The Best & Worst Exercises For Your Back Injury

Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: May 23, 2022

Back Strengthening

One of the most common treatments that we recommend following a back injury is controlled exercise. This careful activity helps to promote circulation, decrease inflammation and strengthen and support the injured area. So you’re aware you need to keep moving if you want to help regain the most physical function after a back injury, but what types of exercise should you be pursuing? We take a look at some of the best and worst exercises you can do to help treat your back pain.

Best And Worst Back Pain Exercises

If you’re dealing with an injury, here’s a better idea of what exercises you may want to pursue and which ones you’ll want to avoid. As always, it’s in your best interest to get an individualized diagnosis from a specialist who can see your spine in person instead of relying on general advice on the internet, but here’s a look at why some exercises are better or worse than others if you are dealing with a back injury.

  • Avoid Running/Jogging – Don’t get us wrong, jogging and running are great exercise techniques for helping you stay in shape, but they may not be the best options after a back injury. Running and even jogging tends to be a rather high-impact activity, and that jarring impact can put repetitive stress on your spine. Look for some lower-impact exercises instead, like…
  • Swimming/Walking – These activities help to strengthen your spine and get healthy blood pumping throughout your body without overstressing your back with high impact activities. Swimming is especially beneficial because water’s natural resistance allows you to strengthen your body in ways that aren’t possible without bands or other equipment on land.
  • Avoid Sit Ups – A strong core is very important for the overall health of your spine, but you don’t want to try to improve your core through sit ups, especially if you have a back injury. Sit ups are very hard on your spine and can put excess pressure on your discs and the spinal column. This concentrated stress can overwhelm an injured area that wants to be protected as the body tries to address the injury.
  • Yoga/Tai Chi – Yoga and Tai Chi are much better options for targeting your core muscles without overloading the spine with strain like you might do with a sit up. These exercises involve maneuvering your body into specific positions and holding them to develop muscles, which strengthens structures in a less jarring manner. They can also help you expand your range of motion so that movements become more comfortable.
  • Avoid Doing Too Much Too Soon – Whatever exercise you’re considering for your back pain, it’s imperative that you ease into it and don’t overdo it. Too much targeted exercise can overstress an area and actually do more harm than good. You want to listen to your body and gradually work to improve your endurance or your activity levels, but don’t try to do too much too soon, even if they are ideal activities like swimming or yoga.
  • Pair Exercise With Other Healthy Habits – Finally, you can get the most out of your exercise routine by pairing it with some other healthy choices throughout the day. Work to improve your diet to help lose weight and ensure your injured structures can get the vitamins and nutrients they need to help heal. Also consider giving up smoking to improve blood circulation and making posture changes to avoid overstraining specific areas of your spine with static pressure. Exercise is just part of the equation!

To learn more about how you can use your exercise routine to help treat your spine pain, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today at (651) 430-3800.

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