Category: Back Pain

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How To Enjoy Sex Without Hurting Your Back

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If you have low back pain, it might have a negative impact on your sexual life. Chronic back pain does not prohibit having a sexually active lifestyle, though.

You may want to have an intimate relationship with your partner but are afraid that it will worsen your back pain.

You may feel the same way about your partner. He or she might be reluctant to have an intimate relationship with you, even if it is with the best intentions. You may still see it as a rejection. These are common misunderstandings when back pain is an issue.

Inadequate communication and ignorance can lead to misinformation about sexual health and low-back pain. Honest, caring conversations, combined with psychological support, can lead to strong emotional and sexual bonds, despite low back pain.

The information provided here is not meant to be a complete guide to all aspects of sexual health. It focuses instead on helping you to remove any barriers that might have been created by low back pain.

Acute low back pain sufferers have a different outlook than chronic pain sufferers. Acute low back pain can be severe but will eventually resolve.

It is better to take a break from sexual activity for a while, as you are more likely to get the problem under control. For chronic back pain to be a success, you might need to change your sexual activities.

It’s Not All Physical

If there are no health issues, you and your partner can explore different body positions during lovemaking. Spontaneous experimentation can have little to no effect, other than a slight soreness the next day.

In these circumstances, the sexual peak may be the mark of a successful interaction. As we all know, healthy sexual relationships go beyond physical lovemaking.

The complex interplay of physical and emotional factors is not limited to sexual intercourse. Partnerships can be maintained by showing concern for each other and by expressing romantic and affectionate feelings in a nonsexual way.

There are many options when it comes to sexuality. You have the option to decide that modern society is too obsessed with sex. You can conclude that it is better to not worry about your sexual needs when your back hurts. It’s possible to live without sex. So why bother?

Do not give up. A healthy sex lifestyle can have positive effects on your back and overall health. You also get a good workout and burn calories while having sex. The appearance of your skin will improve when you have sex.

Endorphins are released during orgasm. These chemicals act as natural analgesics in the body. Endorphins promote relaxation and well-being. It’s worth it!

A short rest for acute low back pain may be possible. Your back spasms and pain will improve over time. Sexual movements won’t cause more pain. If you are concerned about your discomfort, you should not perform these sexual movements.

If you do not feel any discomfort, then it is possible to have sex with your partner. If pain is triggered by simple movements of your back, you might need to wait a while. If your pain is severe, you will need to plan your sexual activities more carefully.

Talk Is A Sexy Word

In 1998, Jackson Rainer, Ph.D., published an article in Arthritis Today. He stated that talk is his favorite four-letter word for intercourse. Dr. Rainer also suggests that romantic interactions may occur when we are fully clothed at the kitchen table.

The idea is that communication at all levels can help build a loving, supportive relationship. When there are physical limitations, this is even more crucial. Talking with your partner is essential to helping you understand the situation.

Take this example:

  • What is causing your pain?
  • What activities are not painful?
  • When is the best time to be intimate?

You and your partner might also need to be reassured about your desire for each other. These issues should not be discussed until you have fallen in love. Instead, plan ahead to make it easy and enjoyable.

Remember the romance? Your relationship will be strengthened by non-physical interactions. These can range from compliments on your partner’s appearance, appreciation for their emotional support, or simple acts of love that demonstrate the depth of your feelings.

Painless Points

Comfortable positions are best found during sex. You can recreate positions that you find comfortable during daily activities.

If a chair’s back support is excellent, you can use it for sexual intercourse. Find the position that is most comfortable for your spine. Here are some guidelines to help reduce the strain on your back.

  • Avoid positions that raise the low back curve.
  • This puts pressure on the facet joints.
  • Do not lie flat on your stomach.
  • This will prevent you from bending forward at your hips and keeping your legs straight.
  • Causes stretching of the sciatic nerves and hamstring muscles.
  • Limit the weight that your partner places on you  to the minimum.
  • To support your weight, place your hands on the mattress.
  • This is not the place for men to be man-on-top.
  • This position increases lumbar lordosis and stretches the low back muscles.
  • Any movement of the pelvis is for women at the bottom.
  • This will mean that the spine must be extended, and there will be more pain.
  • A partner who isn’t in pain should provide the most motion.
  • Flatter your back with a slight upward tilt to the pelvis (pelvic tilt).

It is also important to consider the type of motion. Rapid thrusts can cause discomfort. Slower, more gradual movements will be less painful.

I advise partners to share what positions and stimulation are most stimulating for each other and to establish signals between them that recognize the pain associated with certain movements.

The spoon position provides the best safety for both of you. Strategically placed pillows on the bed can provide the right support for the head, pelvis, and thighs.

With a pelvic tilt, both partners should have their hips and knees bent with a pelvic tilt. Flat backs protect the facet joints. The sciatic nerves and psoas muscle are relieved of tension by the bent hips and knees. Both partners can provide the pelvic movement for genital stimulation.

You can use the straddle position with your partner looking towards you or away. The most comfortable position should be determined by the partner who has back pain. This position allows the weight of your partner to be on your knees or on the bed.

An all-fours position allows for sexual intercourse with a partner who has back pain. The arms can support the body’s weight. This position allows for a flexed, slow-throwing posture. A solid foundation, such as a floor or bed, is better for a woman who has back pain.

The pelvis can be supported by the support of the woman’s torso and both the women’s knees on the ground. This will prevent any movement that could cause painful, involuntary muscle contractions.

Another option is a rocking chair with no arms, which can also provide back support and pelvic motion. As the pain decreases, you can make variations on these themes.

Medication and Libido

Low back pain does not necessarily mean that you have sexual problems. Erectile dysfunction is not usually caused by abnormalities in the spine. However, sometimes poor performance can be caused by treatments for low back pain.

Antidepressant medications used for depression and chronic pain can lead to sexual dysfunction, including decreased orgasm in both men and women.

Vaginal dryness can be caused by antidepressants, which can cause pain during intercourse. While opioid medications may reduce pain, they can also blunt sexual desire and response. Muscle relaxants could have a similar effect.

Excessive alcohol consumption is known to reduce libido. The challenge when taking medication is to balance a high enough dose to control pain and a low enough dose to prevent toxicity (including sexual impairment).

Fatigue can hinder sexual performance and make it difficult for women to have a good time. To eliminate fatigue, the old saying “plan ahead” is a good idea. You must be well-rested if you want to have a successful sexual encounter.

Sixty Years of Sexual Satisfaction

Tom, sixty years old, suffered from low back pain due to osteoarthritis. His pain was better after six months, but not enough to allow him to have a happy sexual relationship with his wife. Particularly bothersome was his missionary status.

Although he had done flexion exercises in his earlier treatment, he stopped doing them several months before my visit. For his pain, he was on ketoprofen in sustained-release form. Before he engages in sexual activity, I suggested that he take a second dose of ketoprofen, or acetaminophen, before he starts I also suggested other sexual positions. The combination worked, and 18 months later, his low back pain and sexual function are both improving.

Tom’s example shows that the timing of medications can have a positive impact on sexual performance. Take your pain medication at least two to four hours before you plan to engage in sexual activity. This will ensure adequate analgesia.

