Spinal Pain Exercises – Choosing The Best One

Spinal Pain Exercises

13 Apr Spinal Pain Exercises – Choosing The Best One

How Do I Choose the Best Exercise for My Spinal Pain?

Spinal Pain Exercises – Choosing The Best One


Many patients visit physiotherapists for spinal pain. Spinal pain can be divided into four main areas:

1.       Neck pain

2.       Upper back (thoracic) pain

3.       Lower back (lumbar) pain

4.       Pelvic (coccyx and sacroiliac joint) pain

Although pain in those four different areas can feel differently by different patients, research has shown that most spinal pain responds best to exercise, in addition to guided treatment by physiotherapists and osteopaths.

So what does that mean to patients?


This means that most patients will improve if they follow an exercise plan to supplement their physiotherapy or osteopathic treatment. In-house treatment sessions, such as manual therapy, acupuncture, massage therapy etc. are not enough to make a difference.

Patients should come to therapy expecting a home exercise programme, and the willingness to practice these exercises at home.

Is this treatment approach suitable for all spinal pain patients?


Treatment approaches rarely suit all patients. And that is why at Perfect Balance Clinics we can provide you with a complete spinal assessment to help you figure out if this approach is the best for you. This approach is more likely to suit you if:

1.       You have spinal pain that has lasted beyond 3 months.

2.       Your spinal pain is associated with no movement (static postures) such as sitting down at your desk, or not going to the gym / doing any exercise for a while.

3.       You have spinal pain that is recurrent (comes on and off for over a long period of time).

4.       You have tried an intensive course of therapy beforehand and it has not helped, or symptoms have returned after a period of a month or so.

5.       You are not currently being investigated for any lower back sinister pathology; such as inflammatory disease, fractures, tumours or infections.

6.       You are generally fit and well apart from your spinal pain.

7.       You think stress and tension at work or in your personal life might be contributing to your spinal pain.

If you think any of the above sound like you, then you might consider undergoing a full spinal assessment with a physiotherapist or an osteopath to confirm that a combination of an in-house therapy session coupled with a home exercise programme is suitable for you.

What types of exercises are right for me?


The research conducted by the Cochrane Database for Systematic Reviews has shown that there is not one form of exercise that is superior to another when it comes to the reduction of spinal pain. The exercises reviewed included exercises for range of movement, for muscle strength, Pilates, and spinal stabilisation.

So perhaps you are wondering what is the best way to choose an exercise programme then?

Further research has shown that exercises should be tailored for patients’ specific needs. This means that patients need to be thoroughly examined, and any identified weaknesses should be address. For example; if someone has a weak core, then core stability muscles should be strengthened. Or, if someone has a weak hip that is contributing to pelvic or lumbar pain, the hip should be exercised.

At Perfect Balance Clinic we have a complete set of healthcare professionals that can assess you and tailor a home exercise programme for you that is specific to your needs.

Research also shows that patients are more likely to do their exercises if it suits their needs and they enjoy their home exercise programme. For example; if a patient has a long-term goal to increase their walking distance, or return to running – exercises should be chosen to direct the patient towards that goal.

Clinicians at Perfect Balance Clinics are experienced in Sports Rehabilitation and have affiliations with personal trainers, running and cyclist specialists that can be incorporated into your treatment plan to guarantee you the best results.

And finally, research shows that patients who combine exercise programmes that are appropriate for them alongside their in-house treatment are more likely to have reduced limitations associated with their spinal pain, and not just a decrease in pain!

If the ideas in this article resonate with your experience, call our reception team to book an appointment with a member of our team today. Remember, it is important to have an assessment by a qualified professional to aid your recovery from spinal pain!


This article was written by our physiotherapist Dana Maki.


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