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Should I do strength training if I have chronic back pain?

Oct 1, 2013

Bruce Kelly
FT Media


"I believe that there are always ways to train around injury short of being bedridden. And low back pain is no exception having had it myself off and on for over 40 years. The key is in finding what movements and exercises don't aggravate it or cause pain. There is no one cause of back pain nor is there one solution. It could be due to muscular imbalances, motor control issues, structural issues or some combination of these.

"We train and have trained clients with a variety of injuries and orthopedic issues from joint replacements to low back pain to shin splints to broken feet. This is where the knowledge, experience and empathy of a good trainer can pay dividends."

Sue Teoli
FT New Canaan


"One of the best things you can do to reduce back pain is to do strength training. Building up the muscles of your back will help to prevent further injury.  Most back pain comes from a muscle strain or ligament strain. Having a strong core can stabilize and brace the spine to reduce injury.  Exercises such as straight leg raises, wall squats, and bridges are a few examples of strength training while stabilizing the core."

Stacy Adams
FT Central Georgetown


"Many of our clients come in with chronic back pain.  This is probably one of the most common complaints.  After analyzing the client, the problem often originates from a weak core, tight hamstrings and other postural imbalances.  Once we begin working on correcting these imbalances, the majority of our clients' back pain is significantly reduced or goes away.  If you're dealing with back pain or any other injury, it is important to engage in safe and effective exercise.  This is the perfect opportunity to invest in your health and hire a professional trainer to assist you with your individual needs!"

Billy Pratt
FT Avon


"Everyone should do some form of strength training whether or not they have chronic back pain. The extent to which strength training can help ease or eliminate back pain depends on the causes of that pain.  Low back painc aused by weak lumbar vertebrae and tight hamstrings may largely be helped by a progressive strength training program, while such a program may not be as effective at decreasing pain if there is a severely ruptured disc that requires surgery to correct.

"Strength training always carries at least some benefit -- and more often, a lot of benefit -- to those who suffer from chronic back pain.  But like anything else it really depends on what is causing the pain and how the program is designed and administered. Making sure your plan is tailored to your specific needs is always the most important factor in how effective a strength training regimen can be, with or without the presence of chronic back pain."

Billy Beyer
FT Basking Ridge


"Here in Basking Ridge we strongly advise strengthening the core to alleviate further back pain and problems. We also advise working on flexibility of the hip flexors and hamstrings. Anyone with chronic lower back pain should always start off slow and gradually graduate to more complex exercises. Keep it simple and safe!"