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Appropriate Exercises for Lower Back Pain

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Appropriate Exercises for Lower Back Pain

  • Dr. Charla Fischer
  • Feb 05, 2019

Is nagging lower back pain making it difficult to go about your normal activities? The natural response might be to do less, but the opposite is actually a better approach. Movement can relax muscles and increase blood flow, ultimately promoting pain relief. The wrong exercises may cause more harm than good, but performing the correct exercises can provide relief. Here are some tips that NYC Spine Surgeon Dr. Fischer suggests to improve your lower back pain and help get you on the road to recovery.

Get moving
Laying in bed for more than a day or so can make your lower back pain worse, not better. Simple activities like walking for just 15 minutes twice daily will help promote recovery.

Stretch it out
Perform stretches approved for the back in the morning and evening. One of these is lying on your stomach with your hands on the floor as if beginning a pushup, and raising your upper body while keeping your hips on the ground. Another is standing with both hands where your back pockets might be, and looking up while arching your back. Exercises like these can reduce lower back spasms. Dr. Fischer can suggest more stretches that are safe for your back.

Stand straight
Back pain can be linked to slumping or slouching when you stand or sit, because lower back muscles tend to tighten in this position. Instead, practice good posture by standing or sitting up straight with your head, shoulders, hips, knees and feet aligned properly. Also consider wearing shoes with shorter heels to improve the body’s alignment.

Warm up
Avoid placing sudden pressure on your spine by performing movements without warming up first. Simple stretches and low-level cardio movements like walking for 5 to 10 minutes prior to exercising gets your blood circulating and helps prevent injuries and back pain. If you have lower back pain, avoid high-impact activities like running or jumping until your pain subsides.

Lift correctly
Use proper form when lifting objects or weights, and make sure you only lift weights that your body can handle. When you have back pain, avoid overhead movements such as shoulder presses which tend to put pressure on the spine. Also avoid exercises with a weight resting on your shoulders like weighted squats.

Consider getting wet
Exercising in the water is a great solution for lower back pain. Swimming, water aerobics and other pool exercises allow you to be active without placing too much pressure on your spine.

Pay attention to your body
If a movement hurts, stop doing it. Don’t ignore the pain and continue doing an exercise, because you might cause further damage. You might stick with stabilization exercises like planks. Examine the type of activities you are doing and avoid those that reinforce movements that might have caused you to develop lower back pain. If your symptoms don’t improve, see Dr. Fischer if you live in the New York City area for help.

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