Eight exercises to avoid during spondylitis treatment

Participating in the wrong types of exercises or activities can aggravate spondylitis symptoms and create additional inflammation in the body. In general, avoid contact sports and high-impact activities to avoid putting additional stress on your spine and risking injury. Before starting any new exercise routine, consult with your physician or physical therapist.

Eight exercises to avoid during spondylitis treatment

  1. Avoid contact sports. Contact sports are those sports in which you come into bodily contact with another participant. Contact sports can injure or fracture bones that are fused or brittle due to spondylitis. Contact sports include sports such as football, lacrosse, hockey, roller derby, rugby, soccer and basketball. Instead of participating in contact sports, try limited or no-contact sports such as squash, baseball, golf, swimming or biking.
  2. Weightlifting. Heavy weightlifting is not recommended during spondylitis treatment. Any misstep or mistake in posture can cause pain and injury. Instead of heavy weightlifting, participate in activities that use the body’s own weight or very light weight. You can incorporate additional repetitions instead of more weight.
  3. Step aerobics. Step aerobics incorporates an elevated platform. The exercises use the platform, stepping up and down repetitively. The motion can be jarring and shocking to the spine. If you would like to participate in step aerobics, you can modify the activity by removing the platform to reduce stress on the spine.
  4. Running and jogging. Running and jogging are both high-impact exercises as both feet leave the ground at the same time. There is a large amount of impact and shock that the spine must absorb when the feet return to the ground. Instead of running or jogging, take long walks at a brisk pace on a flat surface. Walking is low-impact and does not negatively affect the spine under normal circumstances.
  5. Kickboxing. Kickboxing is a high-impact sport that also involves contact. The risk for injury, falling, twisting and strain on the spine is very high. This exercise should be avoided completely.
  6. Sit-ups. For people with spondylitis, the curvature of the spine is abnormal. During sit-ups the curve of the spine is reduced, which can drastically increase spondylitis pain. Partial sit-ups are a better option. Lift only your shoulders while contracting your abdominal muscles.
  7. Leg lifts. Leg lifts can increase back pain as the curve of the lower back increases when the legs come off the floor. This exercise also puts strain on the back muscles and spine.
  8. Burpees. Burpees incorporate jumps, squats and push-ups along with forceful actions. This puts a large amount of force on the spine along with shock and impact.

If conservative spondylitis treatment is unsuccessful at resolving symptoms, contact Laser Spine Institute to find out more about our minimally invasive procedures. We have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from neck and back pain. Contact Laser Spine Institute today for a no-cost MRI* review and to find out more about spondylitis treatment options.