Squat exercises are highly effective, as they strengthen the back and core muscles, helping the prevention of injury. They can be done anywhere with or without equipment like weights and resistance bands and can be part of an aerobic workout. Squatting requires following proper form and posture. Using the improper form, adding too much weight too soon, overdoing it without enough recovery time can cause soreness, back pain, and injury. Having muscle soreness after performing squats is expected; however, if symptoms like chronic soreness, tingling, numbness, or sharp aches that come and go, begin to appear, it is recommended to consult a medical trainer, chiropractor, doctor, or spine specialist to evaluate the symptoms, and if necessary develop a treatment plan, as well as a prevention plan to continue exercising safely.
Squatting is a highly beneficial form of exercise. Athletes, trainers, coaches, and individuals just staying healthy use the technique as a part of their training and workouts. This is because squatting increases core muscle strength, increasing body power. Squat exercises benefits include:
The spine is exposed and unprotected during a squat. This is where back pain and injury can happen. Potential causes include:
Ways to troubleshoot and prevent back pain during squat exercises.
A chiropractor or physical therapist will be able to evaluate spinal health, exercise form, and advise if there is an issue.
Don’t engage in workouts or fitness programs that make you miserable. Do workouts/activities that you enjoy and have fun doing. Exercise for the love of the body, keeping it healthy and in shape, not because there is a feeling of obligation.
Calatayud, Joaquín et al. “Tolerability and Muscle Activity of Core Muscle Exercises in Chronic Low-back Pain.” International journal of environmental research and public health vol. 16,19 3509. 20 Sep. 2019, doi:10.3390/ijerph16193509
Clark, Dave R et al. “Muscle activation in the loaded free barbell squat: a brief review.” Journal of strength and conditioning research vol. 26,4 (2012): 1169-78. doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e31822d533d
Cortell-Tormo, Juan M et al. “Effects of functional resistance training on fitness and quality of life in females with chronic nonspecific low-back pain.” Journal of back and musculoskeletal rehabilitation vol. 31,1 (2018): 95-105. doi:10.3233/BMR-169684
Donnelly, David V et al. “The effect of the direction of gaze on the kinematics of the squat exercise.” Journal of strength and conditioning research vol. 20,1 (2006): 145-50. doi:10.1519/R-16434.1
Zawadka, Magdalena et al. “Altered squat movement pattern in patients with chronic low back pain.” Annals of agricultural and environmental medicine: AAEM vol. 28,1 (2021): 158-162. doi:10.26444/aaem/117708
The information herein on "Squat Exercises Causing Low Back Pain" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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