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Exercises to Avoid with Back Pain

By Sara Butler

The chiropractors at The Joint know that one of the best things you can do to combat back pain is to get your body moving! It’s very common for chiropractors to recommend exercises to patients to help strengthen their muscles and keep back pain at bay. While there are exercises that can help if you suffer from back pain, there are exercises you should avoid too. Here are a few exercises the chiropractors at The Joint think you should avoid if you have back pain and what you should do instead!

Superman Extensions

Leave the superhero stuff to professionals. Superman back extensions involve lying on your stomach as you lift your legs and arms off the ground. This exercise puts a lot of stress on the back, especially the lower back, so it’s not recommended for those with low back pain.

Instead of back extensions, you should try the bird dog exercise. This involves getting on your hands and knees and engaging your abdominal muscles while you extend one leg behind you and keep it level, making sure not to tilt your pelvis in the process. Then, extend the opposite arm to shoulder level and hold.


You’ve probably been doing sit-ups since grade school, but they aren’t very good for your spine. The truth of the matter is that they put quite a bit of pressure on your spine and there are simply other, less stressful ways to strengthen your abdominal muscles.

Planks are the perfect way to strengthen your core muscles while being kind to your back. To do a plank, simply balance the weight of your body on your hands and toes, making sure to keep a straight line from your head to your toes. In other words, keep your butt down!

Toe Touches

Standing toe touches are a classic move, but they’re a move that could cost you when you have trouble with low back pain. When you raise both legs up to perform this exercise, it places a lot of demand on your lower back, often making low back pain worse.

Instead of double leg raises, opt for single leg raises instead. Lay on your back and raise the knee of one leg up, keeping your foot flat on the floor. Lift the opposite leg up and repeat up to 10 times. This will strengthen your core muscles without placing so much stress on your back.

Exercise is great for you, but to ensure you're keeping your body and spine healthy, make sure the exercises you're doing are helping you instead of hurting. If you have questions, your chiropractor at The Joint is a great resource!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Spring, Tex.

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