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Exercising with Lower Back Pain

Increase Strength & Flexibility to Decrease Pain


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  • 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
    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 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
    Seems to be fashionable right now to dismiss back pain as a lack of core strength. Maybe it is for some people, but not for everybody. Probably seems like a very simple problem for those who don't have to live with it every day. Core exercises are great, but don't expect a "cure" for chronic backache. I can't even get a diagnosis for mine. If I get told to do these exercises one more time by a medical "professional" who doesn't know or care what's wrong with me, I'll scream! - 5/2/2008 8:09:09 AM
  • I have lower back pain, b/c I have a deformed backbone and did not know about it until I had to get it checked by a specialist about 5 yrs ago. I knew about the pain and the other I did not know. I can not sit straight up, so it looks like I'm slouching all the time. I had tried sit straight, but it hurts too much. - 5/1/2008 10:10:44 PM
  • I have had a lot of back pain in the last year - I've had to visit the chiropractor as an emergency more than once. In February I bought an iGallop after consulting with the chiro and it has been incredibly good at relaxing my lower back spasms and has also improved my posture amazingly - and in six weeks I lost an inch from my waist even though I didn't lose weight during that time. Provided you don't have physical damage (disc luxation, torn ligaments, arthritis, etc) I'd recommend it. But yes, talk to your health professional first if in doubt. - 5/1/2008 7:33:52 PM
  • I expect that for every 100 people who suffer from lower back pain there are less than 10 for whom there's a medical issue that would preclude these exercises. For those 10, they should consult with a doctor or even better, a physical therapist. For the vast majority of people with this problem, these exercises will help fix the issue. I had a lot of back problems when I weighed 359. At 250 and after lots of exercise to drop that weight I don't have the back issues anymore. I agree that it's important to be intentional about strengthening your core and lower back muscles so that the back is properly supported muscularly. Blessings - William - 5/1/2008 7:18:06 PM
  • Anyone who has serious low back problems, i.e. degenerating discs, arthritis in the spine, bulging discs, etc., should NEVER embark on an exercise program without first checking with the doctor who is taking care of the back problem. Some back exercises can actually make the problem with the back much worse.

    I had an injury to my low back in August 1980, and I've put up with worsening back problems since that time. There are many exercises I have been told NOT to do because I run the risk of reinjuring the area. - 5/1/2008 6:00:19 PM

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