When you are experiencing pain, exercise can be good to help alleviate it. However, some exercises may do more damage rather than help your pain. While some exercises may be beneficial when practiced using proper form, repetitions, and resting periods, there are others that should be completely avoided altogether. So you don’t risk making your back pain worse – or have any pain at all – make sure to stay clear of these exercises and stretches.
Many of the causes for your pain have to do with the alignment of your spine. Exercises and stretches that put unnecessary stress on your spine, which risks that alignment, are what you need to watch out for. Toe touches are a good example. Leaning down to reach down to your toes can put more pressure on the ligaments and discs in your spine. Your lower back muscles and hamstrings may overstretch as well. This may be a poor stretch for curing your pain.
Traditional sit ups are known for strengthening your core. A strong core may mean a stronger support for your spinal column, decreasing the risk for chronic pain. However, proper sit up form is difficult to maintain, and most people end up using the muscles in the hips to complete a sit up rep. Also, much like toe touches, sit ups can put stress on the discs in your spine. The good news is that there are yoga alternatives to traditional sit ups, designed specifically to accommodate for pain.
Leg lifts are in the same tricky category as sit ups. On one hand, leg lifts can once again be useful for strengthening your core. It is, however, a demanding exercise on your legs. If done incorrectly, this stretch can make your pain worse. If you are still looking to add leg lifts to your stretching routine to alleviate pain, try keeping one leg bent and one leg straight, with your back flat on the floor. Raise only your straight leg, for a comfortable amount of reps, for a less stressful exercise.
If you are in the New Jersey area and are experiencing constant pain – chronic or otherwise – contact us at Garden State Pain Control Center. Helping our patients alleviate pain is our specialty.