Working Out with Back Pain

Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a serious gym enthusiast, exercising with back pain can be a double-edged sword. While you may want to get back into your normal workout routine, your approach to regular workouts could be what’s actually causing or aggravating your back pain. The Los Angeles spine surgeons at The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restorations would like to share a few tips on how you should go about your regular workout routine when experiencing back pain.

Assess Your Back Pain

There’s usually some sort of middle ground that can be found to allow you to continue with regular workouts. If you’re experiencing debilitating back pain that makes it difficult to even move without discomfort, you probably shouldn’t be working out anytime soon. However, if your pain is manageable and you can sit, stand, bend and lift, there’s likely to be some type of workout routine you can still do.

Modify Your Workout Routine

Whether or not you can continue working out with back pain really depends on how flexible you’re willing to be with your routines. If, for example, you’re finding it difficult to do a regular workout, you can still workout your core muscle groups while swimming or modifying your gym routine to include less weight and more reps.

Exercises to Avoid with Lower Back Pain

Here are a few examples of exercises that shouldn’t be done when back pain is present:

  • Exercises involving free weight moving away from the body (includes side rises, back bends, front rises, overhead dumbbell presses, side bends)
  • Exercises requiring repetitive bending at the waist (includes lower back extensions, squats, dead-lifts, crunches)
  • Exercises where you lift heavy weights (this is where you’ll want to find a suitable modification to work out the same muscles without the danger of excessive back strain)

A big part of deciding whether or not to workout with back pain starts with being honest with your doctor about your level of pain. Keep in mind that there are many workout modifications that can benefit the same core muscle groups. Just remember to listen to your body and stop if you experience renewed or more intense back pain.

For more information about back pain or to get a second opinion about any type of discomfort in the spine, reach out to The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration, a local spine surgery center that specializes in non-fusion procedures and minimally invasive spine surgeries in Los Angeles. Call 310-828-7757 to request your in-person consultation today.