Exercises at Home For Those with Back Pain

Exercises at Home For Chronic Back Pain: What to Do First

When you have chronic back pain, it’s important to first get a diagnosis and then a second opinion. Your back pain may have started as upper back pain and then turned into pain that included the mid back or it may have started with lower back pain and now you have upper back pain and mid back pain, too.

When this occurs, it’s possible that your body tried to compensate for the original pain, but in its attempts, other degenerative conditions resulted. This is easy to understand, considering the now overactive muscles that aren’t used to the extra exertion. Also, it’s entirely possible that more areas of your back may be unhealthy. Degeneration is usually a whole body affair and rarely limited to one area!

Before you begin any exercises at home for your back pain, it’s critical that the following steps are taken:

• medical evaluation of the chronic back pain

• diagnosis is received and checked with a second opinion

• rehabilitation started with physical therapist, back school or other doctor’s instructions

Whether you’ve been diagnosed with mid back pain, upper back pain, or lower back pain or neck and shoulder pain, there are exercises at home that you can do to restore your body to a pain-free state. Often these exercises will be included in the instructions from the rehabilitation department. The goal of most home exercise programs is to improve the core strength (abs, back, and obliques) as this is the best way to prevent future low back injuries.

What Exercises at Home You Will Do

Here are some possible exercises at home that your physical therapist may recommend:

• Exercises with long rubber tubing

• Inversion therapy exercises

• Floor exercises or ones performed on a yoga mat

• Simple standing exercises using the wall or a chair for support

• Posture exercises

• Yoga exercises specific for back pain (Link to yoga page)

Inversion Therapy Exercises at Home 

Inversion therapy exercises are exercises done from an upside down position. There are different types of inversion therapy devices to use with this type of treatment: gravity boots or body tables that flip into position to invert you. Although few therapists recommend these types of exercises at home, inversion therapy can be one of the most effective, depending on gravity to distract vertebrae naturally.

There are thousands of testimonials from people who have used inversion therapy to reduce their chronic back pain. Many people swear by the positive effects that their chronic back pain is totally gone within a few months. Effects can often be felt the first time inversion therapy is used.

Whether the pain is upper back pain, mid back pain, or lower back pain, the stretching of the spine can remove much of the pressure on the spinal nerves that are irritated. Whenever there’s degeneration of the spine, there are usually vertebrae sitting on top of each other with little room for the disc. Inversion therapy replaces the natural space between the vertebrae, allowing for healing to occur. It’s also a great way for the discs to receive their nutrition.

Back Pain Belts

Back pain belts may also be recommended for you to wear during the day for extra support. While there is little scientific evidence to support their use, many people still find them helpful to wear. These should be considered for short-term usage only, and should not be depended on for long-term. The goal is to cure your back pain, not prolong it and add ‘crutches’.

Another common recommendation is to attach TENS units to your belt with the electrodes placed on back muscles during the day. With these devices, an electrical frequency or wave is sent through the muscles to the nervous system to stop the spasmatic muscles.

Ergonomics Should Always Be Considered

In addition to exercises at home, your rehabilitation specialist may inquire about the type of mattress you sleep on, what pillows you use at night in your bed, and the type of chair you sit on for most of the day. He wants you to “ergonomically correct”, which means that the mattress, pillows and chairs you use now do not contribute to your upper back pain, mid back pain or lower back pain in any way, shape or form.

For exercises for the mid back pain of kyphosis, see Kyphosis

For lower back pain, see Exercises for low back pain

For upper back pain, see Exercises for neck pain

For exercises for sciatica, see Exercises for sciatica.