How to fix back pain is one of the most common things we get asked about. Back pain is one of the most common injuries we treat. Over 80% of the population will suffer with back pain in their lives. Most of us just push through pain, rely on medication, or put our trust in Youtube to fix the issue. The truth is, there are many things that can cause back pain, however, there are things you can do at home to help ease your lower back pain (or middle back pain or upper back pain as well). Many people ask us which exercise for lower back pain should I do? Or what exercises for lower back pain will help? When considering back pain exercises the trick can be finding the right ones that not only work for you, but also that you can do without causing further damage. If you are searching for lower back pain relief (or upper or middle back) this post will go over the best exercises to help decrease/prevent your issues and allow you to continue the activities you love without hesitation.Before diving into the exercises it is important to distinguish between different types of back pain and injury. Back pain can stem from the back but many times we see that it could actually be referred from the hips, upper back, the muscles surrounding the back, or from causes far away like poor ankle motion. It could also be chronic due to having back pain while having poor posture throughout the day or while we are completing heavy activities such as running, lifting, yoga, etc.
Causes of Back Pain
Decrease strength and stability
Injury to other joints (hips, knees, ankles)
Signs/Symptoms of Back Pain
Radiating pain/numbness or tingling down the back of the leg
Worsening pain with bending, lifting, standing/walking, or sitting
All of the above could be the primary source of your back pain or could be attributing secondary from another injury. It is important to see a professional such as a physical therapist who can give you an assessment and diagnosis. This is the best way to determine what the cause of your pain is and the best plan of action to fix it.
Best Solutions to Beat Back Pain
- Strengthening the correct muscles around the back is key. Back pain can be caused or worsened due to weakness in surrounding muscle groups. The specific muscles you will need to strength will vary for everyone and their individual issues, but there are common muscles that need to be strengthened. One of the main muscles to focus on is the gluteus medius (sits at the lateral side of the booty). Lower back exercises and using your “Core” is also vital to strengthen and stabilize the pelvis and low back which can prevent pain. One of the main muscles to focus on is the transversus abdominis muscles that wraps around to the spine. This can be achieved simply by tucking your tailbone under and flattening out your back while you are sitting or laying on your back.
- Stretching the right way and the right muscles relieves back pain. Some of the standard stretches such as cat/cow and knee to chest can be great and can be completed every day. Adding stretching of the thoracic spine is something most don’t think about but is necessary to gain mobility and decrease more tension on the lower back. Try light back extensions over a foam roller or threading the needle by getting on to all four’s and sending one arm through the other.
- Posture. Standing desks can help to get rid of your back pain when used correctly. The problem comes when people go to sitting 8 hours a day to standing 8 hours a day and then the pain comes from standing 8 hours a day. The problem wasn’t the desk it was you tried to adjust too quickly. To avoid this you can have two desks or more likely you can start with a sit-stand desk. These desks are adjustable and can raise or lower depending on whether you want to sit or stand. You want a lightweight but sturdy and easily adjustable desk (a good cheap example is the AnthroDesk found at anthrodesk.com. This is the spring loaded easy to use desk we have in our office ) that will allow you to break into standing a couple hours at a time. Start with 1 hour a day the first week and increase your standing time per day 1 hour per week. That way you can work your way into standing 8 hours a day over 2 months. Really you want to move frequently as standing still for 8 hours a day may cause you some low back pain as well.
Posture with standing desks-To have the best posture your keyboard should be slightly below your elbows. This allows your hands to be above the keyboard and for the elbows to be just a little lower than a 90 degree bend. The neck needs to be back over the shoulders and the top of the computer screen needs to be even with your eyebrows. Learn to look down with your eyes and not let your head poke forward and not round your back. Stand up desks and especially adjustable stand up desks should allow you to be in the best posture and minimize any strain on your low back and neck.
The suggestions above may or may not work for you. If you want a quick resolution so you can get back to everything you want, need, and love to do then there you should consider the number 1 fastest way of getting rid of your pain which is:
- See a back pain specialist physical therapist. Physical therapy is the most effective way of improving how you move and tackling your back pain head-on. Through our Free Discovery Visit We offer a unique opportunity for you to come in, talk to one of our professional physical therapists, create a plan, and be given options to fix your back pain…all for FREE! Just give us a call or fill out a form on this website and we will set up a time for you to come down.
If you are not quite ready just yet and still want just a little more advice then consider downloading our Free Ebook “9 Ways To Ease Low Back Pain” to help You Live An Active Lifestyle by clicking the image below.