6 mild exercises for back pain relief, according to fitness expert

6 tips to exercise your pain away.

Exercise may be the last thing you like to think about when your back is aching, but specialists say exercise is the best thing going for chronic back pain.

“For people who suffer daily from back pain especially if the pain varies throughout the day, exercise can be very beneficial,” says Roger Minkow, M.D., a back specialist and founder of Backworks in Petaluma, California.

If you’re under a doctor’s care for back pain, make sure you get the okay before you begin.

Here are some doctor-recommended exercises.

Play Press-up.

Press-ups are something like half-of apush-up. “Lie on the floor on your stomach. Keep your pelvis flat on the floor and push up with your hands, arching your back as you lift your shoulders off the fIoor” says Dr. Minkow.

This will help strengthen your lower back Dr. Minkow recommends that you do it once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

Move Into A Crunch.

While you’re on the floor, turn over onto your back and do what’s called a crunch sit-up. Lie flat with both feet on the floor and your knees bent. Cross your arms and rest your hands on your shoulders. Raise your head and shoulders off the floor as high as you can while keeping your lower back on the floor. Hold for 1 second, then repeat.

Swim On Dry Land.

You don’t need a deep-pile rug to swim on your floor. Lie on your stomach and raise your left arm and your right leg. Hold for 1 second, then alternate with your left leg and right arm as if you were swimming.

This will extend and strengthen your lower back, says Dr. Minkow

Get Into The Pool.

“Swimming is great exercise for the back,” reports Milton Fried, M.D. “A good exercise for acute low back pain is to get into a warm pool and swim.”

Put Your Mettle To The Pedal.

“Ride a stationary bike with a mirror set up so that you can see yourself,” says Dr. Minkow. “Be sure to sit up straight without slouching. If you have to, raise the handlebars so that you’re not bent over forward.”

Remember—no Pain, No Gain, No Brain.

In doing these or any other exercises, Dr. Minkow advises that you be careful and know your limit. “If the exercise you’re doing hurts or aggravates your condition, don’t do the exercise anymore,” he says. “You’re not going to improve anything by gritting your teeth and doing one more repetition. If you feel fine the day after, or two days after you exercise, then it’s safe to continue exercising.”