A Physical Therapist Says This One Move Will Decrease Lower Back Pain—I Put It To The Test For Five Days

Woman sitting at desk holds her lower back and winces in pain
(Image credit: Antonio Diaz / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Dealing with backache has become an annoyingly regular part of my life and I blame working at a desk causing tightness in my hips.

Regular mobility work is one of the best things to do to reduce and prevent general lower back pain, but it can be difficult to find the time and motivation to go to regular yoga classes or spend lots of time stretching.

Dr Stephanie Ridgway, a physical therapist, recently posted an Instagram Reel sharing one exercise that she says will increase hip mobility and strength for people dealing with lower back pain.

The move is called the prone scorpion and it doesn’t require any equipment, so I decided to try it every day for five days to see if it made any difference.

Take a look at Dr Ridgway’s post, where she demonstrates the move.

The movement involves lying on your front with your arms out to the sides, bending one knee and, while keeping your chest and shoulders on the floor, twisting your hips so the foot of the bent leg moves up and over to tap the floor on the opposite side of your body. Dr Ridgway recommends doing 2-3 sets of 10 reps on each side.

The good news is that the prone scorpion immediately reduced tension in my lower back. I found it difficult to keep my chest on the floor while touching my foot on the floor at first, but my muscles eventually relaxed and I improved my range of motion as I moved through the reps.

I usually performed this exercise during a break from work and I noticed that my hips felt more open and my lower back less achy when I sat back down to work.

However, my aches and pains returned later in the day and I think I’d have to do this move regularly for more than five days, along with some other hip mobility exercises and lower-back exercises, to see significant improvements.

Alice Porter

Alice Porter is a journalist who covers health, fitness and wellbeing, among other topics, for titles including Stylist, Fit & Well, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, VICE and Refinery29. When she’s not writing about these topics, you can probably find her at her local CrossFit box.