What is Lumbago? Have You Heard of It Before?

This man is has Lumbago holding his shoulder with his hand.

What is Lumbago? Lumbago is just another name for lower back pain. Throughout this post, I will be using both lumbago and lower back pain. Just know, I am talking about the same thing.

If you have lower back pain, I hear you. I have been dealing with chronic lower back pain for many years and still do today. Exercise has been known to reduce the pain and in some cases completely stop it. Research has shown that exercise can be very beneficial for chronic lower back pain.

Not to mention the rest of your back as well. The more you exercise the stronger your back will get. Reducing your chances of having future back problems. But it can also reduce your current back pain.

Being Active with Lumbago

A lady and man are jogging through a park wondering "What is Lumbago?"

Being active is the best thing you can do for your back and your entire body. Start slow and ease your way into it. You always to avoid being static. If you have any back problems the worst thing you can do is sit around all day doing nothing. That will often make your pain worse over time. 

So, get off that sofa and go for a walk. If you have nowhere to walk or the weather is a problem? Walk around your house or walk in place. For years the misconception has been that you need to exercise non-stop, 30 to 45 minutes for it to be effective.

Breaking Up Your Workout

We see the hands, legs and feet of two woman working out at the gym.

Do not get me wrong, a 30 to 45-minute workout is still great if that is what you like? But there have been several studies done in recent years proving that breaking up a workout into 2×15 minute sessions or even 3×10 minute sessions can be just as effective.

I know speaking for myself, I am not always in the mood for one long workout. I will often break up my workout sessions. In fact, there are times I will do multiple 5-minute workouts throughout the day. Sometimes I am stretched for time and that is a great alternative.

Almost everyone at some point in their life experience lumbago. If you have not to this point it’s almost a given that it’s going to be in your future. It’s known that about 80% of the workforce consistently experiences lumbago week in and week out. The source of this is most likely stemming from society’s advancement into a more modernized, inactive civilization. 

Lumbago can also be caused by elemental conditions like arthritis and degenerative disc disease which is what I have. If your lower back pain is getting in the way of just trying to get through the day, then I would go see a doctor.

How My Lumbago Started

There is a winding paved road road with "start" in white.

From experience, my lumbago problems began after an accident. I was climbing over a fence, slipped and fell. When I landed I twisted my back pretty hard. It was about a week later when I started feeling a stabbing shooting pain going down the back of my leg.

To add to that I was getting cramps and spasms in my lower back and butt. It kept getting worse and I was to the point that I was falling on the ground when trying to get out of a car. 

About six months after falling and twisting my back, I went under the knife for a ruptured disc. During that time, I also found out that I have degenerative disc disease. If that was not enough, I use to lift heavy equipment multiple times a week when I was a DJ. I did that for 23 years and did not always use the best lifting techniques.

An accident, poor lifting techniques, and degenerative disc disease. I have the trifecta and would rather it be from winning it at a horse race instead. 

For many people with lumbago, the good news is you may be able to find relief from your lumbago by using targeted exercises. If you do them consistently they can increase your chances of not having any lumbago in the future and the research has shown that.  

A double yellow lined winding road through the lush green woods.

Walking was something I did for years because of my back. It did help but I liked the other health benefits I got from it. I would walk at a very fast pace of speed to get a really good workout. Walking slower would have been just as effective but I liked the feeling when I was done.

I would get that “runners high” you always hear about. My walking regiment was an average of 5 days a week, going 2 to 3 miles each day. It all depended on how I felt on that particular day. 

There are many benefits to walking but when it comes to walking because you have back issues, it keeps you mobile and also strengthens your back. You can walk just about anywhere at any time, you only have to bring yourself, and it’s free. When you are in pain you will naturally not want to move.

However, not moving to long will make the pain worse. I used walking because it helped and was very convenient. But just as important, it kept me mobile.

Getting Through The Pain

Man has one hand on his shoulder and the other on his lower back in pain.

When you are in pain, it can be hard to think and get through the day. Your body is basically telling you to stop moving when you feel pain. One part of you wants to completely stop doing everything. While the other part knows you have a ton of things to do that day. I know I have been there. Then it starts eating away at you mentally. You begin the downward spiral of negativity and become stagnant.  

In the past, doctors would always tell their patients to lay low and prescribe complete bed rest in some cases. If you were to be up and moving around, it may make things worse. Those days are now long gone. Using correct movement and keeping up in your day to day life is advised.

However, there are always a few caveats in certain circumstances. Otherwise, you always want to maintain some level of mobility every day.  

When it comes to lumbago and being mobile, that does not necessarily mean a full-fledged workout on a daily basis. A little bit can go a long way, but you need to stay consistent. You will have your ups and downs but keep looking at the bigger picture.  

As I already mentioned, I used to walk a lot but there are other exercises you can do to strengthen and reduce your back pain. The following exercises are targeted for your lower back. 


Lumbago Bridge Exercise - A lady lays on a mat resting her palms and arms on the floor. Her shoulders and head lay on the mat as well. Her butt and legs are off the mat, knees up and feet flat on the floor.

The bridges will work your gluteus maximus. It is the large muscles of your buttocks. You engage this muscle when moving your hips, more specifically, when bending into a squat. This is a very important muscle in your body, and you want to keep it strong so it can help support your lower back.
Performing a Bridge:

  • You want to lie on the ground and bend your knees. Then place your feet flat on the floor keeping them hip-width apart.
  • Press your feet on the floor and place your arms on your sides.
  • Raise your buttocks up off the floor. You want your body to form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
  • Squeeze your buttocks tight and keep your shoulders on the floor.
  • Then, lower your buttocks on the floor and rest for a couple of seconds.
  • From this point, you want to repeat this 15 times resting for 1 minute in between.
  • If you are just getting started, do 3 sets of 10 repetitions. You can work your way up to 15 reps and add another set. 

Single Knee-To-Chest Stretch

A lady lays on her back on the floor doing the knee-to-chest-stretch for Lumbago.

By performing the Single Knee-To-Chest Stretch you can help extend your lower back. This helps relieve tension and pain.
To perform the knee-to-chest stretch:

  • Lie down with your back on the floor.
  • Bend your knees and keep them both flat on the floor.
  • Tighten your deep stomach muscles.
  • Using both hands, pull one knee towards your chest until you feel a comfortable stretch to the low back and or buttock area.
  • Hold the knee for 30 seconds, keeping your abdominal’s tight while keeping your back pressed into the floor.
  • Depending on your physicality, you may need some help.
  • Wrap a towel behind the knee, then pull the knee towards your chest.
  • Return to your starting position, repeating with the opposite leg.

Repeat this with each leg 3 times.

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