You and your partner can discuss other methods if climax is not possible through intercourse. It may be difficult to discuss if you have cultural, spiritual, or social barriers to oral sexual stimulation.

However, I recommend that you do so because back pain can limit your ability to engage in sexual intercourse. Self-stimulation is also an option for those who have a high level of tension in their sex organs, which prevents them from having orgasms by other means. These methods can be used to reduce muscle contraction and increase endorphin levels.


Aerobic exercise can improve sexual satisfaction and cardiovascular function. Kegel exercises for your pelvis can increase sexual pleasure for women, particularly because they strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that support the bladder, uterus, and rectum.

These muscles contract around the penis when they have intercourse. Kegel exercises may also have some benefits for men.

Premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction may be improved. An increase in the strength of the pelvic floor can improve sexual control and enhance pleasure.

While urinating, you can easily do Kegel exercises. Slowly contract your pelvic floor muscles to stop urine flow. Ten seconds of contraction, then release and repeat several times. You can contract the same muscles while sitting, standing, or lying down. Do between 25 and 50 contractions per day.

Back Surgery & Sexual Function

The anterior or posterior approach can be used to fuse the lumbar spine. The posterior approach does not involve the removal of any autonomic nerves that are located in the anterior part of the lumbar spine.

These nerves are more likely to be dislodged if an anterior approach is used. These nerves are responsible for sexual arousal and male ejaculation. Research has shown that fusion surgery can reduce pain. The reduction of pain has been shown to improve sexual quality.

The benefits of pain reduction were not the same in all surgical groups. Four times as many patients who had posterior fusions experienced sensory problems or disturbed ejaculation as those who had anterior fusions.

A mere 20% of women who had either type of fusion experienced a decrease in genital sensation or disturbed orgasm. These results suggest that men should consider posterior fusion to reduce their risk of sexual dysfunction. One in five women will experience a decline in sexual function after either procedure.

Additional Consultation

You may need to seek help from a psychiatrist or sex therapist if you have persistent sexual problems beyond back pain.

Sometimes back pain can be used to limit sexual relationships. Back pain can also be used to complicate a relationship that is already in trouble. It is not enough to simply change your sexual position. A solution requires better communication. You can seek additional support if you need it, but don’t let your relationship fall apart.

Healthy and open sexual relationships are a key part of maintaining a healthy back. This does not mean that you should forgo human contact because of back pain.

Intimacy extends beyond sexual intercourse. If your partner is suffering from pain, you can use other methods of sexual arousal to help them. It is worth it.

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Most Frequently Asked Questions About The Back Pain

woman asking questions about back pain
These are some of the questions you might want to ask your doctor if you’ve recently been diagnosed with back pain.

Why Is Back Pain So Common?

In short, genetics as well as “wear and tear” are the major reasons so many people feel back pain at one time or another. Either we aren’t moving enough, or we’re doing things incorrectly.

While some people are predisposed to back problems, others suffer from a mechanical problem, such as a pulled muscle. Back problems can be caused by a variety of factors, including physical risk factors.

  • Physical labor is a heavy responsibility.
  • Lifting and forceful movements
  • Bending and twisting
  • Whole-body vibration
  • Static work positions

Back pain can also be caused by stress and psychological issues.

Why Is It So Difficult To Diagnose?

To put it mildly, the human body is complex. Everybody is different. You can see why diagnosing a human computer can be difficult when you consider all the possible problems. The human spine has three types of cartilage. The pain generators are bones, muscles, and ligaments.

Why Is It So Difficult To Treat?

It’s complex. That’s the short answer. It’s exponentially more complicated to interact with all these components. Rarely is there a problem at one point. The majority of back pain is caused by the whole system going haywire. There are many ways to make your back pain go away.

What Is The Average Time It Takes To Fix A Disc?

Because the disc is the largest organ in the body, it takes many months to absorb the nutrients. It absorbs nutrients slowly from the surrounding tissues. These disc bulges are common. If the bulge does not affect the bones or nerves, we can have them and not feel back pain.

A degenerated or torn disc can be left untreated for the rest of your life. Even after it heals, a disc can never be as strong as before. A damaged disc is just like a car in an accident.

Are Chiropractic Treatments Effective?

The treatment options available depend on the condition of your back. Chiropractic treatments aim to align your spine. Poor posture, repetitive stress, or injury can cause vertebral bones to shift slightly out of alignment. Chiropractors adjust the spine manually to place the bones where they belong.

If you have a bone disease such as osteoporosis or rheumatoid, it is best to avoid chiropractic treatment. For more information on these and other complementary and alternate treatments click here.

Do Epidural Injections Work?

Although patients may feel better immediately due to the numbing effects of the anesthetics, it can take several days for the body to fully absorb the effect.

The effects of epidural steroid injections can last for several months. Patients may need to receive another dose before their body’s natural healing process begins. Sometimes, however, the injection can only last a few days.

The injection reduces pain and inflammation. The injection does not heal the disc, but it can buy time until the disc heals.

What Does It Mean To “Shave” Discs?

This is a common term, but it is actually a misnomer. The bulging part is what surgeons do not remove from a disc.

What Is The Amount Of Discectomy?

It can vary. Sometimes, surgeons just remove the fragment (ruptured part). Sometimes, the surgeon will remove all of the bulge and any remaining tissue.

The material could be removed in as little as 5% of the time. It could also be as high as 80%. It makes the disc unstable, and the disc collapses, leaving the spine with bones on bones. This is something we want to avoid.

What Can I Do To Rehabilitate My Disc After A Discectomy?

To provide a cushion, surgeons will often leave as much disc material as possible. Sometimes, a disc piece that was not damaged can herniate in the same way as the one before it. Only surgeons who are performing fusions will remove the entire disc.

How Long Does It Take For Nerve Damage To Be Repaired?

Although nerves can be repaired to a certain extent, not all of them are able to heal completely. It happens when your finger is cut and a numb area develops. This usually disappears after several weeks. Sometimes it can take months, or even a whole year.

Persistent pressure, surgical complications, and the initial injury can damage nerves. There may be some nerve damage that has not fully healed.

The hip and knee joints are much more complex than the spine. The spine can be compressed (shock absorption), stretched, flexion/extension, lateral bend, twisting/rotation, and sliding movements. Each level has a disc, two paired facet joints, and a spine.

The disease process can often be found at all three levels. The disc can be replaced to allow for more motion and also more motion in the facets. This could help alleviate the pain.

Can Spinal Fusions Be Dangerous?

Fusions can be quite invasive, but they can save the lives of those with severely damaged joints and bone spurs that block nerve passages. Fusion is what the body does in natural response to certain trauma conditions.

People may feel that their mobility is better after fusion, as they no longer have to suffer from pain.

Patients with only a few degrees of disease, instability, or significant changes to MRI scans are most likely to be able to have fusion.

Is It Risky To Receive Treatment Outside The Country?

It could be. There are many complications that can arise, and local doctors may not be able to pick them up from foreign physicians. Many experimental treatments are simply that—experimental.

They often have less rigorous study designs and require shorter follow-ups than the FDA. Don’t assume that your insurance will cover this treatment. It might be a better idea to look for clinical trials in this area.

Is Exercise Actually Worth It?

