3 Worst Exercises or Stretches for Back Pain

Man holding onto his lower back while out in nature It is likely that stretching and exercising can help ease some of your lower back pain, but unfortunately, not all exercises or stretches are beneficial. There are some that can actually worsen the lower back pain. Lower back pain is a common issue that affects people of all ages and backgrounds. A variety of factors cause this pain, such as poor posture, a sedentary lifestyle, or an injury. In this article, you will find the three worst exercises and stretches to avoid when trying to relieve lower back pain.

1. Toe Touches

Toe touches are a popular stretch, involving a bending over movement. The goal is to touch your toes with your fingers while your legs remain straight. While this stretch may seem harmless, it can actually exacerbate lower back pain. When you bend over to touch your toes, this puts a lot of strain and stress on the muscles and ligaments of your lower back. What this does, it causes those ligaments and muscles to stretch beyond their normal range of motion, potentially causing microtears.

Toe touches can also cause your spinal discs to bulge outwards. This is because when you bend over, the pressure in your spinal column increases. If you have experienced wear or damaged spinal discs, this can cause them to bulge outward and press against your spinal nerves. From this, you may experience pain, numbness, and tingling sensations. 

2. Sit-Ups

Sit-Ups are the classic, go-to exercise often used hoping to strengthen the core muscles. But did you know, when you perform a sit-up, you are flexing your spine forward, which puts more pressure on your lower back muscles and discs? Therefore, they can be extremely harmful. In fact, sit-ups are one of the leading causes of lower back pain in athletes and gym-goers. This is because they place a tremendous amount of strain and stress on the lumbar spine, which can lead to strains, sprains, and herniated discs.

If you want to strengthen your core without hurting your lower back, there are plenty of other exercises you can do. Try performing planks, as they engage your core muscles, putting no stress on the lower back. You can find other exercises to encourage core strengthening with pelvic floor or deep core exercises.

3. Leg Press

The leg press is a popular exercise that is often used to strengthen the quadriceps. Many people are unaware that this machine and exercise can cause your lower back to arch, as you are pushing a heavy-weight away from your body using your legs. When arching your back, you put a lot of stress onto the spinal discs and muscles.

In addition, they designed the leg press machine in such a way that it does not support your lower back properly. This can cause your lower back to work a lot harder, causing it to twist and turn during the exercise, which can lead to strains and sprains. If you want to strengthen your quadriceps muscles without hurting your lower back, try movements such as lunges and squats. They are great alternatives to the leg press as you engage your quadriceps while also strengthening your glutes and hamstrings.

Lower back pain can be a debilitating condition, which can negatively impact your quality of life. It is important to be certain that you are doing exercises and stretches that are positively helping, not harming your lower back pain. 

Contact the trained professionals at Tieperman Health & Wellness to start your customized program today. Our chiropractors in Frisco, TX can help your overall health and to rejuvenate your body. Contact our highly skilled doctors here or call (214) 705-1833 to start your journey to a healthier, happier life.

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