Easy Steps To Get Rid of Back Pain

Written by Andy Mobbs
Reviewed by Ioannis Nikitidis
get rid of back pain

Lower back pain is a common symptom characterizing the Western lifestyle. The lack of physical activity combined with the sitting position that we have while working in front of a PC, tablet, or mobile phone usually causes back pain. But even active people who train regularly can face back pain problems, sometimes because of bad posture during their daily activities or wrong technique while exercising. So, how do you get rid of back pain? We share some tips with you below.

Tip #1: Strengthen your back and abdominal muscles

Even teenagers can feel pain in their back because of not wearing appropriate shoes when training or because of sudden moves they might perform during sports like soccer, basketball, and other contact sports.  However, one of the most crucial things we can do to prevent our lower back from any kind of pain is to strengthen it and strengthen our abdominal muscles. These muscle groups support your torso and provide stability, leading to better posture and less strain on your lower back.

Even if you are currently experiencing some back pain, there are some stretches and light exercises that you can perform to feel better without deteriorating the already existing back pain. These exercises will also help you recover easier and prevent future similar conditions. 

When working on building lumbar stability, there are two important techniques that enhance the effectiveness of the exercise: drawing- in and bracing.

The drawing-in technique involves pulling in the lower ab muscles towards the spine. To do this, you take a deep inhale then exhale completely, drawing your stomach in, as you perform the exercise. For example, if you were doing a sit-up, you would inhale as you lay back then exhale and ‘hollow’ your stomach as you sat back up.

The bracing technique consists of tightening your abs and keeping them constricted throughout the entire exercise.

Both of these techniques have been shown to lead to greater abdominal muscle thickness if used during exercise, which leads to more lumbar support.

These stretches and exercises can help relieve lower back pain in most cases but there are certain back conditions that can be irritated by exercising. If the pain worsens during any of the movements, it’s a signal to stop because continuing could do more damage than good. Pay attention to what your body is telling you.

Tip #2: Do stretches

Stretches are important for everyone. If you are an active person who is training, you should be stretching your whole body before and after the training session. On the other hand, if you have a sedentary lifestyle, stretching is important to help you maintain a good body posture. It allows your muscles, tendons and ligaments to move more and perform movements that are not usual in the normal activities of the day.  

Extension Stretch

If you’re familiar with yoga, you’ll recognize this stretch as the Sphinx Pose. The aim of the pose is to stretch and strengthen your abs and lower back. To begin, you lie on your stomach with your legs extended on the floor behind you. Bracing on your forearms with your palms flat to the ground, lift your upper body. It’s important to do this stretch slowly because quickly lifting your upper body could put too much strain on your lower back too rapidly. If you are a beginner or if you already have some back pain, there is no need to go very high, you will lift your body as much as you don’t feel the pain. You can start by lifting your upper body a bit and gradually after some days, you will notice a big difference in your range of motion.

Duration: 30 seconds.

Reps: 3-5 or more if you are training regularly

get rid of back pain with Sphynx Pose

Get rid of back pain with Two-Knee Twist

This exercise is a bit demanding and needs a lot of concentration to be performed perfectly. This stretch focuses on the obliques, the abs, and the lower back. Start by lying down on your back with your arms extended out to the sides. Bring your legs up then bend your knees. Make sure to keep your shoulders pressed firmly to the floor as you exhale and lower both legs to one side. If your back is really stiff, you can place a pillow between your knees to modify the stretch. Try to perform the exercise slowly to avoid any kind of injury. 

Duration: 90 seconds

Reps: 2 for each side.

2 knee twist

Lying Hamstring Stretch

While a hamstring stretch can be done in bent over standing position, it is more effective for back pain when performed while lying down. As you lie on your back, bring one leg up until it is at a 90-degree angle from your torso. Hold your leg right above your calf and try to straighten it as much as possible, making sure to not point your toes. Since this is one of the toughest stretches, there are a few modifications to help you out if you’re new to it. If your hamstrings are really tight, you can start with your knee bent then slowly try to straighten it a little more each time you do the stretch. You can also use a towel or yoga strap. While performing this exercise, avoid lifting any other part of your body except your leg. Do this regularly to help get rid of back pain.

lying hamstring stretch
lying hamstring stretch

Duration: 30 seconds

Reps: 3-5 for each leg

Child’s Pose

This is a relatively easy yoga pose that fully stretches your back. You begin by getting on your knees then sitting back on your heels. Raise your arms straight up over your head then bend your torso forward until your hands touch the floor, keeping your neck relaxed. Due to all of your weight being on your knees, you can use a towel or cushion if you have knee problems or it just gets uncomfortable. Try to breathe normally while performing the exercise.

