3 Movements to Avoid When You Have Low Back Pain

Person holding low back in pain

“What should I avoid doing?”

This a common question when you have low back pain. Avoiding activities that can further set you back is an important piece of the healing puzzle. The goal of this page is to highlight main movements to avoid and why doing so is beneficial!

3 Types of Movements to Avoid:

  1. Compression
    1. Many cases of low back pain are a result of compression, whether it be in the form of tightness due to a muscle spasm (strain) or nerve pain due to a herniation. Because of this, you want to avoid movements and exercises that can further compress the spine or aggressively contract the muscles. This includes running, jumping, back squats, and anything similar.
  2. Prolonged Static Postures
    1. The last thing you want to do for low back pain is sit in the same position all day long. This may be ok for a very short period of time, but movement is necessary. There is a process called imbibition where discs get nutrients, and that process only works if movement is present. If you don’t move, you’re literally starving your discs from needed nutrients. Static positions also don’t help loosen spasmed muscles, they just leave them in their contracted state. Try to avoid laying, sitting and/or standing for more than 1 hour at a time (unless you’re sleeping).
  3. Rotation
    1. The most compromised and stressed position for the low back is while in a flexed and rotated position. Because of this, it’s a good idea to limit the amount of rotation movements you do for a bit and avoid risking further stressing it. This includes golf, Russian twists, and any similar type of movement.

Remember that these movements should only be TEMPORARILY avoided, just until the pain subsides and the tissues heal (generally 2-6 weeks depending on the severity of your condition). We would never recommend forever stopping activities that you enjoy!



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Written by Dr. Brandon Buchla, DC, CSCS

Check us out at www.atpplusct.com

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