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Exercises to Relieve Back Pain

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Back pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal health complaints. Some 90% of adults will experience back pain at some point, and 50% of working-age people report some back pain every year. And back pain doesn’t just cause discomfort – it can harm your quality of life in many ways. That’s why it’s so important to seek help for back pain and learn the right ways to keep your back healthy.

Trust the skilled therapy staff at JAG Physical Therapy to help you find relief from your back pain. We offer tailor-made care programs to address your pain and provide you long-term solutions for a strong, healthy back. Book an appointment at your nearest JAG PT location in NY, NJ, or PA to get started with effective spine treatment, or read further to learn more about how you can begin alleviating your back pain at home.

What Are the Common Causes of Back Pain?

Back pain can come from physical damage, it can be referred pain from another part of the body, or it can be idiopathic, having no obvious direct cause. Among the commonest sources of back pain are the following:

Muscle strain – When you strain or pull a muscle in your back, you will likely experience a dull, achy type of pain that can get worse with certain movements, like getting up out of a chair. Your back may also feel inflamed and tender.

Poor posture – Poor posture is a very common cause of back pain. Using the wrong posture can mean that weight and pressure are dispersed unevenly on your spine, causing pain. Bad posture habits include sitting in a slumped position for long periods, walking with rounded shoulders, and lifting heavy objects while bending your back rather than your knees.

Herniated discsA herniated or slipped disc is a condition where the soft tissue between your vertebrae slips out of position, causing pressure on the nerves. As well as pain, you may also experience numbness or tingling in your back, shoulders, legs, or feet from a disc herniation.

Spinal conditions – There are various chronic conditions or deformities of the spine that can cause back pain. These include scoliosis, which is an abnormal curvature of the spine, and osteoporosis, where weakened vertebrae become damaged and can fracture or collapse.

If you develop back pain, you should see your physician in order to get diagnosed with the cause. The way in which you treat your back pain will depend on its origin.

Which Exercises Can Help Relieve Back Pain and Improve Flexibility?

Using just a few different effective exercises on a consistent basis can go a long way towards a healthy back and spine. While you can try any of these on your own, it’s best to incorporate them into your routine under the advice of a physical therapist.

Stretching Exercises for Flexibility and to Relieve Tension

Child’s Pose

  • Place your hands and knees on the floor and allow your hips to rest back on your heels.
  • Fold your body forward and walk your hand out in front of you.
  • Let your belly rest on your thighs.
  • Put your arms out in front of you or at the side of your body with the palms of your hands facing downward.
  • Take some deep breaths.
  • Hold this position for up to 1 minute.
  • Repeat this routine as often as you like during the day.

Knee-to-Chest Stretch

  • Lie on your back, keeping both knees bent and with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Either keep your left knee bent or extend it straight — whichever works best for you.
  • Bring your right knee up to your chest, clasping your hands just under your knee.
  • Take some deep breaths.
  • Stay in this position for between 30 seconds and 1 minute.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Strengthening Exercises to Strengthen Your Core, Promote Stability, and Support Your Back

Pelvic Tilt

  • Lie down flat on your back with both your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  • As you flatten your back onto the floor, engage your abdominal muscles.
  • While breathing normally, keep this position for 10 seconds.
  • Release and take some deep breaths.
  • Do 3 sets of 3 repetitions.


  • Get yourself into a “tabletop” position on all fours with your hands and knees on the floor.
  • Press down into your feet and hands as you inhale and look up — this is the “cow” part of the pose.
  • Then exhale and tuck your chin into your chest, arching your spine upward — the “cat” position.
  • Continue this routine for 1 to 2 minutes.

Low-Impact Aerobic Exercises for Overall Fitness and a Healthy Back

There are many low-impact aerobic exercises that can contribute to your overall fitness and keep your back healthy. One that you can do at any time is taking a brisk walk. In good weather, breaks at work are a great time to do this. You may also want to consider swimming or water aerobics, as being in the water allows you to exercise more freely without as much of the effects of gravity on your body.

How Can Proper Body Mechanics and Posture Adjustments Prevent and Manage Back Pain?

Good body mechanics (how you move your body) and posture (how you hold your body) can make a significant difference to your back health.

Try to be mindful of how they impact your back as you go about your everyday life. Here are some easy tips to follow:

  • When sitting, ensure that your back is pressed gently against the back of your chair and your feet are flat on the ground. You should also make sure that your feet and legs are uncrossed.
  • If you sit for long periods at a desk, make sure your workstation is ergonomically correct. This means that it’s comfortable and supports your body. You may want to consider an adjustable chair, a lumbar pillow to support your lower back, and a monitor stand to ensure that your computer is in the right position.
  • Don’t forget to take frequent breaks away from your screen. Go for a quick walk around the office and do some stretches to keep your back tension-free.
  • To lift a heavy object safely, keep your feet shoulder-width apart. Get as close as you can to the object and bend from your legs, knees, and hips, keeping your back straight. Never lift something that’s too heavy for you — ask for help to save injuring your back.

Experience Relief and Restore Back Health with JAG PT

JAG PT is committed to helping you find lasting relief from back pain. Our experienced therapists will provide expert guidance and design a tailored rehabilitation program to address your specific back needs. Take the first step toward restoring back health and living pain-free. Schedule your appointment now!

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