Back pain can make exercising difficult. Actually, back pain can make anything difficult, such as sleeping or sitting at your desk or carrying your kids around. If you have chronic back pain or are overcoming a back injury, it's still important for you to get exercise while recovering from and dealing with back pain. However, if you try the wrong kinds of exercises, it's possible to make your back problems worse! In general, avoid high-impact exercises or exercises that will put pressure on the back, lifting too much weight on machines or free weights, and any exercise that will twist or overstretch the back, core and leg muscles. Here are some specific exercises you should avoid if you suffer from back pain.
Leg Lifts and Toe Touches: Doing this exercise either laying down or standing up, toe touches will cause your back pain to flare up. Bending at the waist for this exercise will put strain on the disks, ligaments, and muscles in your spine. You also run the risk of overstretching your back and hamstring muscles.
Sit-ups: Most people use their hip flexors in this exercise instead of their abdominal muscles. Therefore, sit-ups won't help strengthen your core. The additional stress to your back and neck if performed incorrectly puts you at risk for more pain or making an existing injury worse. The same goes for crunches. Unless the exercise can be performed properly, avoid it and your back will thank you.
Torso Twists: Any movement requiring twisting of the back is bad news for back pain. Biomechanics dictate that the spine isn't meant to twist severely from one side to the other. Any twisting movement will easily upset any disks, muscles, ligaments, or tendons that are already enflamed.
>> Read more: Exercises to Strengthen Your Spine
Deadlift: Deadlifts are known for being a back-strengthening exercise, but it's best to avoid them if you are experiencing back pain or injury. This exercise puts too much stress on the lower back and can easily exacerbate and injury.
Squat: Squats using machines or barbells are especially bad for your back if you're already experiencing back pain. The pressure of machines or weight adds stress to compressed disks. Even when performing body weight squats, it is very easy to use bad form and let your back curve. Avoid squats to keep back pain from flaring up.
As always, consult your doctor before doing any exercises while injured or experiencing pain. Try these 6 yoga exercises for neck and pack pain.