How To Exercise With Lower Back Pain

Posted Jul 25, 2022 at 16:06

Placeholder image

Here at Team Peak we are no strangers to dealing with back pain and many of our clients like to be active whether it's going to the gym, walking , running , swimming etc. Movement during care is always encouraged as the last thing you want to do is limit yourself to bed rest.

Here are some of the key areas I look at when advising clients so they can stay active when experiencing back pain.

Before that lets not forget that many factors will play a role in your pain experience so it's important to remember your main pain complaint may be a symptom of a bigger problem. (I'll come back to this point to finish off)

Exercise Selection: While there are no exercises guaranteed to hurt your back, there are those that, when performed in excess, might increase the probability. For example, if performing deadlifts, squats, bent over rows, and good mornings in the same session, your exercise selection could probably do with some changes. 

Volume: This is almost always what people are reluctant to change. Sometimes, the dose of training is simply too great. A 30-50% reduction in volume (sets) allocated to exercises loading the back (e.g. those listed above) would be where I would start, and then reassess symptoms thereafter.

Intensity & Effort: Training hard is to be respected. However, harder is not always better. If you are pushing all the way to failure consistently, that is not a smart way of managing your efforts. Typically, I would advise people to taper back on provocative exercises as a starting point, particularly if aggravated when closer to failure. 

Range of Motion: Often, back pain is position specific. If you find that it's just the bottom of your squat, deadlift or other exercise that aggravates your symptoms, then modifying the ROM by using a box squat or block deadlift could be just what you need. This is especially the case if you are someone who has to round your back a lot to achieve "Full ROM".

In short , the takeaway here is …

1- To taper back any aggravating movements 

2-Find your starting point And gradually load from there. Then the variables mentioned above can come into play.

As I touched on above , Pain is our body’s way of telling us something is wrong, so it’s important that you listen to it and take action to solve the problem. 

Any dysfunction in the spine, from a recent injury or years of bad posture, means the information being sent from these muscles to your brain becomes distorted, so the brain is no longer receiving accurate information, and we start to see a breakdown in communication between the brain and the body.

Here at Team Peak We’re interested in your whole body, not just where you're getting your pain currently. The pain you’re feeling is a symptom of a problem, not the problem itself. So what we need to do is find out where the true cause of the problem is.

If you've tried everything so far and are looking for a new approach , why not book in for a free discovery visit with Team Peak !