Best Exercise for Bad Back

Finding and doing exercise for bad back is one of the most common exercises people are searching for.

There are many causes of back pain:

Most back pain is due to irritation of the disc, or pressure on the ligaments and muscles from diseased discs or bony spurs.

Listed below are some of the most common causes for your different back pains.

1. Sprain and Exercise for Bad Back:

This happens when a ligament is injured, ligaments connect bone to bone to hold the skeleton in place so the joints can move.

Sprains are very common and can occur after doing activities like shoveling snow or digging holes, etc. A sprain normally heals in 2-4 weeks.

low back pain stretch image

Work on doing gentle low back pain stretches by pulling your knees to your chest as you draw your abdominals in.

Repeat this stretching exercise for back pain 2 –3 times a day for up to 10 repetitions until it feels better.

2. Strain and Exercise for Back Pains:

Strains can be caused by a tearing or overstretching of the muscles, tendons, or ligaments around the spine or other joints.

It is very common to strain the lower back muscles, just bending over wrong to pick something up can cause a strain.

The erector spinae muscles running up and down the spine is among the largest and most used and abused muscles in the body.

The good news is that most strains heal 100 percent.

Exercise your back several times a day as with the Sprain pulling the knees to the chest while drawing the abdominals in.

Make sure to exhale as you pull to relax the muscles.

See my video here of how to heal a pulled back muscle.

3. Exercise for Bad Back with Spasms:

This can be referred to as a cramp or involuntary seizure of the muscles in your back.

The spasm, in effect, is preventing you from causing further damage by immobilizing the spine.

exercise for bad back flexion image

Some cramps or spasms in muscles can be caused from dehydration.

Our muscles are mostly water and if they are dehydrated they cannot function properly so make sure you drink plenty of water before doing any lower back exercises.

The best bad back exercise for back spasms includes gentle, non-painful stretches such as pulling your knees to your chest while lying or doing a cat stretch on your hands and knees as shown to the left.

4. Degenerative Disc Disease and exercise for bad back:

The natural aging process can compromise the discs in the spine from repetetive stress, trauma, imbalances, etc.

The objective here is to relax and restore circulation to the muscles and soft tissues that surround the degenerated disc.

The best lower back exercise for degenerative disc disease also includes gentle non-painful stretching.

Inverting yourself on an inversion therapy table can help open the spinal canal restoring circulation and alleviating pressure on the discs.

5. A Herniated Disc Exercise for Bad Back:

Referred to as a ruptured or slipped disc. Like stepping on a jelly doughnut that explodes outside.

The goal with a herniated disc will be to relax and restore circulation to the muscles and tissues that surround the spine.

Drink plenty of water and follow the exercise of pulling the knees to your chest while activating the abdominals several times each day. Follow with ice if you have inflammation and pain.

6. Spinal Stenosis: Narrowing of the spinal canal.

Normally people experience pain when extending or twisting in the spine. Generally sports like tennis and golf can aggravate this condition.

The best lower back exercise to alleviate pain from stenosis involves flexion exercises or bending forward rounding the back.

pilates ab curl imag
Curl Ups as shown to the left

can help strengthen the abdominals while flexing and stretching the spine.

Support the head gently with your hands and elbows wide. Exhale as you begin curling the head and shoulders off the floor and then inhale to lower. Repeat for 6-8 repetitions to begin with.

The cat stretch flexion exercise pictured further up the page on your hands and knees while rounding the spine and rolling the hips under is a feel good exercise for stenosis.

See more Pilates spinal flexion exercises here.

The inversion therapy table is very valuable for people with spinal stenosis.

It is like being in space with zero gravity or compression on the spine. It opens the vertebrae and allows the lubricating cerebral spinal fluid to flow up and down the spine.

7. Sciatica Pain and Exercise for Bad Back:

Piriformis syndrome, can be caused by many things but mostly from the piriformis muscle in the buttocks pinching the sciatic nerve which causes a radiating pain down the outside of the leg affected.

knee sway exercise imag

The best back exercise to alleviate this discomfort is to gently stretch the piriformis muscle.

Lumbar Rotation or Knee Sways (as shown on the left) -

Lying on your back with your knees bent and feet on floor, arms out to the side, gently rock your knees from side to side.

Begin by keeping the ribs and mid back fairly still on the mat, gradually progressing to larger rocking with knees reaching to the floor if you have no pain.

Leave exercise for bad back and find out more about how Pilates exercises can benefit your back here.

8. Osteoarthritis:

This condition mostly occurs in people over age 45 and is due the response of the vertebrae to wearing out of the discs. The adjacent vertebrae overgrow, resulting in bony spurs. You may have no symptoms or back pain or pain secondary to nerve root irritation.

As you can see most of these symptoms and conditions associated with exercise for bad back can be alleviated and improved by doing gentle stretches and abdominal strengthening exercises as shown above.

P.S. If you have a bad back and want relief I would recommend you take a look at the new Pilates ebook available here today.

I developed the exercises specifically to help improve these painful back and joint conditions so you can start today and enjoy your life again!

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