If you are suffering from back pain whether in your upper or lower back there is plenty of evidence that exercise is the best way to eliminate the pain and strengthen your core muscles. But like anything there are exercises to avoid. Of course the first thing to do is visit your doctor and determine the extent of your back pain. Fortunately a lot of back pain will just go away, however if you have a herniated disc and or sciatica it’s best to take it easy and follow your doctor’s advice.
Assuming that you back pain is not serious a regular routine of stretching exercises and gentle strengthening exercises will relieve your pain, speed your recovery and prevent additional back problems. However use your common sense there are exercises to avoid.
Any exercise that involve sudden twisting, turning and lifting. Stay out of the weight room and away from the machines at least until you have recovered from your back pain.
Leg lifts, sit ups and crunches: These will put a strain on your back and should be avoided. In fact you should not ever do these exercises because of the problems they can create in your back. If you want six pack abs there are many other exercises that will do the same thing with a lot less chance of injuring your back.
Running: The jarring and stress that running puts on your back will only make a bad back worse, slow down and walk.
Contact Sports: Watch the football game instead of playing and stay away from the basketball and tennis court. Those quick turns and twist movements that are common in most vigorous sports are murder on your back.
The bottom line is use your commonsense. Avoid strenuous exercises and sports. Be patient! Slowly build back your strength and flexibility by following an exercise routine that involves stretching and core strengthening movements. These are design to relieve instead of aggravate your back pain. In time you will be able to resume a more intense workout.