It is, in a word, yes. It’s important for back pain rehabilitation and maintaining a healthy spine. Exercise will relieve common strain or sprain back discomfort and help reduce its likelihood of recurrence.

Exercise is not a guarantee that your back won’t hurt. Sometimes, a bad move or too much exercise can cause injury. The bottom line is that you must exercise if you want your body to feel great. See exercises that will keep your back pain.

Do Special Mattresses Help?

They can. You don’t want to sleep on a stiff mattress. A mattress that supports your spine’s natural curves is ideal. The environment is adjusted to fit your body with ergonomics. This is true for both mattresses and computers, as well as car seats and car seats.

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Deduct Back Pain Expenses The Easy Way

man saving money for back pain expenses
Here are some tips on how to choose a provider and a price before you get a bill for medical expenses that you didn’t expect.

It’s as thrilling as watching paint dry to learn about health insurance. It’s important to understand your rights and what your policy covers.

Also, how to use the system. According to research, American back pain expenses has more than doubled in the last 10 years. A total of $18 billion was spent on doctors, physical therapists, and chiropractors, as well as medication, emergency room visits, and other home-healthcare treatments.

After your deductible is met, you want your policy to cover 80% of your hospital room and board costs. However, it should also include no exclusions or an out-of-pocket limit of $3,000-$5,000 per year.

There are many options and policies for back pain. Some insurance policies may cover complementary or alternative back pain treatments like massage or chiropractic care, while others do not.

However, you may be able to deduct the cost of back pain over-the-counter medications and treatments depending on how your taxes are filed.

There are many tax-free options available today to pay for back pain expenses. Flexible spending arrangements (FSAs), HSAs (health savings accounts) and HRAs (health reimbursement arrangements) are the most popular. This article will discuss these accounts in greater detail.

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a back pain expenses are defined as the cost of diagnosing, treating, mitigating, treating, or preventing disease. These costs include legal medical services provided by doctors, surgeons, and dentists.

You can also deduct certain expenses that are not covered by your insurance, such as visits to the dentist or eye doctor. It all depends on how your taxes are filed. For more information, search for “deductible back pain expenses” on the IRS website. Talk to your tax preparer.

You should always consult your insurance provider before you undergo expensive treatment or assume what is and isn’t deductible for health back pain expenses. To avoid any hassles or headaches later, be sure to know what your options are before you make a decision.

Policy Basics For Back Pain Expenses

Insurance companies are for-profit businesses. They make the most money when they don’t have claims to pay. It is best to learn the basics of insurance.

There are many types of insurance policies. The cost of your insurance policy will be affected by where you live, how much you smoke, and what age you are. Employers often offer group health insurance. You may be eligible for group rates if you are self-employed.

The U.S. government has recently passed new laws regarding health insurance. This will keep health insurance in the news. It’s important to be familiar with the available information so you can make informed decisions and make better use of it.


If you are fired, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) will help you get by. Employers with 20 or more employees are required to continue offering health insurance coverage for 18 (or longer) months to workers who have quit their job.

Although you will need to pay premiums, it will likely be less expensive than purchasing a policy on your behalf. Employer-based plans offer the benefit of group rates.

Disability Insurance

As the name suggests, this policy will pay benefits to you if your condition is too severe for you to work or if you become permanently disabled. There are many variables in the benefits, including policy requirements and payments.

Pay attention to the fine print. Some define disability as the inability to perform at any job. Others say that you can do your regular job.

You should also consider when and how long the policy lasts. Long-term coverage doesn’t usually take effect for more than 90 days. This is especially true if you are recovering from back surgery.

Short-term disability, on the other hand, kicks in immediately and covers anywhere from 40–60 percent of your base income for a limited time.


Flexible spending account. These are benefits that employers offer to their employees. The plan benefits are designed and managed by the employer. Employers and employees usually contribute to the account.

An employee can then withdraw money from the account to pay for back pain expenses that are approved by their employer. FSAs can be used or lost. This means that money in an FSA account cannot be carried forward from one year to the next. It is either used or lost.


A health maintenance organization (or HMO) is a managed care program that allows you to receive medical care from participating providers.

An HMO often requires that you see your primary doctor before seeing a specialist. If you have back pain, it is a good idea to see your primary care doctor.


An individual or employer can set up a health savings account. Many accounts come with debit cards that can be used for both over-the-counter and co-payments. You can save money on back pain expenses that are tax-free.

The account is not like FSAs in that any remaining balance at the end of the calendar year “rolls over to the next year.” You don’t need an HSA in order to deduct IRS-approved back pain expenses deductions. However, it can simplify accounting.

High-Risk Pool

High-risk pools are a way to get insurance if you’re unable to obtain health insurance through other sources due to a serious illness. The new law on healthcare provides money for states to either manage the program (according to federal regulations) or allow the Federal Department of Health and Human Services to run it. Some states have an existing high-risk pool. There are many options for coverage and premiums.


This type of insurance is not like an HMO. You can access any hospital or doctor for medical care. The provider pays a portion of the bill to the insurance company.

This plan often covers back pain expenses in a way that is different from other plans. However, monthly premiums may be more expensive.

Long-Term Care

This policy covers all or part of the cost of home care services, or care in a nursing facility or assisted living facility.

Medicare Supplemental Insurance (Medigap) and Medicare

Medicare is a federal program that offers health-care coverage for people 65 and older, as well as certain disabled people. Medigap insurance is private health insurance that covers the gaps in Medicare.

It pays some of the costs associated with health care that the original Medicare plan does not cover. Only a “standardized” Medigap plan can be sold by insurance companies. Each policy must have specific benefits that you can compare.


This federal program offers health care for people with low incomes. It is a federal program but it is administered by the states. Features vary from one state to another.


A preferred provider organization (PPO) is a type of managed care plan. A PPO offers more freedom than an HMO in selecting physicians and other providers. While you can see both participating and nonparticipating providers with a PPO, your out-of-pocket back pain expenses will be lower if only plan providers are involved.

A point-of-service plan (PSO) is also a type of managed care plan. A PSO allows primary care physicians to coordinate patient care. However, there are more options for choosing doctors and hospitals in a PSO than in an HMO.

Common Terms

There are many things you need to know about your individual policy. These are the most important things to know about all plans. These will allow you to make better use of your health-care benefits.


This is the flat fee that you pay for each visit to a doctor. The rest is covered by your insurance.


This is the annual amount that you will need to pay before your insurance policy kicks into effect.

Your monthly premiums will be lower the higher your deductible is.

Limitations And Exceptions

These are the things your insurance policy doesn’t cover. Although exclusions and limitations should be clearly stated in plan literature, there is often confusion about what is and is not covered. Talk to your agent before making any assumptions.


This is the monthly premium you pay. This could include your annual co-payments and deductible. The annual maximum you would have to pay is set by the plan. It is called the out-of-pocket maximum.

According to one survey, people with back pain spent about 17% of their annual income on back pain relief.

Private insurance paid 23%, while Medicare paid 23%. Other sources, such as workers’ compensation, were paid 15%.


This is the amount you must pay in order to be a member of a health plan. It is usually a monthly payment. Your share of premiums is usually deducted from your salary if you have employer-sponsored insurance.


Does your policy include emergency room visits? Are there any restrictions? Some health plans require that you notify your insurance company within 24 hours of visiting an emergency room. If not, the expense will not be covered.

