I am sitting a lot in the front of the computer, sometimes in not the very best position, mostly seated at the desk but also at home with the laptop not sited on the chair.

Sometimes I have a mild back pain around the 3rd lumbar vertebrae(L3) and the worst was a few times when I had a mild inflammation in that area.

What exercises can I do to prevent arriving to the point when its painful, but also for general maintenance in the lumbar area of the spinal cord, also if there are any exercises for this specific area around the 3rd vertebrae? Thank you.

I want to mention that I am slightly underweight and have no chronic health issues.

  • Are you doing any exercises at all? Have you considered switching the chair?
    – Baarn
    Commented Nov 25, 2012 at 20:03
  • @Informaficker Some walking also sometimes I tried to stand sitting and it is much better. But I still feel that there is a need for the area to recover, but don't know how. Commented Nov 25, 2012 at 20:06

2 Answers 2


Here's a reasonably good set of beginning advice: webmd. I'd say there likely aren't any exercises which will be specifically good for the third lumbar vertebra, but building up strength in that area should generally help.

Especially given that you're underweight, building strength/increasing muscle mass is likely to be helpful. I'd recommend crunches, the pelvic tilt/curl Pilates exercise, and several yoga poses: child's pose, planks/chaturanga, cat/cow poses, downward facing dog, and half (not full!) forward bend (modify by putting your hands on your knees instead of the floor if bending is too much).

That's far from an exhaustive list of good exercises to do. In general, I think you want to be strengthening your abdominal muscles, your psoas muscles and your latissimus dorsi, so try to find exercises that strengthen those muscles.

(Note, I am neither a personal trainer nor a medical professional, just someone who's had a lot of back pain. If the pain persists or gets more severe, seek professional help!)

  • A lot of information, thank you. Gave you +1/accept Commented Nov 26, 2012 at 9:03

I think if there were one exercise you would want to do to relieve lumbar discomfort it would be the reverse hyper-extension. This exercise gently stretches the lower lumbar. There aren't many other ways for the spine to stretch under decompression.

I've heard a lot testimonials of people who have saved their backs (recovered from broken backs, bulging discs, herniated discs, sciatica) by doing this exercise. Even famous physical therapist Kelly Starrett can't say enough good things about this movement.

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