Man Exercising

Many people seem to want to know if you can just exercise lower back pain away. Is it only about exercise? That is, did you end up with lower back pain due to a lack of exercise? Or could it be something else?

Your back pain is not necessarily caused by a lack of exercise, but it’s probably a good place to start looking. When I ask patients if they exercise, most are still saying “no.” Those that do exercise tend to stick with the same machine or routine for their entire program. (And almost none of their “routine” exercises focus on improving their back muscles.)

So on one hand, we have those that don’t exercise and have lower back pain. It’s easy to take a guess and see that their spine is having problems due to a lack of muscular support. While their spine may need more work at this point (check with your healthcare professional), eventually they’ll exercise lower back pain away by creating a muscular back support around their spine with regular exercise.

Those that do exercise, but are not performing a variety of movements are causing a different problem; muscular imbalance. They are likely only developing certain muscle groups while largely ignoring others. Worse, they may be performing activities that are alarmingly similar to what they already do all day.

They are strengthening muscles that are already overworked (muscles in the front of the body) and not strengthening muscles that are typically ignored (back muscles). This is a standard recipe for developing lower back pain problems and should be avoided.

Overall, maintaining a variety of activities that includes exercises to enhance cardiovascular health, strengthening and stretching will help exercise lower back pain away for good. The same formula works for almost everyone. First, due some exercise regularly. Next, make sure you take some time to strengthen your back muscles (especially if you already know you need it!).