Exercises that stretch and strengthen the muscles of your abdomen and spine can help prevent back problems. Strong back and abdominal muscles help you keep good posture, with your spine in its correct position.
If your muscles are tight, take a warm shower or bath before doing the exercises. Exercise on a rug or mat. Wear loose clothing. Donâ€™t wear shoes. Stop doing any exercise that causes pain until you have talked with your healthcare provider.
Ask your provider or physical therapist to help you develop an exercise program. Ask your provider how many times a week you need to do the exercises. Remember to start slowly.
These exercises are intended only as suggestions. Be sure to check with your provider before starting the exercises.
Exercises to avoid
Itâ€™s best to avoid the following exercises because they strain the lower back:
- Exercises in which you lie on your back and raise and lower both legs together
- Full sit-ups or sit-ups with straight legs
- Hip twists
Sports and other activities
In addition to strengthening your back muscles, itâ€™s helpful to keep your entire body in shape. Good activities for people with back problems include:
- Cross-country skiing
- Tai Chi
Some sports can hurt your back because of rough contact, twisting, sudden impact, or direct stress on your back. Sports that may be dangerous to your back include:
- Weight lifting
- Ice hockey
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This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
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