Exercise and Back Pain

Almost everyone has experienced a degree of back pain throughout their lifetime, preventing them from completing activities of daily living and leisure activities. Most often than not a vast majority of people will completely cease involvement in exercise or sporting activities after experiencing a bout of back pain as they are fearful it will cause more harm than good. However, this is a common misconception and in most cases exercise and movement are the natural stimuli to begin the healing process.

It is recommended that no more than one- or two-days rest at the onset of back pain is needed, as inactivity protracts the likelihood of prolonged pain. Increased periods of inactivity cause deconditioning of the lower back leading towards increased stiffness, weakness, and decreased mobility. As the old saying goes use it or lose it.

Exercise plays a dual role of both treating and preventing lower back pain. Regular stretching and exercise help by nourishing and repairing spinal cord structures which will help solve pre-existing issues. Whilst continued movement will help prevent future exacerbations by ensuring the lower back is strong and mobile.

Exercise is known to have many benefits in the process of treating lower back pain and when completed in a controlled and sensible manner these benefits may include:

  1. Strengthens the muscles which support the spine, alleviating pressure on facet joints
  2. Reducing stiffness and promoting mobility
  3. Improving circulation to better distribute nutrients to the discs
  4. Increased release of endorphins, which may help with pain.

The key to a successful gym programme to aid in the reduction of lower back pain is adherence. Exercise is one of the most important factors long term pain relief, even small bouts of 10 minutes a day is enough to notice benefits. Start small and progress slowly, remember some movement is better than none. Below are 5 easy exercises to get you started on you pain free journey!

5 Exercise to Help with Lower Back Pain

  1. Cat Camel
  2. Lumber Rocking
  3. Lumber Roll Down
  4. Glute Stretch
  5. Glute Bridge


Cameron Galati

Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP, AES) (ESSAM)

Hochschuler, S. (2020). Exercise and Fitness to help your back. Journal of Spine Health.

Gopez, J. (2017). Exercise and Back Pain. Journal of Spine Health.