Having back pain doesn’t mean one should always lie in bed or stop walking. The more active you are, quickly you will heal. Back pain exercises help you in achieving both of these goals. But it should begin with a doctor’s recommendation as certain exercises can make the pain worse.
We’ve a list of bad and good exercises for back pain to help you understand what works better for you. If your pain is not too intense then you can also try these simple exercises to get relief.
Good Vs Bad Exercises For Back Pain
1. The Toe Touches Vs Partial Crunches
You must be thinking crunches will exaggerate the pain but a partial stomach crunch will make your muscles stronger. Even people with spondylosis can try partial crunches. On the other hand, toe touches will do more harm to your back. It put pressure on your spinal disc, ligaments and overstretches the hamstrings.
So, prefer partial crunches over toe touches. Here is how to do this exercise.
• Get down on the floor on your back
• Keep the knees bent and hands behind your head
• Slowly move your upper body towards the knees while breathing
• Stay in this position for one second and release the position
• Try this 8-12 times or stop when pain increases
2. Leg Lifts Vs Hamstring Stretches
Can’t lift up your legs because it hurts? Then you will think of avoiding both of these exercises. But hamstring stretches and leg lifts, both are useful as they strengthen abdominal muscles. To be on the safer side, avoid leg lifts as it require you lifting both the legs together. This will double your pain and may cause injury.
Hamstring stretches will relieve the pain, support the back, reduce injury, and improve flexibility and posture. Here is how to perform this exercise.
• Sit on a chair and keep both the foot forward
• Stretch one leg and bend forward. Put your hands on the other knee and hold the position for 30 second
• Pull back the knee and repeat the step with another leg
• Do this for 5 times
3. Running Vs Walking
Some people can’t even stand due to lower back pain but a short walk is recommended to keep your muscles active. However, running or jogging is not good for your back. It will put repetitive stress on your knees and spine.
Whereas, walking is a low-impact exercise that strengthens muscles that help you maintain the body’s balance. So, walk daily for 10-15 minutes at least to get rid of back pain.
4. Superman Vs Bird Dog
Superman back extension creates a lot of stress on the joints which adds more discomfort therefore it’s not highly recommended for people with back pain. Try bird-dog instead as it strengthens multiple parts of your body like hips and back muscles. For people with poor flexibility and posture, a bird dog is an extremely beneficial exercise.
Follow these steps to do bird dog:
• Get down on the knees and hand facing towards the floor
• Lift your left leg slowly without losing your balance
• Once you feel stable, lift your right hand and align them with your left leg
• Hold the pose for 10 seconds and release
• Repeat a few times
Note: If you can’t lift both legs and arms simultaneously then try with one at a time to keep your balance in control
5. Cat-Cow Stretch
One of the easiest exercises for back pain is a cat-cow stretch which gives you double advantage. It releases all the trapped tension in your muscles and boosts your flexibility.
Check the steps below to do this correctly
• Get in position as mentioned in previous back pain exercise
• Keep your head down and pull up your belly. Your body should be in an arch position
• Freeze in the position for a few seconds and gently release the pose
• Now, raise your head and push your belly down to make a falling curve
• Hold for a few seconds and release
• Do the cat-cow stretch for 15 times or as much as you can
All of these exercises for back pain will heal you gradually if you do with caution. If pain increases while doing any of these, then stop mid-way. Those with sciatica or other lower back issues should not try any back pain exercise without doctor’s advice and under supervision.