How To Exercise With Lower Back Pain and Sciatica – Move With Ease

By Michael

September 22, 2018

With over 80% of the worldwide population battling with lower back pain, shouldn’t that be enough?

Sometimes it’s not the end or is it?

About 22% of the people will enter the chronic and sciatica stages. There’s no metal detector, not even an alarm to alert you where and when your next ache is coming from. But why?

That’s because the most feint movement can trigger inflammation, and that’s what’s biting and chewing at you. It only takes one flare up to get you to think:

“Man, I need to make lifestyle changes”

Hold onto this thought, nutritious it and let it grow, it’s only the start of healthier mindset.

With every move you make, that shows you what you need to work and improve on. It’s not hard to know how to exercise with a bad back, it just takes your effort and commitment to stay on it…

Modifying activities and learning a wide variety of techniques to decrease the stress on your lower back are vital to resolving and controlling your lower back pain and sciatica.

Let me stop you before I go further and ask you…

  1. Are you an active person but you just can’t get your wheels under you right now?
  2. Do you still want to enjoy your hobbies or competitive sports like golfing, playing basketball, soccer, baseball, swimming, and then some?

Although these are higher impact activities, Luckily you can still break that surface again, but first…

If walking and doing the little things hurt then you have to start with the core exercises and stretches first and only thereafter, you can increase your activity.

Sciatic Nerve Strikes

It’s not a pretty sight when your lower back pain turns into sciatic nerve pain, and much less of assurance when it grows from days to weeks, weeks to months, and then to years.

In today’s article you’ll learn that what you put it is what you get out by knowing how to exercise with lower back pain and sciatica. Alongside you, you’ll also be learning about:

  1. General guidelines for managing your lower back pain and sciatica
  2. The do’s and don’ts of exercising
  3. When to contact your doctor
  4. Your entrance to the world of the exercise page

We’ve created a page specifically with all the exercises you can and will need to do. So if you want to skip the tips, do’s and don’ts, and want to get right into the thick of things go here.

General Guidelines For Managing Your Lower Back Pain And Sciatica

Like yourself, I didn’t imagine having to step away from my shoes and fit myself in someone others. What I mean by that is, we will learn to make an adjustment in our daily activities, but it’s more worthwhile to learn from someone who’s walked in your shoes. That’s starts now.

My experiences with lower back pain and Sciatica will serve you much wasted time, and it’ll teach you how to manage your conditions better.

In order to have a healthy lower back, you’ll want to make these lifestyle changes:

  • Alter your activities. Sitting for hours on end is not safe. Bed rest can weaken your muscles and lengthen your recovery. If you speak with your doctor, he/she will likely tell you to continue with daily activities as much as you can tolerate. And always stay active within the limits of your pain, going over can make it worse.
  • Practice good posture. Poor posture along with slouching, can put more stress on your lower back. You’ll want to stand up and sit straight.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking is the largest contributor to degenerative disc in your spine. And if you’re a smoker, you risk injuring your back from a coughing attack.
  • Modify your environment. Making changes to your work space, home, and attire will reduce the stress on your back. Here are some tips to help you on your way:
    • Sleep on a firm mattress
    • Don’t sleep on your stomach
    • Use a lumbar support pillow when sitting or driving
    • avoid placing a wallet in your back pocket when sitting
    • Don;t wear high-heeled shoes
    • Sleep on your side or on your back with a wedge or pillow under your legs or between your legs
  • Lose weight if you are overweight. Maintaining weight is essential for your overall health. Science can’t prove how much extra weight contributes to lower back pain, but do know that extra pounds will increase pressure on your spinal disc and muscles. Follow a day to day dietary plan included with exercise to get the best results. To lose weight, you have to burn more calories than your consume.
  • Follow a home exercise program. You should be doing exercise that strengthen your back and stomach muscles every day. In addition, you might want to do balance exercise that work your lower trunk. Don’t just do exercises that will feel boring to you. Instead, choose exercises that you enjoy and you can turn into a routine basis. Starting with low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, or biking are a great place to start.
  • Manage stress. Stress will increase your muscle tension. To help that, make sure you take time out to relax, exercise, and practice meditation/relaxation techniques.If you need help with reducing and managing stress, you can try the following activities:
    • Yoga
    • Cognitive behavioral therapy
    • breathing techniques
    • meditation

The Do’s And Dont’s Of Exercising

Your healing journey will become much more simplified if you just know the do’s and don’ts about how to exercise with a bad back.

