Lower Back Pain From Working Out

03/11/2022 | 5 min. read

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Working out is an essential component of health and wellness. However, you may experience pain or soreness in some situations due to a particularly intense workout, not warming up properly, or even an injury.

If you’ve noticed lower back pain from working out, you must determine the actual cause so you can more easily plan ways to avoid it in the future.

Healthy Directions wants to help you protect your body from both the outside and the inside as much as possible. We have more information about why lower back pain from working out may occur and the warning signs you may need to seek medical attention.

Why Is It Important To Pay Attention To Lower Back Pain From Working Out?

Although it may be tempting to ignore pain, not giving it the attention it deserves can lead to longer, more chronic pain issues. What starts as mild, acute back pain can quickly turn into back pain that interferes with your everyday life.

If you let these issues continue without addressing them, you may even create a situation that can no longer be treated.

When You Should Worry About Lower Back Pain

You should always take any pain that is out of the ordinary seriously. However, certain factors should trigger you to seek medical attention for your lower back pain sooner rather than later.

Specifically, suppose your lower back pain is also radiating down into your buttocks, legs, and feet. In that case, if it impacts your ability to perform your daily activities, or if it continues to worsen, it’s time to make an appointment with a medical professional.

Also, you should address any pain that also happens alongside bladder incompetence right away.

What Causes Lower Back Pain From Working Out?

If you’re experiencing lower back pain from working out, you’ve likely developed at least a mild muscle sprain. These strains are most often the result of bending, reaching, or twisting movements past your usual range of motion.

Even small exercises are capable of causing lower back sprains, and these usually happen for one of three reasons. Identifying what may be causing your lower back pain issues can help you formulate a plan to work to treat and even prevent them in the future.

Pushing Your Body Too Hard

Challenging yourself is a great way to increase your fitness levels and reach your goals when you work out. However, pushing yourself too hard can work the opposite by increasing the likelihood of injuring yourself during a workout.

Luckily, there are signs that this may be the situation before you develop lower back pain from working out. If you notice that you are abnormally sore after a new workout, your soreness seems to be on one side of the body more than the other, or if you are starting to dread working out, reevaluate your workout and maybe decrease the intensity as well.

Not Building Your Core

While it’s impressive to have six-pack abs, building your core strength can also help to keep your entire body safe and protected.

When your core muscles are weak, they can’t protect and stabilize the spine the way they’re supposed to. Strong, healthy core muscles help keep the spine upright, even when you’re doing exercises that don’t involve your abs.

Research has shown that core strength training is even more effective than resistance training for chronic back pain.

Using Bad Form

When working out, and especially when strength training, it’s vital to use the correct form. If you don’t take the time to learn the proper form, you may end up hurting yourself.

For people new to working out, it’s a good idea to work with a personal trainer so that you can learn the correct form before trying it on your own.

Should I Keep Working Out With Lower Back Pain?

Although many people work out with pain due to a “pain is gain” mentality, working out with lower back pain is not a good idea. If you’re experiencing pain, it’s a far better idea to take a day or two off and see if it will resolve before going back to your exercise routine.

If you don’t want to miss a workout day, try some dynamic stretching or yoga instead of an intense workout. Exercises like this can increase the blood flow to your muscles and encourage healing, plus it may help to work out some of the minor soreness.

Other Ways To Avoid Lower Back Pain

In addition to following proper body mechanics, there are a few other ways that you may be able to help avoid developing musculoskeletal pain and strains.

Warming up before working out is one of the easiest ways to prevent pain and injury after a workout. The focus used to be on stretching specifically, but research has shown that it isn’t quite the prevention measure as was previously thought. More beneficial is taking the time to gently warm up your muscles.

If you notice an increase in lower back pain, it might be a sign that you need to take a break from working out entirely for a while.

However, instead of not getting any activity, try walking instead. Walking is still an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise, helping keep you healthy without being high-impact and increasing the likelihood of developing lower back pain.

And finally, and perhaps most importantly, don’t neglect your water intake. Not only does water offer some natural pain relief, but it also helps hydrate the body, which can protect against muscle strain and injury.

In Conclusion

Lower back pain from working out can derail your progress toward your health and fitness goals. Knowing how to reduce your risk of developing that pain can help you keep your mind and body healthy while still doing what it needs to function at its most optimal level.

If you have questions about other ways you can work toward better health, trust the healthcare experts at Healthy Directions. We’re here with scientifically backed guidance you can believe in.


Low Back Pain Fact Sheet | National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Core strength training for patients with chronic low back pain | PubMed

Stretching and injury prevention: an obscure relationship | PubMed

Healthy Directions Staff Editor