alleviate lower back pain. Trunk rotations are one exercise we recommend because it can gently stretch the muscles in the lower back and core, which helps increase flexibility and relieve painful pressure in the lower back. No special equipment is required for this exercise, and each rotation takes just a few moments. As a result, these stretches are a simple addition to your stretching and strengthening program, provided that your Laser Spine Institute Physical Therapist or personal physician gives you the green light before you start.

When performing this exercise for the first time, you’ll want to pay special attention to any signals your body sends you. If you feel any sharp or unusual pain — or if your existing back pain feels worse — you should stop and move on to a different exercise until you can speak to your physician or physical therapist. However, most people are able to safely perform trunk rotations without any discomfort.

To perform a trunk rotation, begin by lying down on your back. You can lie on a bed, a couch or the floor — whatever feels most comfortable. From there, move through the following steps:

  • Step 1 — Start with your back flat, your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Step 2 — Inhale, exhale and gently twist at the waist as you lower your legs slightly to your right side. You’ll want to keep your knees pressed together while doing this. Inhale and return your legs to the center, with your knees pointing toward the ceiling.
  • Step 3 — Exhale and gently lower your legs to the left side. These motions should be slow and deliberate; don’t quickly switch your legs from side to side or lift your pelvis off the floor.

Repeat this five to 10 times on each side, once or twice per day. With time, you’ll find your core muscles becoming stronger, your back muscles becoming more flexible and your range of motion starting to increase. You may wish to combine these trunk rotations with one or more other exercises recommended by your Laser Spine Institute physical therapist or physician.

To learn more about exercises you can use to stretch and strengthen your back and core muscles, contact Laser Spine Institute.