All lower back exercises will give you relief, but the wrong moves can leave you in agony. Most lower back pain is mechanical, meaning it’s causes are brought by day to day life stresses and overload.

Here’s our expert advice on what will and will not work for you, starting with the “dont’s”:

1. Don’t work through your pain

If it hurts when you either bend forward, backwards, side to side or twist, its best to stop right away. Continuing to persist will cause further tissue damage and make your pain worse.

If its hurts to workout, focus on stabilization moves like planks.

2. Don’t skip your warm up 

Most back pain comes from putting pressure on your spine without warming up. Before you go out on the gym floor, or your backyard garden, do simple stretches.

One good way to do so is by going into a childs pose stretch.

How to do:

  1. Get down on all four, laying flat.
  2. Extend your arms out in front of you
  3. bend your knees in toward your stomach
  4. Arch your back
  5. Keep your head down, in between your shoulders
  6. Make sure your toes are touching the ground
  7. Now, feel a stretch
  8. Hold it for 10-15 seconds
  9. Come back up, and rest for 10 seconds
  10. Repeat 2 more times for a total of 3 times

3. Don’t lift heavy objects

If you lift weights, use weights that only you can handle, and with proper form. If you’re a beginner, go into weight machines, as they are easier to control than free weights.

4. Don’t do High Impact activities

High impact activities such as jogging, running, sports, etc. will cause your joints to worsen, and cause further damage to your back pain symptoms. Avoid doing any of them until your pain decreases.

5. Don’t just do land based exercises.

Many of us like to stick to what we see at the surface, and miss to the see the advantages of looking below, in the depths of the water.

Swimming can have added benefits that you can’t get on land. Some of those are better joint mobility, and increased range of motion.

6. Do Straighten Up.

When you slum and hunch over, this causes your lower back pain and sciatica symptoms to worsen. Especially if you;re overweight, it will add much more stress.

Your pelvis takes on the work because all the hunching over causes an anterior tilt forward.

Work on improving your posture by standing up, keeping your neck, and shoulder straight.

Is It Time To Contact Your Doctor?

Always, and I mean always, before you try to exercise with either acute, chronic, or sciatica pain, get in touch with your doctor. Talk with your doctor and come to a conclusion on what symptoms, and reason(causes) you are having lower back pain and sciatica.

Once you’re properly examined, you’ll know how to proceed with fitting an exercise regimen into your schedule.

If you’re ready to see and get started with all the best exercises for lower back and sciatica, click here.

The Remove Back Pain System

In the next segment, we’ll drive right into the exercises for lower back pain and sciatica right here.


About the author

Hi My name is Michael Granados, I am of the age of 25 years, and I’m a back pain enthusiast, and expert. All of us have had or will have lower back pain at least once in our lives, and whether it’s acute or a more chronic condition, you can depend on us here at Remove Back Pain to take great care of you. I ensure you’ll take the right and most appropriate steps for you to heal the safest and most productive way. Get ready for a better lifestyle!

  • Hey Michael! I read your post from top to bottom and I liked what I read. Beautifully written, yet very informative and accurate, making this article one of the useful I have read recently. I loved how you went into details on explaining where the low-back problems come from and why, as well as the solution to all of them. My questions is: What is your suggested work-out session on low-back straightening?


    • I appreciate your kind words. I tried to make it as easily readable yet full of specific information without giving away all the exercises(which are on the following page, clicked at the bottom). Even though this serves as an intro page to the exercises, it needed one. Let’s see, my suggested work out session on lower back strengthening would have to be anything yoga related. I’ll take squats any other day, as that increases strength very well, but yoga exercises like child’s pose, the cobra, knee to chest, planks, are all ones I integrate into my day. I try to do an an workout about every 2-3 days, while focusing the rest on small exercise stretches with vinyasa yoga.

  • I suffered with severe and crippling sciatica from late 2014 until mid-2017.

