Member Comments for the Article:

Exercising with Lower Back Pain

Increase Strength & Flexibility to Decrease Pain

131 Comments



  • Good article. I have scoliosis and had two C-sections. I deal with constant lower back pain and cannot do many types of exercises. I will ask my doctor and chiropractor about doing these exercises. Thank you! - 5/18/2008 4:14:49 PM
  • I enjoyed reading this article and will ask for my healthcare providers advice before proceeding with these exercises. I have 2 torn discs, L4-L5 and L5-S1. I am waiting for surgery but have to lose weight first. I don't know if I am capable of doing these exercises or not. Thank you though, it is very informative. - 5/18/2008 3:21:49 PM
  • Excellent article. I have a herniated disk which had me bed bound for 2 months - I could barely walk without someone physically assisting me. I saw a chirorpractor who began me on low rep floor exercies for my core and upper back exercies on the wall. That was eight months ago. In February I began seeing a PT as well as my chiropractor on a weekly basis, they both concentrated on exercising my core, manipulating and massage. With their assistance and my almost daily core exercises I am now able to walk at least 4 times a week! It is not all plain sailing as some days I am bed bound and yes I get caught out with the pain at the oddest of times but my point is that depending on the problem, it is possible to maintain a healthy lifestyle in spite of back problems. Fear is what can inhibit us from 'testing' our limitations but provided you have medical consultation I would encourage exercise accordingly. - 5/18/2008 2:56:37 PM
  • REMODELME
    Water therapy is the best and most painfree option people with back problems can try. I have been working on myself at a special gym where they hold easier classes for arthritis, fibromyalgia, maternity and accident victims for 5 years now and am at least 10 times stronger and as limber as a child. Although I am not pain free and still take meds, especially in order to keep active, the important factor according to my physician is the activity. I lock up when I must miss. Just to keep us all honest, I will mention my problems. I crushed my second lumbar vertebrae and have a three level spinal fusion. I need to have a three level fusion on my neck and have blow the disc. between 6 and 7. I have received many cortisone treatments and nerve blocks on my lower 4/5 and think I just blew that disc. I have severe osteoarthritis and was losing my right leg and had become pre diabetic before I began swimming. I have Restless Leg Syndrome and nerve conduction problems from surgeries and a minor spinal deformity. I have shrunk 2.5 inches th 4ft 11in. I can't eat more than 1000 cal a day without gaining weight. Guess what, if you saw me you would think I was absolutely normal, except when I get tired I lean forward a little! I should lose 20 lbs. I will be 57 July 29th. Don't quit people. If all you do is go to a gym or public pool and walk in the water it will help you. That is how I started. Now I swim 20 laps and do gentle water aerobics. It could save your life and will give you hope. - 5/18/2008 1:33:03 PM
  • VERY GOOD TOPIC. BUT I HAVE HERNIATED BULDEING DISKS AND ARTHERITIS AND I AM IN CONSTANT BAD PAIN THAT HAS TOTALY CHANGED MY LIFE FOR WORSE. I AM BECOMING HOME BOUND DUE TO PAIN AND STIFFNESS. CAN'T TAKE PAIN PILLS ALLERGIC TO ABOUT EVERY THING. MY HAVE TO HAVE EPIDERAL S AND SURE DON'T LIKE THAT IDEA NEXT THING THEY SAY IS SURGERY. I'VE AD ENOUGH OF THOSE ELSE WHERE. DR. SAID MAYBE THERAPTY. BUT THE THERAPIST DIDN'T BELIEVE THE OTHER DR'S SAYING I HAVE HERNIATED BULDGEING DISKS EVEN THO THE XRAYS AND MRI SHOWES IT.. I HAVE HAD THIS SINCE I WAS IN MY LATE 20'S AND IN LAST FEW YRS IT HAS BECAME SEVERE. GAINED 100 LBS AND HAVE A LARGE ABODMAN IN WHICH I NEER HAD ONE. ALL WT GAIN STARTED IN 2000. AFTER I WAS DIGNOISED WITH DIABETES. I'M SCARED OF EXERCISE AS I DAILY LIVE WITH SEVERE PAIN. WISHS AND BLESSINGS TO ALL - 5/18/2008 12:28:22 PM
  • Hey, I know it's hard not to jump on the band wagon when one has severe back issues. (If you could see me now, I would be raising my hand). I am always trying to find articles about what to do when you can't do the usual due to possibly amplifying existing problem(s) and it is a real tough decision to be positive when it's as tough as it is to live with chronic issues. My point in posting is that if you're really serious about getting some increase in your fitness level, I highly recommend exercising in water, first under the close supervision of a therapist whom you trust and knows the extent of your limitations, then on your own once you have a routine. That's what I think if anyone is interested. *peace* Rebecca - 5/18/2008 11:02:34 AM
  • This article was very good, it didn't claim to stop back pain, but how to improve your ab muscles to support your back. I am guilty of having the WORST ab muscles ever. Between several surgeries, 5 huge baby pregnancies in my 20'''s and 30's, I have never had a flat tummy. My back pain lives with me each day, from a fusion, to another two disintigrating discs, arthritis in the spine, polymyalgia rheumatica and nerve damage. I do most of these exercises anyway, but will add the ones you do on your stomach and standing at a chair. The sliding on the wall not only helps to strengthen your core muscles, it really feels good! Good luck to all. - 5/18/2008 10:57:13 AM
  • CSONIA
    Great Topic... I suffer from Sciatica Nerve Damage and Degenerating Disc.. I do agree with everyone in here if what I have read. You need to lose your weight and when possible work out (VERY SLOWLY) and to start off the best thing is (WALKING) and then move your way up.. Also talk to your doctor..