If the condition is not life-threatening, some plans require that you call your primary physician first. How does your plan define “life-threatening”? Although severe sciatica can be very debilitating, it is generally not life-threatening.

However, if you suspect cauda, that could be a problem. Your options for hospitalization may vary depending on which plan you have. Before making assumptions, make sure you understand your policy.

Pre-existing Conditions

In 2010, the health-care reform bill passed and outlawed the denial of insurance due to preexisting conditions. Although the policy was effective for children in September 2010, it will not be mandatory for adults until 2014. High-risk pools (see section “High-Risk Pool” earlier) are available to assist those who have trouble obtaining insurance.

Workers’ Compensation And Back Pain

This type of social insurance provides workers injured with income (or a portion thereof) and survivors’ benefits in the event of a fatality. However, workers who claim workers’ compensation benefits are not allowed to sue their employer.

Laws And Disputes

You have specific rights regarding your health benefits if you lose coverage or switch jobs. The U.S. Department of Labor has the following links that can assist you:

The Employee Retirement Income Security Law (ERISA)

This law provides protection to individuals who are enrolled in retirement, health, and other benefit plans sponsored or sponsored by private-sector employers. It also gives participants rights to information, grievance, and appeals processes to ensure they get the benefits of their plans.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

This act, better known as HIPAA, is a protection for millions of Americans and their families with preexisting conditions. It prohibits discrimination in healthcare coverage and guarantees the issuance of individual policies to certain individuals.

The following brochures may also be helpful: To view hard copies, call the Employment Benefits and Security Administration (EBSA), or toll-free at 1-866-444-3272, or visit www.dolgov/ebsa.


  • Did You Know? | Low Back And Neck Pain Cost Americans Billions In Health Care Spending. (2017, February 23). Did You Know? | Low Back and Neck Pain Cost Americans Billions in Health Care Spending | Choose PT.
  • the Official U.S. Government Site for Medicare | Medicare. (n.d.). the official U.S. government site for Medicare | Medicare.
  • Health Insurance And High-risk Pools – (n.d.).
  • Health Care Options, Using a Flexible Spending Account FSA. (n.d.).
  • Continuation Of Health Coverage (COBRA) | U.S. Department Of Labor. (n.d.). Continuation of Health Coverage (COBRA) | U.S. Department of Labor.
  • Back Pain Statistics – Cannington Chiro. (n.d.). Back Pain Statistics – Cannington Chiro.
male osteopath doing postural evaluation

Relieve Back Pain With Correct Posture

woman showing correct posture for pain free back
Good posture can help to prevent muscle strain, overuse problems, and back and muscular pain.

In this article, we encourage you to take a closer look at your body in daily life.

You’ll likely discover some adjustments you can make to help reduce back pain and reinjury by keeping your body in better alignment.

It’s not hard to do; you just have to be aware of what you are doing, how you are doing it, and what adjustments you need to make.

Click To Play The Video

A simple approach to proper alignment is to think about maintaining your natural spinal curves during any task or sedentary position.

When your spine is aligned, you don’t need much muscle strength to maintain it. Conversely, when you are sitting with poor posture, the muscles that support you are chronically contracting.

At Work

Every job has its own unique physical challenges. Those that involve prolonged sitting can be as hard on the back as those that require lifting.

Fortunately, there are some simple solutions. Of course, life and jobs don’t line up perfectly into the following categories, but we think you’ll gain a good perspective on how to best move your body for the variety of positions that your job may require.

Computer And Desk Jobs

Both posture and ergonomics come into play here. If you constantly lean in toward the monitor because you can’t see well, both your neck and back will be unhappy.

Every decade, a new kind of chair makes its rounds for back pain. In the 1980s, the fad was those kneeling chairs; in the 1990s, exercise balls for back pain were big. Now the mesh support chair is popular.

Any of these are good options, but sitting on the exercise ball is probably the best for overall core strengthening. Still, don’t think you can or should be sitting on the ball all day. That would probably be fatiguing. Instead, alternate between the ball and a conventional chair.

Prolonged Sitting

Cab drivers, truckers, and airline pilots all sit for long periods, which wreaks havoc on the back. If your seat doesn’t provide lower back support, lumbar support cushions are helpful (you can use them on office chairs, too).

Other ways to reduce the risk of back strain while driving include sitting upright, placing both hands on the wheel, and keeping the back pockets empty.

Sitting on a wallet stuffed to the brim will misalign your hip position. Not a happy place to be! Shifting your weight and using the cruise control option are also helpful in reducing excess pressure on the spine.

If you have tilt options for your seat, be sure that you angle the seat to distribute the weight evenly on your hips and legs. Set the distance between your pedals so that you can press them while your knee remains slightly bent when you extend your leg.

Jobs That Require Lifting

To reduce the risk of injury when lifting, you want to bend your knees (not your back), hold the object close to your body, and avoid lifting anything higher than shoulder level.

This is as true on the job as it is at home. You should lift a child or a bag of groceries the same way.

Prolonged Standing

Teachers, restaurant staff, factory workers, and many health-care professionals work on their feet all day. Many of them (a surgeon, for example) also have to bend forward and look down. When we stand, we want to keep the spine aligned as much as possible.

Avoid slouching the shoulders when bending forward and also avoid the opposite. Thrusting the chest forward can hyperextend the lower back and cause strain. To shift weight between the hips, use a foot stool and alternate your feet.

Large-breasted women should wear a properly supportive brassiere. Some women undergo breast reduction surgeries, which may be covered by insurance if it is believed to be a component of their back pain.

At Play

The days of swinging from the monkey bars may (or may not) be long gone for you, but you probably do enjoy many leisure activities. Whether you watch sports or participate in activities, keep the following tips in mind.

Moving It

Sports, like jobs, all have their unique demands. You also need to pay attention to your posture and biomechanics while doing these activities, too.

Tips from pros are always useful. A few lessons with a golf or tennis pro, for example, will help you get your game on and correct common posture problems, too.

Believe it or not, among the most popular activities in the United States is power walking, and it’s a great, back-friendly exercise choice.

But again, it’s one of those innocent-looking activities in which back pain may be lurking. Here are a few walking tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep your body upright (don’t lean forward).
  • Align your head atop your shoulders, and keep your eyes forward (not down).Keep your neck relaxed.
  • Keep your elbows bent (no more than 90 degrees) and your hands relaxed. Don’t excessively swing your arms; instead, allow a natural swing to occur.

Your heels should reach the ground first, and your feet should simply roll through the stride.

At Home

Every day, you wake up, wash your face, brush your teeth, eat breakfast (hopefully), and go about your business. Come evening, it’s relaxation time for most people on the couch or in front of a computer.

When it comes to lights out, falling asleep may be a challenge if you have back pain. And you’ll want to be sure that your sleeping position doesn’t make you wake up grouchy with pain.

Sleeping and Waking

We’ve all seen those mattress commercials promising a good night’s sleep. We’re not going to advocate any particular brand, but we are going to agree that a good mattress that supports your spine’s natural curves is best for your back. Caffeine and alcohol should be limited or avoided if you have difficulty falling asleep.

