5 Physiotherapy Exercises for Relieving Lower Back Pain After Hysterectomy

Lower back pain after hysterectomy

Are you suffering from lower back pain after hysterectomy?

Lower back pain is a common side effect of hysterectomy.

These 5 simple Physical therapy exercises for lower back pain after hysterectomy can be performed at home to relieve back discomfort and joint stiffness.

These lower back exercises are appropriate for most women after hysterectomy. They avoid abdominal strain and they’re considered ‘pelvic floor friendly’ i.e. they don’t increase the load on the low abdomen or pelvic floor.

Exercise Suitability

These lower back exercises are usually appropriate for most women after discharge from hospital following:

  • Laparoscopic hysterectomy
  • Vaginal hysterectomy
  • Abdominal hysterectomy
  • Combined hysterectomy and prolapse surgery.

*Always follow the guidelines of your medical caregiver regarding the exercises most appropriate for your condition (refer below).

Exercises for Lower Back Pain After Hysterectomy (Video)

Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist Michelle Kenway guides you through some of the lower back exercises described below.

Hysterectomy Recovery Exercises e-Book

Hysterectomy Recovery Exercises e-book cover

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  • Early hysterectomy recovery (abdominal or vaginal hysterectomy)
  • Preparing for a hysterectomy
  • Reducing the risk of common side effects e.g. back pain, constipation and gas
  • Preparing your body for return to work and regular activity.

5 Physio Exercises for Relieving Lower Back Pain After Hysterectomy

Starting Position

  • Position yourself lying down flat on your back in bed
  • Alternatively start lying down on an exercise mat if you’re sufficiently recovered to be moving on and off the ground
  • You may like to use a single pillow or cushion to support your head and neck.

Exercise 1 – Heel Slides

Heel Slides are simple exercises that can be performed lying in bed to relieve or prevent hip and lower back pain after hysterectomy.


  • Start lying down flat on your back with both legs extended out straight
  • Slide one heel along the bed towards your bottom by bending your knee
  • Slide your heel back to your starting position
  • Keep your moving foot in contact with the bed throughout the entire exercise.

Heel slides for lower back pain after hysterectomy

Exercise 2 – Lumbar Rotations

Lumbar rotations are a great exercise for relieving lower back pain, stiffness and backache especially with bed rest.


  • Start lying flat on your back with both knees of your knees bent and your feet both flat on the bed
  • Slowly lower both knees together slightly towards the bed on one side of your body
  • Return back to your starting position and repeat the same exercise to the other side.

Lumbar rotations for lower back pain after hysterectomy

Safety tip for lumbar rotations

Knee Rolls  after hysterectomy are performed as a small movement. Avoid lowering your knees right down to the bed and rolling them too far, particularly if you have an abdominal wound. You may find that you can gradually increase how far you can lower your knees towards the bed during your recovery.

Exercise 3 – Pelvic Tilts

Pelvic Tilts can help to avoid or relieve back stiffness and lower back pain after hysterectomy. This exercise is particularly beneficial for women who naturally stand with a large inward curve in the lower back.


  • Start lying on your back with both knees bent and feet flat on the bed
  • Notice the inward curve that may form a small space between your lower back and the bed
  • Gently flatten the inward curve in your lower back by rolling or tilting your pelvis backwards
  • Release and roll your pelvis back to your starting position
  • Repeat this action.

Pelvic tilts for lower back pain after hysterectomy

Exercise 4 – Bridges

Bridges are usually a comfortable exercise after hysterectomy surgery because the buttocks  move the body and there is no pressure placed upon the pelvic floor.

Bridges relieve pressure off the lower back and buttocks with bed rest. This exercise is an excellent way of maintaining strength in the buttocks during recovery as well as helping you to move safely in bed.


  • Start lying on your back with both knees bent and feet flat on the bed
  • Push down through your heels to raise your buttocks to a comfortable height off the bed
  • Lower your buttocks back to the bed and repeat this action.

Bridge exercise for lower back pain after hysterectomy

Safety Tip for Bridges

Keep this exercise slow and smooth throughout. Avoid lifting your hips and buttocks too high off the surface of the bed.

Exercise 5 – Intermittent Walking

Bed rest and lack of movement are a major cause of lower back pain. Regular short walks throughout the course of the day can prevent and relieve lower back pain and stiffness during your hysterectomy recovery.


  • Stand tall before walking by lifting the crown of your head towards the ceiling
  • Avoid slouching forwards when standing upright
  • Raise your chest (breast bone) slightly upwards
  • Gently brace your lower abdominal muscles (i.e. below your belly button sitting beneath your underwear)
  • Swing your arms and keep your walking technique relaxed, not rigid
  • Walk on flat surfaces, avoid hills during recovery
  • Gradually progress the time you spend walking over the course of your recovery.

How Many Lower Back Exercises to do After Hysterectomy

Start out with the number of exercises you feel comfortable performing at a time this may be anywhere from 2-10 exercises in a row.

You may choose to gradually increase the number of exercises you perform up to 10 in a row during the first 6 weeks of your hysterectomy recovery.

How Often to do Lower Back Exercises After a Hysterectomy

The lower back exercises can be performed any time when resting in bed. Ideally they are performed up to 2-3 times daily when resting in bed.

Further Reading & Videos for Hysterectomy Recovery

» The Cause of Back Pain After Hysterectomy Women Need to Know

» How to Avoid Side Effects of Hysterectomy – What Every Woman Should Know

» Walking after a Hysterectomy – Weekly Hysterectomy Exercise Guidelines

» How to Empty Your Bowels to Overcome Bowel Movement Problems (Video)

» Pelvic Floor Exercises After Hysterectomy – Physiotherapist Guided Video Routine (Video)

» Yoga After Hysterectomy – Is It Safe For Your Pelvic Floor?

*This article provides general information for relieving lower back pain after a hysterectomy and not a substitute for medical treatment.  Always follow the specific advice of your medical provider (surgeon or Physical Therapist) regarding the exercises that are appropriate for your hysterectomy recovery. These exercises should always feel comfortable and pain free, immediately cease any exercise that causes physical discomfort.

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