Exercising with lower back pain
Lower back pain is one of the most common medical complaints in the world. Don’t let lower back pain get you down! A well-designed exercise programme can help speed recovery from low back pain, reduce pain levels, and possibly prevent re-injury.
- Talk with your physio before starting an exercise programme and ask if they have specific concerns about you doing exercise. Most people do very well with regular exercise.
- The goal of exercise training is to improve overall fitness (cardiovascular, muscle strength and endurance, flexibility, coordination and function) while minimising the stress to the lower back.
- Choose low-impact activities, such as walking, swimming, and cycling.
- Strong abdominals, back, and leg muscles are essential for helping you maintain good posture and body mechanics. Once the acute pain subsides, you can begin doing light strengthening-training exercises designed to help your posture.
- Yoga may help relieve or prevent lower back pain by increasing flexibility and reducing tension. Be careful, however, not to do any poses that could exacerbate your condition.
- Start slowly and gradually progress the intensity and duration of your workouts.
- Do low- to moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise for 20 to 60 minutes at least three to four days per week.
- Avoid high-impact activities such as running.
- Never exercise to the point of pain—if something hurts, don’t do it.