Often people with low back pain ask “Can I work out?” or “Can I take that aerobics class and will it affect my back pain?”.
In acute cases (less than 7 days) physical therapists and physicians generally recommend to rest and take it easy. After that it is possible to take steps to resume normal activities including getting back into your exercise routine. Research even suggests that one of the best treatments for chronic low back pain is regular physical activity. I often tell patients with low back pain that is not so much what you do, but how you do it. Simply stated, your mechanics matter.
That being said, I still don’t recommend exercises such as dead lifts and sit-ups for people suffering with low back pain until they consult with an expert in the field as these activities a very stressful on the lumbar spine and cane worsen low back pain. The bottom line is as long as you maintain neutral spinal alignment while working out (and do your best to avoid slouched sitting afterward while you recover) you often can start a graded return to physical activity without aggravating your condition. It is important to remember that if you are feeling an increase in you low back pain or stiffness that you back off immediately to avoid further complicating your recovery.
If you are still not sure if you are ready to return to the gym or have already tried to but failed contact us for a consultation to learn what activities would be better tolerated while you mend and what you need to do to complete your recovery.