Back Pain: Five Exercises That Can Lead to Long-Term Damage

As medical professionals, we always recommend that our patients exercise, but some exercises, especially when performed incorrectly and over a long period of time, can lead to chronic back pain. So, let’s take a look at some of the leading culprits of exercise-related back pain and explore where many of us so often go wrong.

Sit-Ups and Crunches
It’s the move millions use to get toned abs, but it’s also a move that many of us do incorrectly. And when that happens, we not only strain our hip flexors, but we put unnecessary pressure on the discs in our spines, which can lead to long-term damage even if you don’t already have a bad back.

Deadlifts are a great way to strengthen your legs and low back, but when the move is performed incorrectly, and you round your lower back excessively, you risk compressing your vertebral discs.

Almost no workout seems as natural as running, but if you do it with a hunched back, are a heel striker, have a heavy footfall, or just have tight hips, it can spell trouble for your back. And if you don’t have a supportive shoe, the pain can be compounded.

Double-Leg Raises
When you do this move with a flat (un-arched) back, it can help strengthen your core and hip flexors, but when you perform this exercise with poor form, it can stress your lower lumbar and Sacroiliac (SI) joint.

Burpees are explosive, powerful moves that work every major muscle group, but they’re also fairly high impact – and the if you have any bit of back pain or are doing the move without perfect form, they can cause or exacerbate back problems, and/or damage your knees, ankles, wrists, shoulders or elbows.

If you’re new to working out, are coming back from an injury, or just want to perfect your form, book a session or two with a personal trainer who can help you understand what you’re doing correctly – and what you’re not. He or she can also help you find new moves that are powerful and effective, but less likely to cause injury to your back and/or joints.

Visit us at, or call 928.771.8477 for more information.

Author Profile

Vascular & Interventional Specialists of Prescott was formed in 2010 by a group of subspecialty radiologists that perform numerous minimally-invasive, low-risk procedures using the tools of our trade for guidance—x-ray, ultrasound, CT scan, and MRI. The team’s goal is to educate patients and medical communities, while also providing safe and compassionate health care, with rapid recovery times and low risk of complications.