    I started off in bed and I can now do alot of ab workouts and much more,but I am still on medications and there are times that my back loves to remined me that its still there and it will kick in at the oddest times,lol..... As I am walking to buy pears my back kicks in and I cant walk an inch..lol...(HELP)lol....Has this happen to anyone??

    - 5/18/2008 9:41:04 AM
  • For most, lower back pain is decreased by exercise. The problem is fear.. We get fearful that we will make it worse or reinjure the back. A strong core and less weight will make most back pain decrease or go away entirely. There are some exceptions.
    But your doctor is the best to approve a exercise program. Most doctors will not recommend weighing a lot and being a couch potatoe.. So check with your doctor, then go for whatever exercise programs fits you!!! You can do it... I am living proof..
    Glad to be able to live without pain. God has Blessed me.. Katielane - 5/18/2008 7:34:07 AM
  • did the back strengthening excercises ans was quite happy with thw results; i had no back pain. - 5/8/2008 8:41:32 AM
  • I started my weight loss journey mostly because of this issue- the severe back pain. While I know that my pain is caused by a disease and will never be completely gone- I also know that carrying this extra weight and putting the extra stress on my body- especially my back- is not helping matters. I started 3 years ago and had lost over 75 lbs and my back was feeling so much better. But after being put on a medicine known for it's weight gain side effects I have gained a good portion of that back about 30 pounds. Even though it's only half the amount I originally lost my back has gotten twice if not three times as bad as it was. Anyone with back pain who is over weight should definitely work these (or some doctor approved version of them) into their weight loss journey. - 5/5/2008 1:48:48 PM
  • These exercises are almost the same ones that were recommended to my sister after knee replacement. I do agree with the poster that getting on the floor is not always an option. Most can be done on a firm bed or a physical therapist can give you another way to get the same benefit.

    I would like to read more on which gym exercises are safe to do. I went to a women's gym where they told me that there equipment would do no harm to knees or back, but now I have a subluxating patella (dislocating kneecap) and sciatica. PLEASE do not trust a gym instructor to give you advice if you have pain. Most are not certified and not qualified to give you the proper form on machines. Most of the instruction on back and knee exercises do not involve machines. - 5/4/2008 5:17:30 PM
  • Yes...after reading the last post. It probably does depends on What your back problem is, but mine was osteo arthritis in my lower back. It really gave me problems. locking up when i stand,... couldn't bend over well...really slowing me down. Very painful.....THEN...i started working my core and I have had NO back problems since. So I am an advocate of excercise and strength training to help back pain. Mine is gone. I started out slowly at the gym, doing back and stomach machines, then i started taking a kick boxing class and I loved it. Now I am back pain free. I never thought it was possible. :) - 5/3/2008 9:53:14 AM
  • Very good article, I think. I'd like to see some addition about stretching exercises and their effects. To my knowledge daily stretching can lengthen the spinal discs and prevent/lessen pains caused by too thin spinal discs, but I'm an amateur and I'd like to read some professional information about that here on sparkpeople.

    I'm a bit surprised that there are so many comments along the lines of "fashionable explanation" and "I'm not allowed to do this because...". The article stated that the exercises are supposed to help if back pain is caused by weak core muscles, and that medical advice should be asked. - 5/2/2008 3:41:21 PM
  • I broke my back (90 percent dislocation) in a car accident when I was 21. Surgery has corrected the worst of the problems, but my back is still crooked (kyphosis and scoliolis). I have had back pain all my life. A couple of years ago it got so bad that I couldn't feel my right leg. It was because I let myself get out of shape. Because of the crooked spine, it is more important than ever that I exercise, and physical therapists over the years have taught me core strengthening exercises, very similar to those in this article. They work for me. I still take pain medicine, but not nearly as much as I used to. I'm never pain free, but my pain is manageable, and I have all the feeling in my leg!

    If you are not sure, see your doctor. But most people can benefit from these exercises. I do my situps differently. I put both fists on my chin and look straight up at the ceiling as I raise my shoulders off the ground. That protects my neck! - 5/2/2008 8:58:32 AM

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