Getting The Best From Your Personal Trainer When You Have Lower Back Pain


Personal trainers are one of the key members of a team to help your lower back pain. Along with a physiotherapist or chiropractor, personal trainers can help identify the cause of the pain and the type of exercises that would be helpful for your lower back.

By identifying the movements that hurt your lower back and which movements are helpful your personal trainer can custom tailor your exercise program.

Whether this is the first time you’ve had back pain or you have chronic lower back pain, here are 4 crucial points to keep in mind.

How To Help Your Personal Trainer Help You

#1. Contact your personal trainer before your next training session. Your personal trainer can then make a modified training program that will take into account your lower back pain. The more prepared your personal trainer is the better and less painful your work out you will be.

For example, if you hurt your lower back by gardening and you only have pain while sitting and bending forward your personal trainer may get you to squat with your body weight or just the bar making sure your lower back is arched.

Lower back injuries often cause the motor program (muscle coordination) in your lower back to be mixed up. Like electrical wires that have frayed and short-circuited, your lower back nerves don’t fire properly making the muscles weak and uncoordinated.

To get your nerves and muscles to fire in the proper way and regain muscle strength and stability in your core, your lower back requires the right exercises that a personal trainer can provide.

#2 Tell your personal trainer when your lower back is painful. In the early stages, it may be desirable to have no pain while doing your rehabilitation with your personal trainer. Later on, some normal soreness may be desirable. Using your feedback your personal trainer may further tailor your workout to speed up your recovery and avoid a recurrence.

#3 Contact your physiotherapist or chiropractor. Personal trainers are part of a team that can help optimize your lower back pain along with your physiotherapist. Personal trainers are experts at training and rehabilitation but not diagnosing your pain.

#4. Getting back to your personal trainer is the most important thing you can do to speed up your recovery. By being too sedentary you are setting yourself up for lower back pain in the future. While it’s OK to give it break in the severe or acute stage you still need to keep walking. Research has clearly shown that the earlier you get back to activity the quicker your lower back will recover.

Personal trainers are a great part of a team to help the rehabilitation of your core so you can get back on track.

Not all personal trainers are qualified alike. There are many personal trainers that have just the basic level of training. If you are unsure, ask them these 5 key questions to see if they are the right personal trainer for you. That’s another topic to be covered another day.

Dr Ken Nakamura, DC, CAFCI, MDT is the #1 rated chiropractor on for Toronto. He was selected to be on the medical lead for the Pan Am Games and has helped Judo Ontario at local tournaments. He currently kick-boxes, works out and scuba dives for fun and has previously run the Toronto marathon twice. You can find out more about the Dr Ken and his exercises  that help pain through his blog at

Dr Ken Nakamura