    I have to tell you it is the most painful affliction I’ve ever endured. The pain was non-stop, 24 hours a day. It affected every single moment of my life in a very negative way. I can honestly say it is definitely worse than child birth, because child birth doesn’t last 2.5 years. ha!

    For example, it would sometimes take me THREE whole hours just to roll over in bed.

    Some nights I didn’t get more than an hour of sleep. Sometimes in the morning it took me about 2 hours to get out of bed. I was late a lot taking my kids to school.

    I went to a chiropractor multiple times and while it helped slightly, it never really did fix me up more than about 20% improvement. And then it would gradually come back anyways. He told me I had dislocated my hip, somehow. As well as having a herniated disc.

    Anyways, it’s just about healed itself now and I will tell you how I got rid of it myself, in 5 minutes per day, over about 3 or 4 days.

    Here’s what I did (2 exercises actually).

    Exercise 1)
    a) Stand facing a wall. (I was doubled over at nearly 90 degrees when doing this, so it was very hard to do)…
    b) Take both hands and put them out like spiderman would, in front of you.
    c) Crawl your fingers up the wall, first to head height, then keep going up crawling your hands like little spiders up the wall until you reach the maximum height you can.

    Repeat the above exercise a couple of minutes in the morning, a couple in the afternoon, and a couple of minutes in the evening.

    Exercise 2)
    a) In bed, lie face down on your belly as flat as you can manage (very hard with sciatica I gotta tell ya!)
    b) Keep your hips and you legs completely flat to the bed.
    c) Slowly and gently lift yourself up on to your elbows as high as you can manage.
    d) As you lift yourself up on your elbows do NOT bring your hips and legs off the bed, keep them flat on the mattress.
    e) Repeat this for a couple of minutes or until you really can’t manage any more.

    Do this exercise above 3 times a day for a couple of minutes a time and even more if you can manage it.

    I kid you not…These simple exercises fixed my sciatica, and although it’s not 100% gone, I am in 95% better situation than I was. And…I haven’t done those exercises for over a year now. I just get a slight twinge now and again and it’s because I am sitting at my computer for too long. I think sitting too much is what caused my sciatica in the first place. Don’t sit about too much, move about folks.

    Just imagine, all that pain, more than 2 years of chronic suffering, severtal trips to a chiropractor and lots and lots of paracetamols did next to nothing for me. Excruciating Pain, Money wasted, 300-400 paracetamol tablets, Lack of sleep, Stress (it also caused me a lot of temper tantrums!!!)

    All of that simply fixed with those two very easy exercises over about 3 or 4 days. It really was remarkable how little I had to do to fix myself up and how fast it happened. I thought I would never recover because it was so bad.

    Glad to say it can get better and it should get better if you follow my advice folks! You need to arch your back so that the herniated disk can slip back in. Your back muscles strength will improve with these stretching exercises and that can be enough to pull things back in to where they should be and keep everything tight.

    Hope this helps.

    • HI James,

      I’m very elated and thankful that you have shared such an inspiring story! You’re a true warrior man. My sciatica didn’t last that long, but I know that it is a pain in the butt, and that’s an understatement. To go 2.5 years with it, with chiropractic care on and off, and then finally finding what worked for you is a great thing to hear. This shows that you never settled on one way to get it fixed, and you work continuously to get it straightened out. Chiropractors are helpful but the symptoms will always come back, and actually much sooner than we think it will. After I had chiropractic care which helped, I needed to take extra additions to do things on my own.

      These two exercises are very helpful and awesome, wow! I’m not getting sciatic pain right now, but I decided to try them out, and they give you a good stretch. Not going back to them after a year is really amazing James, I don’t hear that too often where someone doesn’t have to go back to the same exercises at least a couple times a week. When it comes to the amount of time we put into trying to fix ourselves, we run into so much energy spent, money wasted, days, afternoons, evenings, and nights wasted. What makes me upset is putting in so much time into treatments that are mainstream and expect them to fix the issue, but they don’t, they only tackle the symptoms and not the core root. You’ve done more than I could have ever asked for. Thank you for sharing your experiences with not only me, but everyone else like you mentioned in your comment.

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