(Updated 2017)

Often people ask me “if I have back pain, should I exercise?” I would love to tell you that the answer is simple…

In principle, if you get my emails you have probably already ruled dangerous reasons of back pain, and get access to, what I call, “emergency positions”.

Those soft and slow movements often help the muscles relax, without trying to stretch or strengthen them where they’re not prepared to do so.

Please consider this: muscle spasms is how the body tries to protect itself from further harm.

Any sudden or inappropriate movement while your muscles are contracted may worsen your situation. Even trying to stretch them intensely is usually a bad idea. So forget about an aerobics class or dancing during those days!

Which is why knowing how to move gradually, consciously and carefully, can do wonders for your back pain. And any movement or position that doesn’t sit well with your body should be avoided. That’s very important!

Old-school doctors recommended bed for cases of back pain. Still some doctors (perhaps ignoring the evidence), prescribe “bed” with muscle relaxants, pain and anti-inflammatory medicines.

Today, scientific research shows an advantage in patients who are active compared to those who rest in bed.

There are several reasons why scientific studies show better results with physical activity rather than rest in bed

1) When you move, the muscles stay fit. With no activity, the muscles that already are weak can atrophy even more, worsening the situation.

2) When you move, you bring more blood flow to the affected area. Blood flow helps in the healing process.

3) When you move, you improve your mood. Don’t underestimate it, how you feel is a very important factor that helps the body to heal faster.

When not to move

Although today doctors ask you to move even a little, even after surgery, the movement is usually delicate, and usually supervised by a physiotherapist.

This means that if you have an injury and you do not know how to move, and the movement causes you pain, then instead of just relaxing, the best thing you can do is find a good physiotherapist or Yoga therapist who can help you.

Whether you are working with a professional, or at home by yourself, there may be certain movements that cause pain. But if you notice that you have gotten worse with the exercises after two times of practicing them, something is wrong, and you must notify the professional to change the exercises, or your way of doing them.

Remember that physical activity should be appropriate.

Yoga for the back, or therapeutic Yoga, is not the same as going to a group class of “normal” Yoga. Yoga for back pain (of a therapeutic nature) involves practicing appropriate movements, in an intelligent order, and in a conscious way.

There is more information in the emails that I send of this subject.

I hope this helps you,

For movement that brings a sense of freedom and joy,