The best and worst exercises for back pain

One of the best treatments for lower back pain is exercise. The right type of lower back exercises can give you relief, when the wrong ones can do more harm than good. There are many safe physical activities to do that will relieve your lower back pain. In spite of the fact, there are still some exercises you should NOT do! Here, Dr. Matthew Hepler – our spine surgeon in Palm Beach County advises which exercises to avoid if you have back pain, and which to do instead. 

  • Avoid: Crunches and sit-ups 

Crunches and sit-ups put pressure on your spine discs which can cause injury by increasing your lower back pain. 

Do instead: Partial Crunches

which build strength in both your lower back and core, and also can relieve your pain. 

  • Avoid: Touching your toes while standing with legs straight

Toe touches can worsen sciatica and other conditions by overstressing ligaments and spinal discs.

Do instead: Knee-to-chest stretches or hamstring stretches. 

To perform knee-to-chest lie on your back on the floor and bend your knees. Then bring one knee into your hands and gently pull your knee toward your chest. Hold for a while and then lower your bent leg.

  • Avoid: Heavy lifting above the waist

Lifting heavy weight not only adds pressure to your spine, but can also lead to back injuries and more back pain.

Do instead: Press-up back extensions.  

It is another treatment for back pain symptoms. How to do it? While lying on your stomach, press your elbows into the ground. Your hands should be placed directly underneath your shoulder. Then push your upper body toward the ceiling. Spend around 30 seconds holding this position. 

press up back extension 1024x556 - The best and worst exercises for back painSource: How to Properly Perform Press Up Back Extensions Video 

  • Avoid: Leg lifts.

This exercise helps strengthen abdominal muscles, but only if you DON’T experience back pain. Otherwise, you should avoid this exercise as it can worsen back pain, and even cause injury.

Do instead: Wall Sits

Wall-sits is a very good exercise for your back pain as it doesn’t put stress to your lower back. 

wall sit exercise  1024x1024 - The best and worst exercises for back pain                                                    Source: How to do a perfect wall sit 

  • Avoid: High-impact activities. 

What are the high-impact work-outs? It can be running, jumping jacks or high-impact aerobics (e.g.Crossfit). They can put too much pressure on your disc and cause more pain and even injury.

Do instead: Walking, swimming or yoga

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As you already know, you can benefit from stretching and exercising and what’s more, relieve your back pain. However, always keep in mind, that even simple at-home strengthening and stretching exercises must be done properly! Otherwise, you can harm yourself and worsen your back pain. If you have any questions about the kind of exercises you should do for your back pain or whether you need medical attention, visit a spine specialist.

signs you need back surgery spine surgeon fort lauderdale 1024x389 - The best and worst exercises for back pain

Learn more about Dr. Matthew Hepler – Spine Surgeon Boynton Beach

Don’t let chronic back, or neck pain take over your life. If you are suffering from constant discomfort in your neck or back, our orthopedic spine specialist is ready to help. Dr. Hepler is an adult and pediatric spine surgeon in Boynton Beach, including Fort Lauderdale, and Delray Beach. 

He treats all conditions of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine, and also provides spinal stenosis treatments. Additionally, he offers non-operative treatment options, such as pain medications, steroid injections, and physical therapy. But, he also offers operative treatments, including both minimally invasive techniques and complex reconstructions. If you would like to learn more about our orthopedic spine surgeon, please Contact Us. 

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.