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Back to Basics: The Best and Worst Exercises for Back Pain Relief

Summer is here, and it's time for beach days, outdoor fun, and creating lasting memories with your family.

But is back pain stopping you from joining in on these joys? You’re not alone.

Did you know that starting physical therapy early for back pain can reduce the need for surgery by up to 60%?

The aim here is to arm you with knowledge and practical tips to manage your back pain effectively.

Understanding what exercises can help and which might actually hurt is crucial.

By incorporating the right exercises into your routine, you can improve your back health and reduce the likelihood of surgery.

4 Best Exercises for Back Pain

Pelvic Tilts

Great for strengthening your abdominal muscles and stabilizing your spine. Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor.

Tighten your stomach muscles, pushing your lower back into the floor. Hold for a few seconds, then relax.

Cat-Cow Stretch

This yoga-inspired movement helps maintain spine flexibility.

Start on your hands and knees, then alternate between arching your back towards the ceiling (cat) and dipping it towards the floor (cow). Move slowly and smoothly.


Strengthen your glutes, which are essential for lower back support. Lie on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat.

Raise your hips to create a straight line from your knees to shoulders. Hold for a few seconds before lowering back down.

Partial Crunches

These help strengthen your core without straining your back. Lie on the floor with knees bent and feet flat.

Cross arms over your chest or put hands behind your neck. Tighten your stomach and raise your shoulders off the floor. Hold briefly, then lower slowly.

4 Exercises for Back Pain to Avoid 

Toe Touches

Standing toe touches can exacerbate back pain by overstretching the ligaments and muscles in your lower back and hamstrings.

This exercise can also increase pressure on your spinal discs, leading to potential disc herniation or other back complications.

Instead of toe touches, try gentle hamstring stretches while lying on your back, which maintain your spine’s natural alignment.


While commonly thought to strengthen the core, sit-ups may actually put unnecessary strain on your back, particularly the lower spine.

They tend to pull on the neck and push the lower back into the ground, stressing spinal discs.

A safer alternative to strengthen your core is doing planks, which provide the benefit of core strengthening without the harmful spinal compression.

Heavy Lifting

Lifting heavy objects, especially without proper form, can strain your back muscles and spinal ligaments.

 The risk increases if the weight is held away from the body or lifted while twisting, which can lead to severe back injuries such as muscle strains or herniated discs.

Always use ergonomic lifting techniques: keep the weight close to your body, bend at the knees, and lift with your legs while keeping your back straight.

Leg Lifts (Double Leg Lifts)

Lifting both legs simultaneously while lying on your back is another exercise to avoid if you suffer from back pain.

This movement puts enormous pressure on the lower back by forcing it to support the weight of both legs. For many, this can lead to increased back strain and pain.

If you want to strengthen your lower abdominal muscles, consider performing single-leg lifts or partial leg lifts with one leg bent at the knee, which significantly reduces the load on your back

Your Next Step to Relief Back Pain

If you're dealing with back pain, don't navigate it alone. At InTouch Therapy, we’re offering a Free Back Pain Assessment.

This is your opportunity to consult with our expert team, learn about your treatment options, and discover how we can help relieve your back pain.

 Ready to get started on your path to a pain-free life?

Call us today at (441) 238-6824 or visit InTouch Therapy Contact to book your assessment. Let’s tackle that back pain together!

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