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Back Exercises for Spine Health

Jul 2, 2015

While back pain can drastically disrupt your normal routine, there are some exercises you can incorporate into your daily life that will help ease the pain. It’s a common misconception that exercising while you’re suffering from back pain will increase that pain. However, exercising actually improves your spine health and can also improve your posture over time.

A comprehensive exercise regimen will include a combination of stretching, strength, and aerobic conditioning. You’ll be working your extensors, flexors, and obliques. Extensors are muscles used to straighten the back and move the thighs, the flexors are used to bend and support the spine from the front and the arch of the lower back, and the obliques or rotators, are used to stabilize the spine when upright in order to maintain proper posture.

Keep reading to learn more about how specific exercises can help reduce the severity of your back pain.


When you have back pain, it’s typically accompanied by some stiffness. Pushing the range of motion can help mobilize the spine and soft tissues. In order to do so, you’ll have to stick to a stretching regimen for anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

Stretching exercises will focus on increasing the flexibility in your discs, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. The focus is not to work on the spine itself, but rather the surrounding muscles so that they can support the spine better.


Talk to your doctor about the different strength exercises that he or she recommends. Your doctor will provide you with a list of various exercises that will work to strengthen the muscles surrounding the spine in order to protect and keep it healthy. In some cases, these exercises are used in combination with other treatment methods like physical therapy. Stick to an exercise routine and you’ll feel your muscles becoming stronger as your back pain lessens.

Low-Impact Aerobic Conditioning

Low-impact exercises are perfect for gaining strength without causing any additional pain to your back. These types of exercises are important for rehabilitation because they help reduce back pain, and if you do experience pain, it will be less intense. Speak to your doctor about low-impact aerobic training and together you should be able to come up with a regimen you are able to stick to for a few weeks or months. They key is to work on aerobic conditioning daily for best results.

Below are some examples of low-impact aerobic conditioning.

Water Therapy – If you’re dealing with a lot of pain, exercising in water helps take a lot of the pressure off the body. Water counteracts gravity and makes stretching motions easier. The water also provides a mild resistance as an added bonus.

Stationary Biking– Riding a stationary bike is another great aerobic exercise that doesn’t create a lot of impact on the spine. It’s also beneficial for those who are in a lot of pain and find comfort in a posture where they can lean forward.

Consider these tips for how to exercise when dealing with back pain. If you still experience a lot of pain after exercising for a month or two, you may have a more serious condition or injury that needs to be addressed.