Is Twisting Good for Lower Back Pain?

Is Twisting Good for Lower Back Pain?

Lower back pain is a common issue affecting millions of people worldwide. Various treatments and exercises are recommended to alleviate this pain, including twisting exercises. However, is twisting good for lower back pain? This article explores the benefits and risks of twisting for lower back pain, supported by credible sources, expert opinions, statistical data, and real-life examples.

Understanding Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain can be caused by various factors, including poor posture, muscle strain, herniated discs, and degenerative conditions such as arthritis. Understanding the underlying cause of the pain is crucial for determining the most effective treatment.

Common Causes of Lower Back Pain

  • Muscle Strain: Overuse or sudden movements can strain the muscles in the lower back.
  • Herniated Discs: When the discs between vertebrae bulge or rupture, they can press on nerves, causing pain.
  • Degenerative Disc Disease: Age-related wear and tear can lead to chronic lower back pain.
  • Arthritis: Inflammation of the joints can affect the spine and cause lower back pain.

The Role of Twisting in Lower Back Pain Relief

Twisting exercises, also known as rotational exercises, are often included in fitness routines to improve flexibility and strength. However, their impact on lower back pain can vary based on the individual’s condition and the execution of the exercises.

Risks of Twisting Exercises

Expert Warning: Dr. Andrew Hecht, Chief of Spine Surgery at Mount Sinai Health System, warns that twisting exercises can be harmful if done incorrectly or too aggressively. Twisting poses can put stress on the spine, potentially exacerbating existing conditions such as herniated discs​.

Case Study: A 2018 report in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy highlighted cases where improper twisting exercises led to increased pain and injury, emphasizing the need for proper technique and guidance.

How to Safely Perform Twisting Exercises

To reap the benefits of twisting exercises without risking injury, it is crucial to follow proper techniques and guidelines.

Tips for Safe Twisting Exercises

  1. Warm-Up: Always warm up your muscles before performing any twisting exercises to reduce the risk of injury.
  2. Controlled Movements: Perform twists slowly and deliberately to maintain control and avoid sudden jerks.
  3. Proper Alignment: Ensure your spine is aligned correctly throughout the exercise to prevent undue stress on the lower back.
  4. Listen to Your Body: Stop immediately if you feel any sharp or severe pain while twisting.

Alternatives to Twisting for Lower Back Pain Relief

Stretching Exercises

Description: Gentle stretches such as hamstring stretches, hip flexor stretches, and pelvic tilts can help alleviate lower back pain by reducing tension and improving flexibility.

Strengthening Exercises

Description: Strengthening the core muscles can provide better support for the lower back. Exercises like planks, bridges, and leg raises are beneficial.

Professional Treatments

Description: Physical therapy, chiropractic care, and massage therapy are professional treatments that can help manage and alleviate lower back pain.


Twisting exercises can be beneficial for lower back pain when performed correctly and under proper guidance. However, they can also pose risks if done improperly. It is essential to consider individual conditions and consult with healthcare professionals before incorporating twisting exercises into your routine. Alternatives such as stretching, strengthening exercises, and professional treatments can also provide effective relief for lower back pain.

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