4 Quick Tips for Exercising with Low Back Pain

By: Dr. Caitlin Davidson

Low back pain is one of the most common conditions experienced by Canadians.  It is often recurrent, chronic, and can really get in the way of the things we love to do.  It can scare us away from working out because the last thing we want is to injure ourselves further.  But research has shown that keeping moving is one of the best ways to relieve and prevent low back pain!  This doesn’t mean that you should push through pain and exercise as if you aren’t injured, but it does mean that you don’t have to skip your workout.  Here are some tips for exercising with low back pain:

1.     Tell your instructor: letting the teacher know about any injuries is always important, because they will be able to provide you with modifications for certain exercises to support you throughout the class. 

2.     Modify Modify Modify: this might mean choosing a lower-intensity version of an exercise, performing the movement at a much slower speed, using lighter weights (or skipping the weights all together), or choosing to do a different pose/exercise than the rest of the group.  Exercises that keeps your spine in a neutral position will likely make for good modifications, such as squats, planks, glut bridges, curl-ups, bird-dogs.  Your instructor will be able demonstrate how to safely perform such low-back-sparing exercises. 

3.     Listen to your body: only you will know what feels right and what doesn’t; don’t ignore and push through pain.  This is a great time to practice self care by moving extra mindfully and only doing exercises that support you on the road to recovery. 

4.     Get it checked out: manual healthcare professionals are uniquely qualified to help with low back pain.  So make an appointment with your provider of choice (physiotherapist, RMT, etc.) and consider seeking care from the experts in spine health, chiropractors!  Low back pain is our specialty.


Dr. Caitlin Davidson, BSc (Hons), DC

Dr. Davidson graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in 2016, while being co-president of the ICPA Pediatrics Club and teaching in a Senior’s Chair Yoga Program. In 2017 she also became a Certified Animal Chiropractor. She is a member in good standing with College of Chiropractors of Ontario. Dr. Davidson is passionate about helping your entire family live your healthiest, most balanced lives. And she loves to practice what she preaches, which is why you can catch her in all styles of classes at Yogathletix!