Duration: 30 seconds

Easy Steps To Get Rid of Back Pain 5

Knee to Chest Stretch

Similar in form to the hamstring stretch but much easier, the knee to chest stretch focuses more on your glutes and lower back. After lying down on your back, bring one leg up and bend it at the knee. Placing your hands on your knee, pull your leg back towards your chest. The movement of pulling your leg to your chest should be gentle and slow to help your muscles adapt to the movement and avoid any injury. Your other leg can be bent to make the stretch easier but the stretch is more effective if it is lying straight.

Duration: 30 seconds

Reps: 3-5

knee to chest stretch

Ankle On The Knee

This is a version of the Thread The Needle yoga pose that stretches your glutes and lower back. While lying on your back, bend your knees with both feet on the floor. Lifting your right leg, place your ankle against your left knee. Slowly lift your left foot up off the ground until your calf is parallel with the floor then place your hands behind your left knee. Make sure to keep your neck relaxed throughout the stretch. This should be one of your last in order stretching exercises, making sure that your muscles, tendons, and ligaments are warmed up enough. 

Duration: 2 minutes for each side

Reps: 2-3

Thread The Needle yoga pose

Tip #3: Get rid of back pain with these exercises

Wall Sit

An easy exercise that can be done almost anywhere. Stand with your back against a wall then gradually lower yourself down by bending your knees and walking your feet out until your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Your feet should stay shoulder-width apart and your thighs should be parallel to the floor.

Duration: 30 seconds

Reps: 2

Wall Sit technique can help you get rid of back pain

Partial Crunches

Unlike crunches or sit-ups, this exercise allows you to build up a strong stomach and back without putting strain on your lower back. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet planted flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your neck then exhale as you tighten your abs and push your shoulders up. Hold the position for only one or two seconds then slowly lower your shoulders back down to the floor. Be sure to avoid pulling on your neck as you do the exercise.

Reps: 10

Sets: 4

Side Plank

Often used in Pilates routines, the side plank is a great core exercise that not only builds strength but can also help with body alignment. Lie on your side then prop your torso up on your forearm. Lift your hips up from the floor until your body is aligned in a clear diagonal line. While this seems like an easy exercise, it can be tougher than it looks so if you need a modification, you can keep one knee on the floor. Make sure that you stabilize well enough the hand that receives all the pressure.

Duration: 30 seconds

Reps: 3 for each side

Side Plank

Quadruped Arm & Leg Raise

Despite the long name, this exercise is fairly simple. You start on your hands and knees then lift your left arm, extending it straight in front of you. At the same time, lift and extend your right leg back. Hold the position for 3-5 seconds then repeat using the opposite arm and leg. If you find it hard to coordinate this combined movement or if you think it is too difficult for you, you can try to begin lifting only one leg or one arm. When you get familiar with the movement, you can try the combined version hand and opposite leg raise.

Reps: 15

Set: 3-4

get rid of back pain with this Quadruped Arm & Leg Raise

Pelvic Tilts

An effective core exercise that doesn’t require much strenuous activity, pelvic tilts are a good choice for those that are new to an exercise routine. Lying on your back, bend your knees and keep your feet flat on the floor. While tightening your abs, press your back into the floor and tilt your pelvis upward.

Duration: 10 seconds

Reps: 10 -15

Pelvic Tilt

Bridge

One of the best exercises for building stronger glutes and back muscles. Lying on your back with your arms rested at your sides, bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor, keeping them shoulder-width apart. With your neck and shoulders relaxed, lift your hips up off the floor. If you find it easy try pressing your knees together.

Reps: 10

Sets: 3-4

Yoga bridge

Yoga bridge

Between the stretching exercises try to rest for about 30 seconds. 

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References

Park, S., & Yu, S. (2013). The effects of abdominal draw-in maneuver and core exercise on abdominal muscle thickness and Oswestry disability index in subjects with chronic low back pain. Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation, 9(2), 286-291.

Sherman, K., Wellman, R., Cook, A., Cherkin, D. and Ceballos, R., 2013. Mediators of Yoga and Stretching for Chronic Low Back Pain. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013, pp.1-11.

Publishing, H., n.d. Stretching And Strengthening Are Key To Healing And Preventing Back Pain – Harvard Health. [online] Harvard Health. Available at: [Accessed 8 June 2020].

Sherman, K., Cherkin, D., Cook, A., Hawkes, R., Deyo, R., Wellman, R. and Khalsa, P., 2010. Comparison of yoga versus stretching for chronic low back pain: protocol for the Yoga Exercise Self-care (YES) trial. Trials, 11(1).

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