6056 E Baseline Rd.

Suite 147
Mesa, AZ 85206

Mon - Fri 6AM to 7PM

Sat 8AM to 12PM

6056 E Baseline Rd.

Suite 147
Mesa, AZ 85206

Mon - Fri 6AM to 7PM

Sat 8AM to 12PM

The Stable Spine Series Part 3: Why You Could Be Hurting Your Back Worse With Exercise

Stable Spine ExerciseYou may have seen in past articles that I’ve written in this series about how movement and exercise is essential to a healthy back.

You may have been told by a doctor or physical therapist to “try some stretches”, “do some walking”. Maybe told to “strengthen your core”..

But what if exercising just seems so far out of the equation? All because getting out of bed, and standing upright for a few minutes is challenging enough?

It may be difficult for you to see, but there IS a solution to this problem.

If you are one of the many people out there who are trying to become more active, but are held back because of back pain, it is primarily because of these three reasons:

3 Reasons Of Being Held Back Because of Back Pains:

  1. The movements and exercises are too hard for your body in its current state
  2. The movements and exercises are not challenging enough to make a change in your body
  3. The pain is so bad that you choose not to exercise for fear of making it worse.

But in actuality, you need to find a middle-ground between what your body can physically do and how to push yourself just enough to gain benefits – from exercising.

Story Time of Back Pain

A recent client of mine, by the name of Shawna (age 55) had been struggling with chronic back problems on/off for years. Only until recently had things turned for the worse…

Shawna is very health conscious. She ate well and made generally good decisions about her health. But due to a sedentary job, her hips became tighter and her back muscles had weakened over time…

Originally, she’d been told to “do some stretches” and “strengthen her core” by her doctor. But working with a physical therapist at the time, she’d been instructed in “planks” and other “ab” exercises, but it only made her pain worse…

“I was frustrated because the exercises were CAUSING me MORE pain, and doing them made me want to collapse” she’d said to me.

But she powered through. She figured she’d keep it safe doing very basic stretches, a bit of light walking, and some pool exercises.

While these exercises definitely helped her symptoms…

It just wasn’t enough to get her back to her normal life, such as hiking, picking up her grandkids, or even just doing normal activities she’d been used to years ago.

What was her solution?

The Solution To Her Back

She knew something else had to be done. She was NOT going to have surgery. And she also refused to take pain meds, and possessed a strong desire to get back to the active lifestyle she was used to in the past…

So she found herself here at Spark Performance and Physiotherapy where we do things a little different. She was taken through a movement and mobility assessment.

The movement and mobility assessment is an in-depth analysis of ALL of your bodies movements. This will not just look at where you’re hurting, but also figure the ROOT CAUSE of WHY you’re hurting.

And to also see what exactly what your body is capable of, and figure out which movements are safest and most effective.

And in Shawna’s ‘Movement and Mobility Assessment’…

We were able to quickly figure out her problem was NOT from her arthritis. It was simply a case of her soft tissue being irritated.

‘Irritated soft tissue’ is one of the most common problems we see. The result of a minor tissue injury is a structural problem which you may see on an  x-ray or MRI.

About Irritated Soft Tissues

This ‘irritated soft tissue’ developed from:

  • Hip tightness
  • Muscle stiffness along her lower back
  • Weakness and inhibition of her pelvo-hip complex

Instead of rushing Shawna into doing a bunch of ‘core strengthening’ exercises, we took a step back. We used the information revealed in her ‘Movement and Mobility Assessment’:

  • We loosened her hips to take a significant amount of ‘pulling’ and ‘strain’ OFF her back by using very focused stretching and mobility activities.
  • Relaxed her chronically tightened muscles, and alleviated pressure and tension OFF her low back with some of our hands-on manual therapy techniques.

This was so important for her ability to FEEL the right muscles engage. Her CONFIDENCE with her movement was now much different…

And what happened afterward?


With newfound mobility and learning correct ways to move, she was no longer susceptible to standing, walking, or exercising with this ‘irritated soft tissue’ issue.

And now with introduction of a custom-tailored, highly specified exercise program that matched her exact problems, within under ONE MONTH she is now:

  • Able to pick up and play with her grandkids without ANY FEAR of her back going out
  • Able to walk, and socialize all day with her friends. Before she’d be confined to her house because of pain
  • Now able to keep up with her husband on some short hikes, and is now enjoying exercise and moving again!

It all started when she received her very own mobility and movement assessment when she’d claim her own free consult here at Spark Performance and Physiotherapy.

The Consult is a chance for us to have an honest conversation about your health. This also allows us to see if we are a good fit for each other to meet your goals, and for us to give you a chance to see your very own mobility and movement assessment results.

A chance for us to help you figure out the ROOT CAUSE of your problem. If we feel confident to solve it, we will reveal to you exactly how we will do it.

All you need to do is visit this link right here, fill out a quick 30 second webform and we will help you get started on your path back to a happy, healthy, and active lifestyle

As always, you can contact me at [email protected] if you have ANY further questions or would like to speak to me on a more personal level.

Until next time!



Steven Alexander

Doctor of Physical Therapy