The Best Exercise for Your Back

What’s the very best thing you can do for your back🤔 In my 30+ years of helping patients with back pain, this question has been a constant. But what most patients are really looking for is how to prevent back pain.

Can we actually prevent back pain from returning?  Although back pain is complex, there are a few high-risk factors for recurrence we know:

  • 🚶‍♂️ Not moving enough
  • 🧘‍♀️ Not moving well
  • 🤷‍♂️ Doing daft things
Good adviceeducation, and thinking about your ‘back before you act’ , along with taking adequate precautions, can mitigate these risks. But let’s talk movement🕺
Good rehab can address not moving well, but it’s not moving enough that often catches us out. We’re creatures of habit , and modern life doesn’t always encourage the movement our bodies crave.

Enter the SAID principle: Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand. In simpler terms, our bodies adapt to what we do most. If you’re mostly sitting, your back adapts by stiffening and losing spinal muscle support, making you a pro sitter but not much else. 🪑➡️💺 This can lead to stress and pain in key spine regions when you try to be more active.

Dentistry has shown us the power of prevention with the simple act of brushing our teeth twice daily 🦷✨. What if we could apply a similar routine to keep our backs healthy?

Introducing rocking: a simple, daily exercise to get your spine moving and counteract the SAID principle.

How to Do It:

Start on your hands and knees in an all-fours position.

Gently look up towards the ceiling, then rock back to get your backside onto your heels while letting your spine roll into a ball, bringing your chin to your chest.
  • Begin with 6, building to 10-12 over weeks.
  • Perform 3-4 times daily.
  • The movement should be smooth, effortless, and pain-free.
If you feel any pain – don’t continue, instead contact us for advice.
🎥 Watch a demonstration below.

Disclaimer: This exercise is a supportive strategy. Always consult a healthcare professional before beginning any new exercise regimen.

I firmly believe that if everyone incorporated rocking into their daily routine, much like brushing teeth , we could significantly reduce back pain recurrence and prevent a lot of unnecessary suffering. 🌟

Give it a try (unless you have knee issues) and feel free to share this tip with anyone looking to dodge back pain. The only thing you’ve got to lose is your back pain.

Stay mobile, stay healthy,
Steve Morris and the Sussex Back Pain Clinic Team


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