What sports can be practiced after a lumbar injury?

What sports can be practiced after a lumbar injury?

What sports can be practiced after a lumbar injury?

Physical exercise is usually prescribed after a rehabilitation program following a lumbar injury or in case of lower back pain. Under medical prescription, physical activity will be recommended in each case.

In the magazine Annals of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine In 2013, the results obtained after reviewing 2,583 medical articles and analyzing 121 articles were published.

In which some physical activities and their relation to low back pain (LBP) or after a functional rehabilitation program (FRP) are described.

Recommended exercises after rehabilitation or lower back pain


Since swimming is an activity in which the participant’s body weight is fully supported, this activity is generally recommended for patients with LBP or after FRP. Aquatic exercises have proven their effectiveness according to an article published in the journal spine in 2009.


In the medium and long term, regular moderate walking does not seem to be associated with new pain or exacerbation of existing pain.

In a study published in the journal Eur Spine J in 2003, moderate levels of walking in acute LBP were found to help decrease pain (exercise consisted of walking for 10 minutes, rest for 2 minutes, then brisk walking for an additional 5 minutes. Pain reduction was seen immediately after of walking.

However, not enough evidence has been found to conclude that walking is effective in all cases for chronic LBP.


In some cases, supervised cycling can be beneficial for the person with LBP according to data published in the journal Clin Sports Med in 1994, since it constitutes an aerobic activity. However, no beneficial effects of recreational cycling have been reported in patients with LBP.

Check with your doctor if cycling is right for you and with your coach to see if your technique and bike are correct.

The type of bicycle is important, as well as the position, since this influences the load on the spine and the need for technical adjustments.

A stationary bike or city bike is recommended because the posture is similar to mountain biking (the rider’s lumbar spine is closer to lordosis) and to avoid racing bikes because the lumbar spine is in kyphosis.

-Tai Chi

Tai chi may have beneficial effects in persistent LBP by reducing pain. However, more research is needed to confirm that practicing tai chi can significantly help relieve pain in chronic LBP.

In sports activities there may be contraindications, especially sports that place the load or impact on the spine in the lumbar region (golf, horseback riding, tennis, running, etc.) Or in activities that involve greater impact such as skiing, bowling, table tennis , etc.

In all cases, engaging in physical activity should be gradual and should start at a low to moderate level, with proper techniques and equipment, and with personalized training supervised by a physical therapist.

Moderate physical activity and its impact on low back pain

Regular physical activity has been shown to help improve training and does not increase the risk of acute pain in patients with chronic low back pain or after a rehabilitation program.

In general, moderate physical activity or practicing a sport moderately, 3 to 5 times a week, is beneficial for health in patients with LBP if it is practiced regularly, since it improves their physical condition, decreases their risk of LBP and helps reach the level of previous training.

Weight lifting, heavy lifting, and stressful exercises involving flexion or rotation may be risk factors for people with chronic LBP.

In conclusion, the physical activity that is generally recommended is swimming, walking, cycling (with a stationary or city bike with saddle and handlebar positions) and also tai chi help maintain training and flexibility.

Especially if they are performed during or immediately after a rehabilitation program, they can provide many benefits for people with low back pain and facilitate their recovery.

It is always important to choose the appropriate physical activity or sport to control the intensity, volume, time and technique, as well as to avoid complications related to sedentary lifestyle.

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