How to exercise with back pain
Updated: Apr 25
Whether you have a back injury or you’re looking to overcome back pain, effective exercise is possible
Back pain can be debilitating. Unlike an extremity, the back is in the centre of the body, and an injury or strain in the back can wreak havoc on mobility and wellbeing.
Thankfully, an expert physiotherapist will be able to help you with exercising for, and around, back pain. In this article, we’ll provide information on:
Exercises that you can still do safely while experiencing back pain
Exercises to help recover from and reduce back pain
Exercises to strengthen your back so that you’re less likely to suffer from back pain in the future
Experiencing back pain? Our team of physios will diagnose the problem and help you with targeted and specialised exercises. Find out more about Align Health Collective, and start your recovery today.
Can I exercise with lower back pain?
When they sustain an injury, many people simply stop exercising. This can lead to long-term immobility and weight gain. In bad, though not uncommon cases, this can even compound the injury and delay recovery times.
Thankfully, there are ways to continue exercising while you suffer from back pain. The exact kind of exercise will differ depending on the cause of your pain; you may be able to do certain stretches or low-impact cardiovascular exercises like walking or swimming. Doing the wrong kind of exercise may prolong or even exacerbate the back pain you’re experiencing.
To find the right exercises for your specific back pain — for example, how to exercise with lower back pain — get in contact with a qualified physio and have them tell you how to exercise with back pain in a way that is unique to your situation.
How to exercise for back pain avoidance
There are many exercises you can do to avoid and prevent back pain. This can involve strengthening and extending the back with exercises like:
Knee to chest stretches
Lying lateral leg lifts
You can also prevent back pain by working out other areas of the body, such as the legs and hamstrings, and abdominal muscles. Because the back is so central to our health and mobility, good general health and flexibility are important for keeping back pain at bay.
Exercises you can do at home to strengthen your back
You don’t need a gym membership or fancy equipment to make your back stronger. Here are a few simple exercises that can strengthen your back, with the assistance of weights, and without.
At home back workouts with weights
One of the most common dumbbell exercises for the back is the row. This involves pulling the dumbbell toward your ribs. There is a huge assortment of different ways to row your weights, like the bent-over row, underhand bent-over row, alternating row, renegade row, and more.
You’ll never run out of exciting ways to row your dumbbells — but if you do, you can still do pullovers for your lats, the farmer's carry, and many other kinds of at-home back workouts with weights that a physiotherapist can walk you through.
How to strengthen your back muscles without weights
So many stretches target the back, and if done regularly enough they can strengthen the back. Try yoga poses such as Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward dog) or Setu Bandhasana (the bridge pose) as these can both strengthen your back muscles without using weights.
A qualified physiotherapist can help you strengthen your back, overcome back pain, and continue exercising effectively while suffering from back pain. To find out more, read about the services we offer at Align Health Collective.