Your room should be dark and quiet. As far as your best back-friendly sleep positions go, here are some tips. If you sleep on your side, place a pillow between your knees to keep your hips in a neutral position.

If you’re most comfortable on your back, a pillow under your knees relieves pressure on your lower back by gently flexing your hips. Avoid sleeping on your stomach, as it can hyperextend your back and neck.

When you wake, roll over to the side of your bed, boost yourself up with your arm as you release your legs over the edge. Don’t just get up straight out of bed. If you’ve ever watched a cat or dog, they leisurely stretch a bit before getting up. We’d be wise to do the same.


If your back pain has you concerned about your love life, you’re not alone. But your ability to have sex due to back pain does not have to suffer. You may have to put it off for a little while, and when you return to physical love, you may have to take it easy and try some new positions.

But why not make the return a good excuse to experiment playfully with new positions? Talk about fun. This is your chance to truly make lemonade from lemons.

Of course, get your doctor’s approval regarding when and how to return, especially if you’re recovering from back surgery. Get your pillows ready!

Washing Up

Slouching is every back’s enemy, so check yourself when you’re at the sink. When washing your face, don’t bend your back; bend your knees. When you shave or apply makeup, bring the mirror to you instead of leaning into it.

Mounted magnifying mirrors that swivel are perfect for this. If you have to bend over the sink, support part of your weight with one outstretched arm.

Stand close to the sink as well, so you don’t have to lean into it. Most kitchen and bathroom cabinets have a kickboard cutout designed to let you stand closer. Use it!

Watching TV

There’s nothing like being a couch potato after a long, hard day. But as we’ve already mentioned, you want to keep your back happy when watching your favorite shows. That means supportive cushions.

If you’re sitting, be sure your lower back is supported with a lumbar roll or pillow and keep your feet flat on the floor. If you want to kick your feet up, they should not go higher than your hips. A little elevation is good, but you can get too much of a good thing and strain your back needlessly.

And if you’re looking for a way to sneak more exercise into your day (we’re all for that), use the time during commercials to get active instead of getting another handful of potato chips.

You can stretch or do sit-ups or push-up competitions with others in the room. Of course, be sure you’re using proper form in any exercise you do.


  • Back pain can be caused by how you walk, sit, stand, and sleep.
  • You can adjust your work and home environments to better fit your body.
  • Incorporate back-friendly items into your life, such as lumbar support rolls, magnifying swivel mirrors, and supportive mattresses.
full length young blond woman wearing exercise clothing looking camera while working flexibility balance with inflatable ball dance studio with hardwood floors1

Try Functional And Core Training To Prevent Back Pain

woman performing correct functional core training needed for back pain prevention
If you have back pain, you’ve probably heard that strengthening your core can help. Is this always the case?

Core and functional training have been a rage in fitness for a while now. Because they improve daily functioning, these approaches are well-worth the hype. Functional training and core training are two sides of the same coin.

Both are focused on strengthening your muscles so you can support daily activities and reduce the chance of injury and back pain.

Every person has a unique musculoskeletal system and requires specific activities. Personal trainers are specialists in functional and core training. They carefully evaluate each client’s daily activities and create a customized back exercise program.

Training and Certification

In gyms, health clubs, and community centers like the YMCA, personal trainer certification is the norm. However, it is possible to become a certified personal coach in as little as one weekend.

The American Council on Exercise (ACE), the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) are some of the best training/certifying agencies.

These agencies have stricter programs and require more testing. To remain certified, they all require ongoing education.

Experiential trainers are more likely to focus on certain populations, such as the elderly, athletes, boomers, and/or exercise types such as prenatal or after rehab (picking up from physical therapists).

Ask prospective trainers about their training, specializations, and experience. Many offer introductory discounts at a reduced price. You should try one or two sessions before you commit to a longer package.

Although it may seem obvious, we will say it anyway: the ideal personal trainer must “walk the talk.” They must be able to move well and stay healthy. This does not mean being a model or having huge muscles. Overly active can lead to a lot of problems.

Training muscles isn’t functional; they’re too tight. It’s easy to see when it happens.

Muscle-bound people do not have the ability to bend down or move as easily as those with tight muscles.

Resistance Training

You can create resistance to condition your muscles in many ways. with your body, such as push-ups and weight training with barbells or with flexible bands. These will all increase your strength and reduce chance of the back pain.

There are two types of weights: machines and free weights. Control is more important with free weights. As you move the weight, it is important to balance and support it. The machines, on the contrary, can support the movement and be a benefit when starting a weight training program.

How often and how much weight should you lift? You should do three sets of any given exercise. Each set should have 8–10 repetitions.

Your targeted muscles should feel tired by the end of your last set. Each muscle group should be worked twice per week. On Mondays and Wednesdays, you can work on the lower body, while Tuesdays and Thursdays are for the upper body.

Resistance Bands

Flexible bands are lightweight and portable and can be made in a variety of resistances. These bands can be used to strengthen your legs, arms, and abdomen muscles which are important if you experience back pain.

These bands can be used for quick energy boosts at work or on the go. We’ve already said that short, intense exercise can make a big difference in your day. These are three easy ways to use the bands.

The flex band should be held loosely. Your wrists should be straight. Do not wrap the band around your wrist. Grab the middle of the band to increase resistance. For a decrease in resistance, grab closer to the ends. Draw your abdominals in while standing straight. All exercises require you to inhale and exhale to prepare.

With one hand in each of your hands, stand in the middle and hold onto the band. Stand tall and slowly lift the band up. Then, lower it slowly. Perform 10 repetitions. Do 10 repetitions. Pause, then repeat the process twice more.

Place your right heel on the left side of the band. Grab the opposite end of the band using your right hand. You should hold the band taut with your right hand. Slowly bend your arm to the left, then slowly return to the center. Inhale and bend towards the side. Five reps. Continue to the other side.

Keep the band behind you with your palms facing you and your hands close to your body. Your shoulders should be rolled back. Keep your arms straight and pull the band apart with your upper back slightly arched. Five reps. Do five repetitions. Pause, then repeat. This is a great exercise to reduce back pain caused by computer work.

Balance Building

As we age, it is particularly important to focus on balance-building exercises. Balance is essential for daily life. Good balance is essential in cold environments with snow and ice. A strong core can help prevent injury if you fall and relief back pain.

There are many ways to test your balance. You can use your body to challenge your balance, or you can buy one of the many cheap gadgets at your local gym. These include:

  • Wobble boards
  • Rotating disks
  • Walking shoes with rocker-bottoms


Activities that increase your heart rate can help you keep your back strong and healthy. How do you do it? Good blood flow is essential for maintaining a healthy spine and intervertebral disks.

Aerobic exercise increases blood flow throughout the body. Exercise increases your heart rate, which helps to spread natural endorphins.

For the best aerobic exercise results, you should aim to do at least three sessions per week of 30 minutes each. How can you tell if your heart rate is right? If you can speak but not sing, then you are good. These are some low-impact aerobic options:

  • Bicycle
  • Swimming
  • Power walk
  • Non-impact dance on an elliptical machine

Exercise Balls

These large inflatable balls can be used to increase your core fitness and aerobic exercise. You can increase your heart rate by simply bouncing on the ball. It’s great fun. Engage your abdominal muscles to support your spine.

