Exercises to Avoid with Back Pain

Trying to find specific exercises to avoid with back pain is like trying to flip a coin. There are so many different muscle groups that affect the back, it is amazing.

Truthfully, there are no specific exercises that are good for the entire back. Most often, it’s better to avoid a lot of exercises when your back is in pain.

Don’t even begin to think about doing anything like Pilates or yoga with a bad back. Those are two types of exercises that will have to wait until the muscles in your back are close to being healthy again.

If you are going to do any type of exercise, you must have the advice of a doctor, and a licensed professional exercise therapist of some sort. Whether that therapist is a physical therapist, or a different therapist that the doctor sends you to, it doesn’t matter.

Now, you need to ensure that the doctor doesn’t give you a routine that he hands to everyone else. Your body is yours and not Fred Smith’s, or Joe Brown’s. You are an individual, and so is your back. It’s different than anyone else’s, so make sure that the exercise routines are customized to you.

Stay away from your regular workout routines quite often they are responsible for making the problems in your back worse. Sometimes, your doctor may tell you that your doctor may say that you were doing your workout wrong, and it is why your back is messed up now.

Looking for a specific list of exercises to avoid with back pain is next to impossible because of each individual’s needs. Stretching your hamstrings for example is a great thing to do when you are a healthy athlete.

However, you’ll want to skip that exercise if your back is curved due to your pelvis being pulled forward. Stretching the hamstrings will make things worse in this case and doing an exercise that will create the opposite effect.

Skip doing exercises such as touching your toes repeatedly particularly if you have lower back pain. Let the therapist that you work with give you instructions on how to bend over.

Exercises that involve bouncing up and doing repeatedly should also be avoided. Jump rope may be fun to do and great for your heart, but until your doctor clears you it for your back, skip it. The jarring that occurs when you go up and down is definitely not good on your lower back.

Skip doing things that are tumbling exercises of course, these are definitely exercises to avoid with back pain. Trying to curl your lower back will not help at all. Any exercise that you can think of that may jar your back boxing, tae kwon do, karate should all be reconsidered until your doctor gives you the thumbs up to start them again.

Ask your therapist about what the proper exercises are again, and then again as time goes on. Make sure that your routine is adapted as your back pain changes.

Filed Under: Back Pain
Written By:  Updated:
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Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS, MFT

Jesse is the co-founder and visionary CEO of The Healthy Back Institute®, the world-leading source of natural back pain solutions. His mission as a former back pain sufferer is to help others live pain free without surgery and pharmaceuticals.

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