6 Do’s and Don’ts of Exercising with Lower-Back Pain

A woman performing sit-up exercisesWhen it comes to exercising with lower back pain, it is so important to be careful. Lower back pain can be caused by a huge number of things, so it is important to narrow down what is causing your back pain and then learn how you can improve it.

Some common causes of lower back pain include a strained muscle or ligament, a herniated disk, back arthritis, stenosis, and osteoporosis. Some patients may ask, “Should you exercise with lower back pain at all?” In most cases, the answer is yes, but it helps to be cautious.

Lower back pain doesn’t mean that you can’t exercise, but it does mean that you need to be more careful when doing so. In the guide to lower back pain below, we’ll run through some important dos and don’ts of safely exercising with lower back pain symptoms. 

Do Exercises That Decrease Lower Back Pain 

It is important that you do exercises that are specifically created to target and decrease the pain that you are feeling in your lower back. Going to your physical therapist will help you to better understand what lower back pain exercises are best for you, and it will also give you the opportunity to practice these different exercises.

Your physical therapist may even be able to provide other helpful tips, such as beneficial sleep positions for lower back pain. By implementing your physical therapist’s recommendations into your routine, multiple times each week, you can help strengthen your back and greatly reduce pain.

Don’t Push Through The Pain

You may have heard the term “no pain, no gain” in the past, but this definitely isn’t accurate when it comes to exercising with lower back pain. If you are doing an exercise and you feel pain in your lower back, it is so important that you stop what you are doing and evaluate what is causing you pain.

Make sure your core is braced to protect your lower back during each movement, and if you still feel pain, then stop the exercise and move on to a different one.

Do Take Rest Days 

A very important but often overlooked aspect of exercising is incorporating rest days. It is crucial that you exercise and strengthen your lower back on certain days and then let it rest on others. This gives your muscles time to repair themselves and allows you to make your lower back stronger without causing more damage or injuring it further.

A physical therapist helping a patient perform stretches to reduce lower back pain

Don’t Forget To Stretch 

After you are done performing exercises to strengthen your lower back, it is important that you don’t forget to stretch. This is just as important as the exercises that you are doing and is likely something that is included in your back physical therapy treatment plan.

These stretches can help to decrease tension and pain in your lower back and will allow for faster recovery after your strength training and mobility exercises. 

Do Use Ice And Heat For Recovery 

When it comes to tools that you can use to aid in your recovery, ice and heat are great choices. Generally speaking, using an ice pack and a heating pad is a great idea. You can rotate between the two, which will help your muscles to contract and expand when necessary and allows them to recover properly.

Don’t Lift With Your Back

Whether you are lifting a weight, a child, or your groceries, it is very important that you don’t lift with your back.

Instead, you want to brace your core and make sure that you are using your legs to lift whatever it is that you are holding onto. This helps to protect your lower back from further injury and allows you to still do the daily functions that you desire, both during exercise and in everyday life. 

Following these tips can go a long way in helping you strengthen your back, increase your back flexibility, and reduce your overall back pain. If you have any questions about the Dos and Don’ts of exercising with lower back pain symptoms, give us a call at 570-208-2787.