Pushups, Harmful?

Q. I have heard that people with “bad backs” should not do push-ups. I do about 100 pushups/day three or four times a week and have never experienced any related back pain that I am aware of. Is it ok for me to continue doing pushups?

A. Push-ups are an excellent exercise for patients with “bad backs.” Any exercise, including push-ups, strengthen the “core” muscles of your trunk and help provide additional support and stability for the spine. I would encourage continued aerobic conditioning as well as core strengthening as a part of treatment in patients with “bad backs.”

Scott D. Hodges, D.O.

Cervical and Lumbar Specialist

Center for Sports Medicine and Orthopaedics

2415 McCallie Ave., Chattanooga, TN