Exercise for Lower Back Pain: Tips Before You Start


Low back pain is common but often nothing serious. You may feel like resting until the pain subsides, but staying active is actually good for your back.

A study showed that exercise is effective in preventing and treating low back pain. It helps by keeping you from gaining weight and improving your strength and flexibility.

If you belong to the 80% of adults with low back pain, there are several stretches and back exercises you can perform to help relieve your low back pain. You can try hamstring stretches, partial crunches, and aerobic exercises. 

But before starting on any exercise for lower back pain, here are some tips for you. 

1. Set a limit for your rest.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), resting in bed for more than a day or two will only worsen your back pain. When your back pain is fresh, and you want to recover from the pain quickly, doing simple physical activities can help, such as walking at a moderate pace.

2. Be sure exercise is right for you.

If your back pain is acute, don’t exercise. Acute back pain exists for six weeks or more. Patients who suffer from acute back pain due to injuries may require hospitalization. Whether you exercise or not, it won’t speed up your recovery. Even worse, it can cause further damage to your back.

3.Begin with stretching.
Do a warm-up, so you don’t stress your spine even more. The right stretches can ease your low back spasms. They can also improve your flexibility and reduce your muscle and joint tightness. You can do back-pocket stretch or press-ups in the morning or evening. 

4. Choose low-impact exercises.

Don’t proceed straight into a vigorous workout if you complain of low back pain. Mild exercises such as swimming, yoga, or walking is a good idea. Low-level cardio exercises can also help. This boosts your blood circulation and prevents back problems from worsening. Avoid high-impact activities such as basketball, jumping, or running as they put stress on your joints.

5. Avoid twisting exercises.

Twisting is a movement that can contribute to the injury of the lumbar spine (low back). If low back pain is your problem, we do not recommend activities such as tennis, golf, and other sports that require twisting. 

6.Stop the workout if it hurts.
If bending backward causes intense pain in your back, then discontinue it. Forcing yourself to do a painful position can damage your tissue and worsen your low back pain. The best option is to focus on stabilization exercises like planks if your present workout hurts.

7.Don’t do overhead weightlifting.
Overhead weightlifting and shoulder presses can stress the structure of the spine. Therefore, you should never try it if you have back pain. Lifting weights overhead adds pressure to your spinal discs. Also, scrap weighted squats or any exercise in which a weights rests on your shoulders.

8.Avoid lifting heavy objects.
Stop pursuing activities that can bring pain during or after a movement. For example, bending forward in an awkward position or lifting heavy objects. If you lift weights, apply the correct form and only carry weights you can manage.

9.Try water-based.
Water aerobics and other aquatic exercises can improve chronic low back pain, according to a study. Swimming can help reduce back pain as it is a non-impact aerobic exercise that does not put stress on the spine.

10.Resolve the root cause of your low back pain.
Most cases of low back pain are rarely serious, and they often heal on their own after a couple of days or weeks. However, if your low back pain persists longer than six weeks, don’t ignore the pain. Stop any exercise for lower back pain you have as it can intensify the issues even more. Consult a doctor or an upper cervical chiropractor. Once you resolve the underlying issue of your back pain, you will get long-term relief. 

What to Do if Your Low Back Pain Still Persists

If a low-impact exercise program doesn’t alleviate the back pain you are feeling, it’s likely your case is more than an issue of muscle strain or poor posture. One possible source of chronic low back pain is a misalignment of the atlas vertebra in the neck (upper cervical spine).

The atlas carries the weight of the head and allows the movement of the head in various directions. When the atlas fails to support the weight of the head well, it can move out of its proper alignment. As a result, it causes muscle strain and increased pressure on the spinal joints, discs, and nerves. Low back pain is an unpleasant outcome. 

If you suspect your low back pain is due to an atlas misalignment, we urge you to get upper cervical chiropractic care. It uses x-rays and measurements to pinpoint and correct atlas misalignments naturally.

When to See an Upper Cervical Chiropractor for Back Pain

If you look in the mirror and notice one or all these in your body, you are a perfect candidate for upper cervical chiropractic therapy. 

  • Uneven shoulders
  • Tilted head either on the right or left
  • One hip higher than the other

Upper cervical chiropractors address the very root cause of low back pain, instead of just chasing around symptoms. What’s unique about upper cervical chiropractic care is that it repairs damaged tissues, return the health of the spine, and restore the function of the central nervous system as a whole.

Find An Upper Cervical Doctor in Your Areato schedule a consultation today.

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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.