Okay, this statistic just straight-up sucks: Eighty percent of adults will probably suffer through back pain at least once in their lives, according to the National Institutes of Health. While that might seem like a great excuse to just stop going to the gym—you should check your instincts here.
“If they’re not dealing with a traumatic injury, most people suffer from back pain as a result of a weak core, weak hips and glutes, and prolonged periods of poor ergonomics—or poor posture while sitting,” says Dan Giordano, a physical therapist and certified strength and conditioning specialist (C.S.C.S.). That’s because,“prolonged sitting in the wrong position may cause our hip flexors to tighten, anteriorly rotating the pelvis to increase pressure on your lumbar, or lower, spine,” says Giordano.
That’s where exercise comes in. Sure, if you’re suffering from back pain, you may initially need rest. “But done properly, exercise will actually help cure back pain” says Giordano.
Giordano recommends meeting with a physical therapist to help you choose the right exercises for you. But to get started, here are six of the moves he commonly recommends to treat and prevent back pain.