Exercising with Back Pain

The right exercises can help strengthen your back and relieve back pain. However, the wrong exercises can exacerbate the situation and make your back pain worse.

That is why knowing the exercises that can help you—and which exercises to avoid—is absolutely crucial when you are suffering from back pain. Your doctor can recommend custom-tailored exercises based on your diagnosis and pain levels.

Exercise and Pain

As you begin exercising while dealing with back pain, expect some discomfort at the beginning. However, if the pain becomes severe and lasts for more than 15 minutes, it is best to stop performing that particular exercise, even if it supposedly beneficial for your back.

Exercises and Equipment to Avoid

Some exercises and equipment should generally be avoided while you have back pain. Ask your doctor if it safe to start any of these exercises once your back pain resolves:

  • Leg lifts: Lifting both legs can strain your abdominal muscles
  • Sit-ups: this exercise puts too much pressure on spinal discs
  • Toe touches: these exercises can stress spinal disks and ligaments, as well as your lower back muscles
  • Jogging or running: there is a pounding associated with jogging or running that is not good for your lower back
  • Treadmill: the stress on your hamstrings from the treadmill’s inclination can make back pain worse

What are the Recommended Exercises?

There are many exercises that can strengthen your back and core muscles, helping to alleviate back pain as your muscles grow stronger.

Partial Crunch

Using a mat, lie down with knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands beneath your neck. Tighten your stomach muscles, then raise the shoulders up. Hold the position for a moment, then gently let yourself back down. Aim to repeat the exercise eight to twelve times at each session.

Knee to Chest

Lie down with knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Keep one foot on the floor while bringing the opposite knee to your chest. Hold for up to 30 seconds. Repeat with the other leg, and perform the exercise two to four times on each side.

Weight Lifting

Lifting weights may help chronic back pain, but this type of exercise is not recommended for those suffering from acute, or sudden, back pain.

Aerobic Exercise and Hot Yoga

Swimming, walking, and riding a bicycle are all examples of aerobic exercise, and all may help relieve back pain. Just remember to not overdo it and build up your exercise tolerance. Any type of yoga is good for back pain, but hot yoga, held in heated classes, allows tight back muscles to loosen more readily. Always drink plenty of liquids when participating in hot yoga. If you or a loved one suffer from back pain, do not hesitate to contact one of the back pain doctors in our office today and arrange a consultation.