How Much Should I Exercise for My Lower Back Pain?

By Steve Silverman

Titrist Golf Ball Near Golf Hole
Lower back pain can end a golf season. The game of golf involves constant twisting of the lower back and core muscles, and the advent of pain means there is a problem that must be addressed. Lower back pain can be debilitating and rest is often required. However, once the rehab process starts and exercise is started, it's important not to overdo it.

After the Injury

You may have injured your back in the middle of a golf swing or you may have hurt it doing a household chore. You need to do as little as possible for the first 24 to 48 hours. The best resting position is to lie on your back on the floor while placing your lower legs on a chair. This will take pressure off your lower back.

Starting to Recover

Start moving after the initial period of rest. Walking is a great way to begin your recovery. You can walk in your neighborhood or you can walk in a pool. If you have the opportunity to get in the water and walk for 10 to 15 minutes, that will help you recover and also strengthen your back.

Back Exercise

Gentle exercise is the best way to start. Lie on the floor with your arms at your sides. Bend your knees at a 45-degree angle. Hold your right leg with both hands and slowly pull it up to your chest. Hold it for two seconds and release; do this 10 times. Do the same move with your left leg. Take a 30-second break and repeat the set. Once you have done this exercise, relax your back and wait at least 24 hours before trying it again. Stop this exercise if you feel any pain.


Any exercise in a pool is relatively safe for a lower back injury. You will not tax your back if you try to exercise in the water as long as you limit your exercise time to 15 or 20 minutes and don't do it more than once a day. Swimming a slow freestyle stroke will help your back recover.

Wall Stretch

This is another non-invasive exercise that you can do once a day when you are recovering from a lower back injury. Stand 12 to 14 inches away from a wall. Place your hands on the wall at shoulder height. Move your right foot five to six inches in front of your right foot. Bend your elbows so your chin is touching the wall. Push back and straighten your elbows. Do this 10 times. Switch the position of your feet and then do 10 more of these stretches. Stop this exercise if you feel any pain.

About The Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.


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