There are many, many diagnoses available for those suffering with low back pain, and they can all present with very similar signs & symptoms. One such symptom is pain when leaning backwards. Two typical examples for this type of pain, which would dictate completely different treatment procedures, would be facet joint pain and a disc bulge.
If facet joint pain is your problem, this would be due to the joints in your back being ‘forced against’ one another as you lean backwards. The aim of treatment here would be to elicit any muscle imbalance about your lower back and look to stretch and strengthen as appropriate. In addition to this, gently mobilising the joints will also help to take some stress from them, therefore encouraging the healing process. A simple exercise to get you started may be lying on you back and then gently hugging your knees to your chest.
Alternatively, if it is a disc bulge which is causing your pain, this is likely to be a result of the disc being ‘pinched’ as you lean backwards, therefore causing you pain. The irony of it is, if this is the case, some kind of extension (leaning backwards) exercise will form the basis of your treatment. This is likely to begin with you simply lying on your stomach little and often throughout the day. From here, you may well progress to gentle extension exercises while lying on your front.
The important thing to note here is, what may appear to be similar problems due to them both causing pain when leaning backwards, will actually need completely different treatment techniques to resolve the problem.
If you were to perform the exercises intended for a facet joint problem on a disc bulge, or vice versa for that matter, you will only succeed in making your pain worse.
No treatment or exercise programme should make your pain worse, if it does, something needs to be changed. It maybe you are performing the correct exercises, but are just being a bit to vigorous to begin with. However, it may also be that you are simply performing the incorrect exercises for your problem.
Either way, if things are making your pain worse, you need to change what you are doing, either by easing off or trying a different exercise altogether.