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Exercising with Lower Back Pain

Increase Strength & Flexibility to Decrease Pain


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  • To everyone who commented who has/had herniated discs or other health issues.

    I suffered with herniated discs in my lower back, this was chronic and I almost had to go to surgery to get it fixed. However, by starting off small with gentle light exercise, walking and the type recommended in this article I managed to loose the subsequent weight I had put on as a result of the injury and eventually my back also healed as a result. I was quite young when I suffered with ths (only 21), and shortly after developed gallstones which resulted in surgery to remove my gall bladder, leading to more convalescence.

    I can't stress enough how important exercise has been to my mobility and back pain levels. I have a myriad of health problems (take a look at my sparkpage it's all too long for a message board lol). Sometimes these conditions make it more of a challenge for me to exercise but believe me I almost ALWAYS manage to do something. The minute you start letting go of it all (which I know can be tempting when you're in chronic pain) it only makes things a million times worse. Don't use your health problems as an excuse (no offence intended to anyone this comment is directed at my pre sparkpeople self). Use them as a REASON, you have to exercise because your body needs to in order to become well again. I don't mean go out and start running marathons, start off with what you can manage, even if that is just a walk to the end of the road and back and a few simple stretches. That walk to the end of the road and backand wee stretch could make all the difference.
  • I have two bad knees and I have had neck surgery in march of 09. My knees have to be replaced this year due to severe arthritis. Does anyone have any suggestions for exercising so that I don't damage my knees anymore than they are? My Dr. doesn't want me walking anymore than necessary. I will be better in a few months but want to get some weight off before the first surgery in May.
  • I have a lower back injury & did many of these exercises in physical therapy. I've become lax & my back is returning. This is a good motivator for me to start up again!
  • I have a herniated disk in my lower back and am very careful what I do. I do a few of these but most cause pain so will stick with my walking. I only do what was give to me in therapy. Is a good article though.
  • NJ_HOU
    About 3 months ago i had knee arthroscopic surgery on one knee that was hurting terribly. Now my other knee hurts but it has only one torn meniscus. Can you do all these exercises without injury to the other leg? I have hired a trainer at my work's rec center who is a pt person. Mostly i've been exercising by doing the stretches I got from my 2 months of PT and swimming for about an hour.
  • I have chronic low back pain as the result of surgery (double laminectomy). I damaged the sciatic nerve and now also wear a leg brace. My neurologist said I could do any exercise but crunches... which seem to be the only exercise ever recommended for working the abdominal!
  • what a blessing this article is. I have been hesitant to start exercising again after being diagnosed with three herniated disks in my lower back. I have healed but have been hesitant to do any type of exercise other than walking. I am going to start these tonight!
    I've had lower back pain since I was a teenager and hurt my back in a swimming pool. Through yoga and strength training, the pain is getting better. I also think relaxation techniques will be helpful.
  • Thanks for the exercise tips.
  • All my life I've had issues with my back-never anything that was could be diagnosed-just enough that I always have had to be aware of it. Some exercises to strengthen the back were not hard for me to do when I was in shape but a couple of days later, I could hardly move. I'll try these exercises hoping that they will help me to keep active. So often i've started an exercise program and then something goes wrong and I can hardly walk for a couple of weeks. I think I've finally accepted that this is the way it is and I'll just do the best I can.
  • I tried the exercises and they were great! I was sore afterward but after sitting on my heating pad for a bit the pain eased and I felt pretty good the rest of the day and even today. I now have hope of living a more normal life! My question is this: How often can these be done? Since they are core exercises can I do them daily?
  • Thanks,
    I have osteoarthritis in my lower back. Some say exercise doesn't help. I've gone to therapy when it seemed to make it worse. These strengthening ones should elevate some pain. I've done some of them before, but haveing them in one place helps. I'm going to do them right now.
  • I used to have a lot of back pians, mainly because I have a sitting job. I started exercises to strenghten my muscles, and no the pain is a lot better. Most days it isn't even there anymore! You just have to start out slowly, not going overboard. Maybe going to a manual therapist in the beginning to losen the muscles in your back. And then gradually, when your musles are getting stronger, the pain in your back will get less, making life more comfortable.
  • Thanks for a great article! I'm a chronic lower back pain sufferer and I do know that exercise helps. Now I'm armed to deal with it effectively.
  • Wow was I excited to see this article! I've suffered from low back/hip pain for 3 years and nothing seems to be working. I know I need to strengthen my core but even slow walking makes it worse. I've been trying simple back excercises and stretches but not always sure what to try and what to avoid. Everything I do hurts so I will just have to trust that these will work with consistency. I'm glad to see others with pain issues here, I feel guilty and depressed for not excercising like I want. I'd like to see more articles like this one! I also suffer from foot deformity so my mobility is limited.

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