Though it can make it difficult to move, being sore doesn’t always seem like a bad thing. After a tough workout, it can be rewarding to feel sore. However, when your soreness is a symptom of pain or you know you accidentally did something wrong, then it isn’t so rewarding. One place that is especially painful to feel soreness in is your lower back. Some causes of lower back pain are strains, disc injuries, sciatica, or arthritis. Luckily there are exercises and treatment options to help your pain subside.

Exercises for Lower Back Pain

Press-Up Back Extensions/Cobra Pose
When your lower back feels sore, it’s refreshing to get a nice stretch. Lying on your stomach with your hands under your shoulders, press up until your elbows are on the floor directly under your shoulders. Lifting your back so there is a gentle curve from your tailbone to your neck will help you feel the stretch in your back.

Being in the water will help your body feel supported and will ease your back pain. Plus, swimming will still strengthen your lungs, heart, and blood vessels--so while you might feel like you’re taking it easy, you aren’t. Try to avoid any strokes that make your body twist uncomfortably.

Core Workout
Core exercises will help you develop the strength to withstand back pain by teaching your body proper alignment and withstanding injuries. Some exercises to try for a stronger core, even if you have back pain, are pelvic tilts, bridges, bird dog pose, and partial crunches. A core workout is perfect if you suffer from back pain, especially because it is low-impact and keeps you from lifting anything too heavy.

Tips for Exercising with Back Pain

  • If it hurts, stop.
  • Avoid high-impact exercises as they can worsen back pain.
  • Practice good posture while working out.
  • Stretch for a good warmup.
  • If you continue to feel pain, decrease the intensity of your workout or see a doctor.

Treating Back Pain at Home

  • Ice
    Icing the affected area is most beneficial within the first two days of being injured to reduce inflammation.
  • Keep Moving
    It’s tempting to lie in bed, but it’s better to instead work the muscles that support your back and align your spine.
  • Stretch
    Stretching is a good way to warm up before a workout and also refresh yourself after sitting for a long time.
  • Pain Reliever
    An anti-inflammatory drug can help reduce the pain your back causes making sleeping, sitting, and walking more comfortable.

When Should You See a Doctor?
Sometimes people don’t want to see a doctor if there’s a chance of the problem going away on its own. If your back pain hasn’t subsided after a few days or the pain is still severe, you should make an appointment with your orthopedic doctor. You should also see your doctor if the symptoms worsen and cause numbness in your legs or if you lose control over your bowels/bladder.

If you have back pain, be sure to treat it right and only do exercises that you feel comfortable doing at your pain level. Though it can be rewarding to feel sore, you don’t want to over-do it and risk hurting yourself more. Be sure to visit us if the pain doesn’t go away or if you think it’s a symptom of something more serious.