Why Does My Lower Back Always Hurt Post-Workout

“Dealing with post-workout lower back pain? Discover the causes and solutions. Prevent future discomfort with expert tips and exercises. Take control today!”

Experiencing soreness post-workout is normal. However, persistent lower back pain post-workout may indicate underlying conditions. We tend to engage in exercises without the awareness of basics, including posture, weights, and intensity. Ignoring such factors counteracts the goal of working out and leads to injuries. Hence, before you work out, take the time to understand your body’s needs and be mindful of possible injuries or discomfort. 

Understanding Lower Back Pain After a Workout

We assume that workouts increase strength, flexibility, mobility, and general functionality. However, like any other activity, excessively engaging in the same or not following healthy exercise habits can harm one’s fitness. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, most people injure their backs when they suddenly engage in high-intensity lifting. Further, poor posture during exercise can aggravate pre existing conditions like spinal issues. 

When Lower Back Pain After a Workout is Normal?

Feeling tightness or tension in the lower back is expected after a particular exercise. For instance, deadlifts and squats activate the rear muscles, leading to stress. Further, a dull ache or soreness is a common consequence of workouts. These symptoms can be explained by delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Our body’s natural inflammatory response to exercise causes subtle strain on the muscles and connective tissues. You may have observed that back DOMS (lower back pain) develops gradually after exercise. It may develop within 6 to 8 hours after a workout, with it reaching a peak at around 24 to 48 hours, and finally diminishing in approximately 72 hours. 

When Lower Back Pain After Workout Becomes a Concern

It is important to know that not all forms of lower back pain are typical. Feeling a sharp pain after your workout or persistent pain in a specific area is not normal. This form of acute pain during and immediately after your workout can be a symptom of a back injury. Further, with such damages, the pain tends to persist 72 to 96 hours post-exercise. In addition to general pain, accompanying signs may aggravate the pain and the condition. For instance, some recognizable signs include tenderness, pain spreading to other body regions, weakness, and inflammation. 

Causes of Lower Back Pain Post-Workout

Poor exercise habits, old injuries, lifting heavy weights, and more are part of a longer list of factors that can cause lower back pain. 

Overuse injuries

Doubling down on a specific area repeatedly leads to wear and tear of muscles and joints in that region. This eventually results in inflammation, weakness, and severe pain. This is why experts recommend including exercises focusing on different muscle groups in your workout regime. 

Poor posture

Having poor form while lifting weights or engaging in form of exercise can strain or injure the ligaments and muscles of the back. It may also exert pressure on the spine and joints leading to alignment issues, fractures, dislocations, and more.

Weak core muscles

The core muscles play a major role in maintaining the strength and stability of the back. It includes the front abdominal muscles, muscles on the side of the body, back muscles that run along the spine, and the transverse abdominal surrounding the front and back muscles. Following exercise regimes that do not activate or strengthen the core muscles adds to general back pain that may worsen over time. 


Dehydrating before, during, or after a workout can lead to severe lower back pain. The fluid-filled cavities in each disc support and nourish the spine. However, dehydration reduces the amount of fluid, leading to stress, inflammation, and pain. 

Pre Existing conditions

Exercising while tackling preexisting conditions like arthritis, osteoporosis, herniated discs, ligament strain, and more can aggravate the pain. Hence modifying your workout regime around the preexisting condition is essential to avoid further pain and injury. 

Treatment Options for Lower Back Pain After a Workout

Experts recommend several home remedies and specialized treatment plans to cope with lower back pain post-workout. 

Rest and Ice

Taking a break and giving your back the rest it needs is essential to avoid overstraining. Further, applying ice for at least 20 minutes can help reduce tightness, inflammation, and pain in the lower back. Keep in mind that as you apply ice, wrap it in a cloth to avoid frostbite. 

Pain Medications

As medical experts prescribe, several medications like Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and muscle relaxants can temporarily relieve pain and inflammation. However, pain medications are only effective when combined with other treatment forms. 

Physical Therapy

Our physiotherapists say stretching and strengthening exercises can help reduce pain, tightness, and tension. Further, it can improve flexibility, strength, and range of motion associated with the lower back. In addition to treatment, physiotherapists also take the time to educate their clients on basic lifestyle changes that help avoid such conditions and improve their overall well-being. 

