Question

Back Pain

Should I exercise when my back hurts?

A Answers (1)

  • ARealAge answered

    Your healthcare professional may recommend that you make some changes in your physical activities when you are experiencing back pain. In general, when pain is severe, you should avoid the following:

    • heavy lifting
    • twisting, bending forward, or reaching while lifting
    • sitting for long periods
    A gradual return to normal activities, including exercise, is recommended. Your doctor can help you decide what level of activity is safe for you. You may want to discuss your doctor's recommendations with your employer or supervisor. Exercising when you have back pain can help you feel better faster and prevent more back problems. Even if you have mild to moderate low back pain, you can do the following without putting much stress on your back:
    • walk short distances
    • stretch and do flexibility exercises
    • use a stationary bicycle
    • swim

    It is important to start slowly and to gradually build up the speed and length of time that you do the exercise. At first, your symptoms may get a little worse when you exercise or become more active. Usually, this worsening is nothing to worry about. However, if your pain becomes severe, contact your healthcare professional. Once you can return to normal activities comfortably, your healthcare professional may recommend additional aerobic and back exercises.

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