The best exercises for your back are not for your back!

by Dr. P. Carl Rafey 20. December 2013 06:59

dr. carl rafey

One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is that they think they strengthen their back with back exercises.

Actually back exercises often weaken your back.  Patients with back pain often have back muscles that are already too tight and spasmed causing the joints in the back to be compressed.  Further exercise of the back muscles often make them tighter.

Have you ever carried lots of groceries into the house and your arms were burning?  Your muscles are tight but they are weaker because they are tired.   Trying to strenthen your back with exercise will often make the muscles tighter and weaker.  This will irritate the joints causing pain.  The pain further causes the muscles to spasm.  This is a protection mechanism.  It is called a pain-spasm-pain cycle. 

The best exercise you can do for your back is to strengthen your core.  Your body is all about balance.  When you flex your arm or bicep muscle, the back of your arm or triceps muscle must relax or your arm won't move.  So when your back is hurting, the best way to make it feel better is to tighten the opposite muscles.

I often will teach my patients to do plank exercises on a daily basis.  A plank is where you hold your body off the ground while you are on your elbows and toes. Your core or deep stomach muscles must hold you off of the ground.  The stronger your core is, the more stable your back will be.

See your Chiropractor or doctor to find out why you have back pain so you can be treated correctly.

Be Healthy,

Dr. Rafey

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