Be in control of your bounce. The ball is not bouncing at you, but the ball is bouncing at you. Balance is important while you bounce the ball. If you didn’t balance, you would fall off. These are just a few of the many benefits you get from using an inflatable ball.

Place your elbows on the ball. Press down gently, keeping your shoulders away from your ears. Gently pull your tailbone down and lean forward towards the ball. Do not arch your back. This exercise strengthens your abdominal muscles as well as your shoulders.

Place your back on the ball, with your feet hip-width apart. Your head should be supported by your hands. Allow your upper back to arch a bit. The deeper you stretch, the further back you can go. This will help open your chest, shoulders, and neck.

Place your knees on the ball and place your body in front of it. This is a great way to relax the back and open the spine. If you have a herniated disk that is causing problems, you can flex your back.

Foam Rollers

The foam roller is a great tool to keep on hand. It can be used for many different exercises. You can build strength and balance, while others improve flexibility. These are two positions that you should try.

Place your arms in the goal-post position on the roller. Your hands should touch the ground to allow you to relax the most. You can use pillows to support your shoulders and chest if they are too tight.

For at least a minute, remain in this position. Relax and breathe slowly. This will help to relax muscles that are tightened from sitting.

Place the roller under your sacrum (the triangular-shaped bone at your bottom). This point has a lot of nerve endings, so the roller may feel a bit tender. However, it should not be painful. Simply hold the position as shown.

To increase hip stretch, pull one leg in towards you while the other is straight out. For about one minute, hold the position and then switch sides. This position can stretch tight hip muscles, which is often a source of lower back pain.


  • You can strengthen your muscles by using weights, resistance bands, and large inflatable balls.
  • For back care, the best fitness methods include aerobics, muscle conditioning, and balance work.
  • Good form is the key to avoiding injury in all exercises.


  • ACSM | The American College Of Sports Medicine. (2022, January 7). ACSM_CMS.
  • NASM | Personal Training & Fitness Certifications | Start for Free!. (n.d.). NASM.
  • ACE | Certified Personal Trainer | ACE Personal Trainer. (n.d.). ACE | Certified Personal Trainer | ACE Personal Trainer.
yoga group classes inside gym

Yoga For Lower Back Pain: 11 Poses to Try Today

woman performing yoga technique to relieve back pain
Yoga may be the answer to your back problems. Yoga is a mind-body therapy typically suggested to heal both back pain and stress.

Yoga is beneficial for both physical and mental wellness for people of all ages. Additionally, whether you are undergoing treatment for an illness, recuperating from surgery, or living with a chronic disease, yoga for lower back pain may become a vital component of your treatment plan, perhaps speeding up your recovery.

Yoga for lower back pain can aid in the following:

  • Yoga strengthens, balances, stretches the body, and improves your back posture.
  • Yoga is beneficial for relieving back pain.
  • Yoga can help alleviate the symptoms of arthritis.
  • Yoga is beneficial for heart health.
  • Yoga helps you relax and sleep better.
  • Yoga can result in increased energy and a more positive attitude.
  • Yoga assists you in managing stress.
  • Yoga brings you into contact with a supportive community.
  • Yoga encourages improved self-care.

Lower back problems can cause muscle atrophy, which is a loss of strength in the core stability muscles. The superficial muscles, which are those closest to the skin of the body, take over.

Deeper core muscles shut down or have an incorrect sequence of engagement. In biomechanical lingo, this sequence is called “muscle firing“. You can correct misfiring patterns as well as muscle atrophy by retraining muscles using mind-body awareness, which is a hallmark of yoga.

Movement and More

Yoga requires you to multitask in an interesting manner. This requires focus, breathing work, and precise, focused poses that are appropriate for your body.

In yoga for lower back pain, as in all things in life, it is important to let go of distracting thoughts and tighten muscles that aren’t necessary for movement.

Yoga for lower back pain, like any other physical activity, can be dangerous if not done properly and wisely. Avoid extreme positions like headstands, extreme lateral bends, and back bends.

Yoga Classifications

There are many styles of yoga. Hatha yoga and Iyengar are the best remedies for your back. These classes are gentler and more suitable for beginners.

Vinyasa and Ashtanga are more strenuous styles of yoga. They require greater strength and awareness of the body and flow from one position to another.

Mats, Straps, and Blocks

Many types of yoga for lower back pain require a mat. Some include straps or blocks. These props are used to help you achieve your desired positions.

A strap can be used to extend your arms and help you reach your feet if you’re sitting down and trying to bend forward. You can pull yourself forward by placing the strap around your feet.

Look For A Good Teacher

When you see people bent into pretzel shapes, it’s easy for yoga for lower back pain to intimidate you. This is not the goal of most people. It is important to be able to move at your own pace and put your body in the best position for you.

An instructor who is good will not show off or make it a contest to see who can move faster than others. A good yoga instructor will be gentle, welcoming, and encouraging to all students.

Training and Certification

Yoga certification is a relatively new concept. Teachers who aspired to be teachers were expected to train alongside others they admired. Many of them practiced for many years before teaching others.

These programs included an understanding of anatomy and proficiency in teaching others. Serious practitioners and teachers make the trek to India to study with masters there. Yoga is an integral part of life for teachers who are passionate about it.

As yoga became more popular and there were many yoga clubs offering classes, it was necessary to verify that yoga teachers were qualified. Yoga-certification programs often require prospective teachers to have at least two years of experience before they can begin teaching.

Teachers who have completed at least 200 hours of training and are willing to continue their education should be considered. Ask them about their back pain treatment practice. They might or may not be certified by the Yoga Alliance, a national certification body.

Yoga teachers who have been practicing yoga for lower back pain for a long time may have more experience than those who are just starting their career and are certified by the Alliance. You can try to go to a class and do what feels right to you. Then, see if you like the way it teaches.

Pranayama (Life Breath)

Pranayama (breathing exercises) is an integral part of yoga. They link the mind and the body. There are many breathing techniques that can be used to improve mental clarity and emotional tranquility. For at least five minutes, find a place where you can relax and not be disturbed.

Controlled Breathing

This exercise will help you become more aware of your breath. You can control the length of your exhalations and inhalations. Both cases require you to breathe through your nose. It is very simple.

  1. For six counts, breathe in slowly. Allow your belly to expand, but don’t force it out.
  2. Three counts are enough.
  3. Slowly exhale for six counts. Push all the air out with your abdominals.
  4. Hold the position for a total of three counts. Continue the sequence multiple times.

You will find that you can exhale and inhale more easily as you increase your lung capacity. This is a great way to reduce stress and prepare yourself for meetings. It also helps you fall asleep faster.

Alternate Nostril Breathing

During this breathing exercise, the exhalation takes twice as long as the inhalation. This is done to empty your lungs and believe that you are also removing waste from the body.

  1. Close the right nostril with your right thumb. Inhale through the left nostril and exhale. Continue inhaling for four counts.
  2. Hold the left nostril closed with your right ring or little finger for eight counts.
  3. Exhale until you reach eight counts.
  4. Inhale until you reach a count of four.
  5. Hold for eight counts.
  6. Exhale until you reach eight counts.

It takes some coordination to master alternate breathing, it is possible with practice. At least five cycles should be completed.

