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I am about 47. I have done regular sit ups for about half a year. The results are good and I almost have a 6-pack. However, I now feel a slight pain in my back. I have realized that the contact between the backbone (spinal column) and the floor has caused the pain and hurt it. It is swollen.

Should I wait till I have recovered? Could I add yoga mat and keeping doing the exercise? Or is a sit-up bench a good solution for the situation? Are there any other solutions?

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Based upon your description, it sounds as though you have most likely just bruised the tissue covering the spinous processes of the vertebral column. This is easy to do if you are performing your sit-ups on a hard floor, as there is no muscle and little fat to cushion your mid-line as you set yourself down between each repetition. If it is just bruising, there is no danger in continuing with your training.

And yes, the best solution is an exercise/yoga mat or a sit-up bench. Alternatively, just a towel folded over twice tucked under the ischial tuberosities (sit-bones) can offer enough padding to elevate the hip and relieve the pressure on the lumbar spine.

To be certain that it is just bruising, palpate the skin along the vertebral column. If it is, the skin will feel tender directly on top of the spinous processes. If there is pain or discomfort between or lateral to the processes, or deeper within the vertebral column, you should seek advice from a physiotherapist or sports doctor.

I hope that is helpful.

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