What can I do to ease my lower back pain when playing bowls or tenpin bowling?

May 23, 2019

Back pain and bowling

We are seeing more and more people who bowl at our Havant and Rowlands Castle Physio, Sports therapy and Sports massage clinics. The common complaint is lower back pain due to repetitive bending and lifting.


A normal presentation is a general ache/pain when bending.

On assessment we tend to find some stiffness in their lower back (lumbar spine) facet joints, weakness in their core and gluteal muscles. Core muscles are not your six pack muscles (rectus abdominus) they are deeper muscles (transverses abdominus) which support the pelvis and spine.  Gluteals are your buttock muscles which are also really important to keep strong when you have lower back pain.


We first listen to our bowlers to find out what their goals are and then we work together to formulate a treatment plan and rehabilitation exercises.

We treat using hands on manual therapy including joint mobilisations, manipulations, massage, soft tissue release, neural tension release if needed too.

If you are getting pain when bowling here are some good exercises to do.

Please be aware of your body and take advice from your GP before exercising or send us an email ( for advice and guidance.

Get help

Back Arching (Lumbar Spine Extension)

  • Lie on your front
  • Push up with your arms and arch your back
  • Repeat five times, two times a day
  • Hold the last position for a 30 seconds

Rehabilitation and exercises are a really important part of treatment. We help to release tight structures (muscles, joints) then it is important for you to do some exercises to strengthen your core and glutes muscles – please see our exercises demonstrated on our You Tube channel.

It is important to make sure you have good core stability muscles to support your back and pelvis. The exercises below will teach you how to activate and strengthen your core stability muscles

Half Plank

  • Hold a straight back position, with your knees down, so you are supported on your elbows and knees
  • Tighten the lower abdominals and maintain a straight body line through knees, hips and head
  • Hold for 30 seconds, extending the time as you get stronger up to 2 minutes, repeat twice, once a day
  • You should feel your tummy muscles working, if you are feeling your back pain then please do not do this until you are stronger.


This exercise helps strengthen core stability muscles and improves balance.

  • Kneel on the floor and place your hands below your shoulders and knees below your hips
  • Extend right leg back and the left arm forward
  • Maintain a straight body line through extended leg, body and extended arm. Keep your pelvis level
  • Repeat with opposite limbs
  • Hold for 10 seconds, repeat 10 times on each side, 2 times a day

If you want some more guidance about how to do these exercises and future self help exercises then please visit and subscribe to our FREE You Tube channel.

If you play bowls or tenpin bowling and your back discomfort is stopping you from enjoying your game or limiting your performance, or you want to learn ways to strengthen your core muscles to reduce your lower back pain then please get in contact with us via, 07835 712306 or book online as we can help you to ease your lower back pain today.

We can treat you within our Havant and Rowlands Castle clinics which are local to Emsworth, Waterlooville, Horndean, Cowplain, Clanfield, Hayling Island, Langston, Compton, Finchdean, Chichester, Denmead and Petersfield or we offer home visits too.

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