Chiropractic Adjustments

At Physiotattva, a certified chiropractor follows a hands-on approach to manipulate and readjust the body, especially the spine. Different manipulations are used to fix alignment issues in the spine that may have been aggravating lower back pain. 

Massage Therapy

Different types of massages can reduce tension, stiffness, and pain in the lower back. In addition to reducing pain, specialized massage techniques target soft tissues and joints to improve mobility and strength. 

Prevention Techniques for Lower Back Pain Post-Workout

Along with the wide range of treatment modalities, several preventative measures suggested by our experts play a major role in avoiding lower back pain post workouts.

Proper form

Maintaining proper form as your workout is one of the most important preventative measures for lower back pain. Keeping your back straight, chin and neck aligned, and shoulders, back, and knees relaxed are some common reminders that can help improve your form. 

Gradual progression

Starting with gentle and low-impact exercises and gradually shifting to high-impact workouts can help prevent overexertion or strain in the lower back. Further, gradually increasing the frequency and intensity of your workout routine prevents sudden pressure on the back and allows it to build strength and mobility. 

Proper warm-up and cool-down

Basic warm-up and cool-down exercises are a crucial part of your workout regime. Both warm and cool-down exercises help reduce soreness, inflammation, and lactic acid build-up. Along with this, such exercises help regulate heart rate and improve circulation.   

Core strengthening exercises

Our experts recommend engaging in core exercises that include low-impact cardiovascular exercises (walking or jogging), exercise ball workouts, or even water therapy. These exercises help increase blood flow and stretch and strengthen your muscles.  


Performing simple stretches, especially for your hamstrings, can help decrease excessive pressure on the pelvis and prevent lower back pain. Further, stretches also help improve flexibility, relax muscles, and lengthen the spine.

Avoiding high-risk exercises

High-risk exercises are known to exert pressure on the spine which may result in severe injuries. With the lower back, any odd movement or a sudden increase in the intensity of exercises can tear the muscles and ligaments. This will further lead to inflammation, muscle spasms, pain, and stiffness. 

Adequate rest and recovery

Taking time off to rest and recover does not mean not engaging in exercise. Experts recommend practicing low-impact exercises (yoga, brisk walking, jogging) and breathing exercises to help promote recovery and reduce pain.

Break the Cycle of Lower Back Pain Post-Workout

At Physiotattva, our team of trained professionals can help you break the cycle of lower back pain after your workouts. We offer specialized treatments, including physiotherapy,  acupuncture, chiropractic care, electrotherapy, and aqua therapy, tailored to meet your unique needs. With our expert advice and customized treatment plans, you can gain a better understanding of the causes of your lower back pain and prevent future discomfort. Don't let pain hold you back from achieving your fitness goals. Take the first step towards recovery today by booking an appointment with us. Our team is dedicated to helping you feel your best and get back to doing the things you love without the burden of lower back pain.

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes lower back pain after a workout?

There are several causal factors for lower back pain after a workout including- 

  1. Poor posture 
  2. Overuse injuries 
  3. Underlying conditions (arthritis, osteoporosis, etc)
  4. Dehydration 
  5. A sudden shift to high-impact exercises 
  6. Weak core muscles

What are the best treatments for lower back pain after a workout?

Our experts recommend many home remedies and specialized treatment techniques for lower back pain. Common ones include-

  1. Ice and heat therapy 
  2. Chiropractic adjustments
  3. Acupuncture
  4. Massages
  5. Aqua therapy 
  6. Physical therapy

Is it normal to experience lower back pain after exercise?

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), usually recognized as lower back pain, is a normal reaction post workouts. However, this only lasts for a short period.  

Why does my back hurt so much after a back workout?

Feeling sharp and persistent back pain after your workout may indicate overstrain, underlying conditions, preexisting injuries, and improper form. 

Can massage therapy help relieve lower back pain after a workout?

Different types of massage therapy help reduce pain, inflammation, and stiffness in the lower back. Further, massage therapy also helps improve circulation and strengthen the lower back muscles.