Meditation Is A Powerful Tool

Meditation is a well-known practice of yoga. There are many ways to meditate, just like with the breathing exercises. Meditation is often described as clearing your mind of all thoughts. Even for experienced meditators, it is almost impossible to keep your mind clear of thoughts for any length of time.

We were born thinkers. Our goal is to stop the thoughts from running wild and to not let them distract us from the present moment. It can be difficult to remain in the moment. We are often thinking about the past or ruminating on the future.

A meditation practice is like making bank deposits. Try to meditate for a few minutes each day to get the best return. The compounded benefits over time will enrich your life.

Meditation on Mindfulness

You want to be in a place that is quiet and not disturbed. You simply need to be aware of your thoughts. Pay attention to them, but don’t let them distract you. While some thoughts are distracting, like “What should we have for dinner?” Some thoughts can lead to fantasy conversations. You can either notice them or gently nudge your mind back into the present moment.

It can be very helpful to use your senses to help you return to the present moment. Pay attention to the sounds around you, both those near and far away. This can help you return to the present moment.

Meditation With Focus

Focused meditation is similar to breathing exercises. The practitioner focuses his attention on one thing. The breath could be that something, and the practitioner can pay attention to minute details about how it feels. Feel the air move through your nostrils, and take note of the sensation.

Air expands the stomach and lungs. Focus could be on sounds, like repeating a mantra or simple phrases such as “I breathe in energy, and I exhale frustration,” You can also focus visually by looking at a candle and watching the flame and colors shift.

Meditation as Action

Even if you are unable to go alone, meditation can be practiced throughout the day. It is a matter of being aware and using everyday events to remind yourself to be present. You can use stop signs or red lights as metaphors when driving to remind you to slow down and think.

You can also use the phone to bring you back into the present. Do not anticipate what you might or won’t say. Keep your eyes open and allow the conversation to unfold naturally.

Asanas And Posing

Mind-body yoga for lower back pain is a great way to strengthen your core and consequently reduce common aches and back pains. Because no two bodies are the same, there will never be identical poses. These poses should be approached with gentleness. Don’t push your body to the extremes.

You should consult your doctor if you are uncertain about a particular position.


This will strengthen your core and back muscles and massage your spine gently.

Start on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Your arms should be down. It is helpful to have a block between your knees, but it is not necessary. This will allow you to engage your inner thighs.

Inhale and gently pull your abdominal muscles in. Next, lift your hips toward the ceiling by lifting your tailbone through your legs. When you reach your shoulder blades, stop.

Inhale and hold for a while. Next, slowly lower your spine vertebra by vertebra. Keep the weight evenly distributed on both your back and sides. Continue this process several times.

Twist Your Back While Seated

This exercises the rotator muscles and increases flexibility in the spine.

Start seated with one leg bent and the other straight.

Keep your right leg bent and wrap your left arm around the knee. Rotate your right arm so that your right arm is behind you. Place your right hand on the ground with your palm facing down. Keep inhaling and slowly exhaling. Repeat this process several times on each side.


This strengthens the abdominal muscles and improves flexibility. These poses, which are done in sequence, work the spine in opposing directions, creating gentle forward and back bends.

Start on your hands and knees, with your hands in line with your shoulders. Your knees should be in line with your hips.

Preparation: Inhale and exhale. As you exhale, lift your tailbone up as you look down at your legs. Pause. Slowly inhale and move your spine into an arched position. Pull your shoulders back, looking up towards the ceiling. Reverse the process and you will be back in neutral. Repeat the process several times.


This is a great stretch for your legs and hips. This is particularly helpful in counterbalancing the effects caused by sitting.

Start on your hands and knees. Your right knee should be towards your right and your left leg should extend back.

Your elbows should be parallel to the ground. Feel the stretch in your right hip. You can also fold your body forward and rest your head on the ground. For several seconds, hold the position and then switch sides.

Pose of a Contented Baby

This will stretch your hip flexor muscles and release their pull on your back.

Start on your back with your legs straight and your knees bent. Reach out to your feet and pull them toward the ground. Your knees should not touch the floor. For several seconds, hold the position. Feel the hip opening. Many people report feeling longer in their legs after doing this exercise.

Hamstring Stretch

This will stretch your hamstrings (the muscles at the back of your legs) and improve circulation. They can become tight when you sit or engage in running.

Start on your back, with one leg raised and a strap around your foot.

Gently pull the leg towards your head. Try to keep the knee straight. Depending on your flexibility, the opposite leg may be bent or straight. Each side should be held for several seconds.


  • Yoga for lower back pain can be used to help with back pain relief by strengthening and stretching muscles.
  • Some styles of yoga for lower back pain may not be suitable for people who are recovering from back injuries or surgeries, or those just starting yoga.
  • Meditation and yogic breathing can reduce stress and calm back problems related to stress.


  • What Is Ashtanga Yoga? Benefits And Poses. (n.d.). Insider.
  • What Is Vinyasa Yoga? | Vinyasa Flow Yoga Explained | One Flow Yoga. (2019, February 19). One Flow Yoga.
  • What Is Iyengar Yoga? – Ekhart Yoga. (2015, September 23). Ekhart Yoga.
  • Hatha Yoga – Wikipedia. (n.d.). Hatha yoga – Wikipedia.
  • Cormack, B. (2012, January 22). Muscle Firing. What Does It Mean? – Cor Kinetic. Cor Kinetic.
woman practicing yoga pilates

Best Pilates For Back Pain Exercises

woman performing best pilates exercise for lower back pain
Pilates is an excellent exercise for many people who suffer from back pain because it focuses on strengthening the deep abdominal and pelvic floor muscles, which support the back.

Pilates exercises can help you build long, lean muscles. They also lengthen and strengthen your muscles and improve your back posture.

Pilates for back pain is mind-body discipline includes proper alignment of the spine, breathing, and concentration. It is a vigorous, rejuvenating, and invigorating workout.

You will definitely work your abs a lot. Many places that offer private and group Pilates classes, including health clubs and community centers across the country,

We offer tips for finding great instructor, and we share some back-beneficial moves that you can try.

These moves might not be right for everyone. Please consult your physician and/or your physical therapist to ensure that you are cleared for exercise.

What Pilates For Back Pain Is About?

Pilates is often described by many as an intense abdominal workout. It’s all that and more.

The man who developed this mind-body discipline is perhaps the best example. Joseph H. Pilates called his system “contrology,” which means that control is an important part of this exercise method.

In the 1920s, Joe and Clara immigrated to America, where they opened a New York City studio. His work incorporates Eastern disciplines like yoga and tai-chi with martial arts, boxing, and acrobatics.

Pilates is now known as “Contrology.” It includes mat exercises, spring-based exercises, and exercises that use small props like rings and barrels.

Pilates outlined the benefits of his method in his book, Return to Life Through Contrology.

Look For A Good Teacher

Someone who is familiar with the human body and Pilates exercises is a must. This is particularly important for back pain prevention. Anybody can teach a routine of exercises. Teachers who are good at communicating the purpose behind the exercises can motivate and connect with students.

Teachers who are good at what they do also have a solid understanding of anatomy and body mechanics. They can tailor individual sessions to suit the needs of each client. They will keep you safe while challenging you.

