Sports and Their Influence on Your Spinal Health – Summary

To summarize briefly, we can divide all sports and types of exercise into four main categories in the context of their level of impact on your spinal health:

  1. High impact, e.g. running, jogging, outdoor cycling, step aerobics, and the likes.
  2. Low impact, e.g. swimming, indoor cycling, resistance training with training machines and the likes; also yoga, Pilates, and their combinations (e.g. yogla).
  3. Contact sports, e.g. football, basketball, volleyball, or any activity where collision may happen.
  4. Torso twisting sports, e.g. golf, tennis, table tennis, kayaking, and every activity where your torso is forcefully twisted to one or both sides.

In the back rehabilitation context, the safest type of exercise is the LOW IMPACT. The high impact sports put too much stress on the intervertebral discs and ligaments with their repetitive ‘jarring’ compression. In contact sports you don’t have any control over collisions that may put your spinal health at risk of further traumatize your existing spinal problem. Torso twisting sports are more controlled than contact sports and don’t stress the spinal structures as much as the high impact exercises, however, – the forceful twists of the torso are like accidents waiting to happen – too risky.

With all of the above we are not trying to discourage you from doing what you want to do, but an informed risk assessment before any physical activity, to eliminate or at least, minimize the risks – is essential in the context of your spinal health! Always make informed decisions!

In this section we overview:

  • Bicycling
  • Weightlifting/bodybuilding
  • Golf
  • Running
  • Skiing
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Yoga
  • Pilates

If you are experincing back pain or sciatica at present moment, leave the sports out for a couple of months and come to see us. We will design your own back rehabilitation regimen, and with time, safely direct you back into your sport, or hobby, when your back is ready. Good luck with your fitness goals!


Your own physical condition and diagnosis may require specific modifications or precautions. Before undertaking any course of self-treatment you should consult a doctor or physiotherapist.

Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression:

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