Referrals from family members and other professionals in the field of health care are always helpful. You want your instructor to match your personality and needs, just like a good doctor.

Many Pilates studios offer an introductory rate that allows you to test out a few sessions with a few instructors before you decide to commit to more.

Training And Certification

Pilates, like yoga, has changed over time. There are many approaches to Pilates for back pain today, but the core muscle development approach is the same.

BASI, Balanced Body, and Polestar Pilates are some of the most respected and well-respected trademarked brands. Stott and Romana’s Pilates are also among them. You can become a certified instructor through either of these brands or smaller studios with their own training centers. Both of these are valid ways to learn.

It is important to know how many hours an instructor has been trained. At least 300 hours of training is required for the most credible and comprehensive programs. This includes anatomy, personal practice, observation of other instructors working with clients, and practice-teaching clients.

Before entering a Pilates training program, the best programs require that students have been practicing Pilates for at least 300 hours and have received private instruction.

Ask about the hours they have been trained, their years of experience, specializations (some specialize in rehabilitation), continuing education, and other details when looking for good Pilates instructors.

It takes approximately two years to become a competent and knowledgeable Pilates instructor. Instructors are kept motivated and fresh by continuing education.

Studios that serve as training centers can also be PMA certified, proving their compliance with the PMA’s high standards.

Many instructors begin their Pilates careers by teaching mat classes. Because there are no machines involved, teaching mat classes requires less time than comprehensive training.

Prerequisites for mat certification include personal Pilates experience and fitness teaching. These programs require approximately 100 hours of training. This includes anatomy, observation, practice-teaching, and physical review.

An instructor can be either mat-or equipment-certified, as mentioned earlier. Equipment certification can also be called comprehensive certification.

Mat vs. Machinery

Pilates was originally a one-on-one training method. Most people learn Pilates for back pain today through mat classes. While both have their benefits, private sessions on the machines are the best way to learn the art and reap the benefits.

In the springs, you can find both support and challenge. With proper instruction, you can achieve your goals and will learn how to use the springs correctly.

A few sessions can make a huge difference in your mat workout and help you to be more aware of what you are doing. We recommend that you book a few private sessions with a machine instructor if you are able. These are some of the many benefits of Pilates machines:

  • Machines that are spring-based challenge and support deep core muscles. The instructor will ensure proper alignment and technique.
  • The use of a machine improves range of motion.
  • You can customize the machine settings to suit your fitness level and goals.

DIY Resources

There are many great recordings available that can be used to complement your workouts and/or to show you the basics of Pilates. In particular, you should look out for online courses by Stott Pilates or Balanced Body.

YouTube also has clips of Pilates for back pain from different schools and instructors.

The Core Principles

No matter whether you are using a mat or a machine, the principles remain the same. Although there are many styles of Pilates, the principles are similar. All focus on strengthening and stabilizing the core muscles. The emphasis is on quality movement, not quantity. The following are other unifying principles:

  • Articulation: One vertebra at a time, mainly by rolling up or down in a motion.
  • Breath: Inhale and exhale fully. This helps you to connect with your core, energize, and renew your body, mind, and spirit.
  • Concentration: The mind and body work together to increase focus and awareness. It is important to pay attention to what you are doing and how your muscles feel.
  • Control: The movements are neither fast nor jerky.
  • Flow: Exercises can be fluid or static, but not isolated. We move in space.
  • Precision: Every exercise offers unique benefits when you focus on the details.
  • Coordination: In most exercises, one part of the body stabilizes and another part moves. This requires coordination and balance.
  • Oppositions: Using opposing forces builds strength, awareness, and balance.

Core Moves

You may have been to physical therapy before. Pilates moves are becoming more popular in physical therapy. Many physical therapists also have the ability to teach Pilates, which is a great way to help clients get back on track and maintain good fitness habits.

We want our abs to draw in and not protrude. This is true for all motions, including forward, backward, sideways, twisting, and sideways. These Pilates for back pain exercises are easy, but have been simplified for beginner levels. It is important to start with good form.

Pelvic Tilts

These will engage your deep core abdominal muscles and allow you to move your hips. They also gently massage your lower back.

Start on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Your arms should be down. Your hips should be neutrally aligned. This means that you are not pressing your lower back into anything or arching your lower back.

Inhale and gently pull your abdominal muscles in. Don’t grip too hard. Next, tilt your hips towards you, curling your tailbone upward through your legs.

Your lower back should touch the mat as you do this. This is a small movement. The hips don’t lift off the ground. Slowly return your hips to neutral (the natural curve of your lower back). Repeat this several times.

Roll Down With A Twist

This exercise is designed to strengthen your core abdominal muscles. Your side abdominals will also benefit.

Start by laying your feet flat on your stomach. With your elbows extended, sit straight up on your sitting bones (the knobby bones at your bottom).

Start to pull your belly in, and then curl back. As you bring your tailbone under you, each vertebra will be articulated. Keep your elbows wide. Take a look at your belly and roll down towards your lower back. Inhale. Then slowly curl up to get back to a high position. Repeat this five times.

Swan Prep

These exercises will strengthen your back and abdominal muscles and stretch your front.

Start face down with your arms extended, palms facing up. Place your legs in a parallel position. Pull your abdominals in and press the pubic bone into the mat.

Inhale and straighten your arms. Next, lift your upper body up. Then, lift your legs off the ground by exhaling. Keep your hips down. Keep your hips down. Repeat this five times.

Do not lift your legs if the motion bothers your lower back.

Spine Twist

This increases the strength of the side abdominals (obliques) and allows for more mobility when rotating your spine.

Start by laying down with your legs crossed, arms extended in front of you, and your head slightly raised. Sit tall.

To prepare, inhale and draw your belly in. Then exhale while twisting to your left. Reverse the process and return to the center. Repeat five times on each side, alternately.

Modified Mermaid

This helps to strengthen the side muscles (obliques) and allows for side bending.

Start with your legs crossed and your arms at your sides. Keep your legs relaxed and inhale to prepare. Next, exhale to lift your arms up and stretch them to your side. Your head will be lifted by the other arm. Look up towards the ceiling. Take a moment to inhale and exhale. three times. Cross your legs and then repeat.


  • Pilates is a great choice to strengthen your core and back muscles, as well as help with back pain.
  • At least 100 hours of training should be received by mat instructors; at least 300 hours should be completed for comprehensive instructors who work with machines.
  • You will be able to get more done with private sessions with a skilled instructor.


  • Pilates Method Alliance | Pilates Method Alliance. (n.d.). Pilates Method Alliance | Pilates Method Alliance.
  • Romana’s Pilates | Home. (n.d.). Romana’s Pilates.
  • Education Programs: STOTT PILATES Education & Equipment | Merrithew™. (n.d.). Education Programs: STOTT PILATES Education & Equipment | Merrithew™.
  • Pilates Teacher Training – Polestar Pilates Education. (2021, September 14). Polestar Pilates.
  • (n.d.).
  • Pilates Teacher Training And Pilates Certification • BASI™ Pilates. (2022, January 26). BASI™ Pilates.
  • Joseph Pilates – Wikipedia. (2015, May 1). Joseph Pilates – Wikipedia.
senior couple training together

Top Exercise Strategies For Back Pain Relief

woman performing an exercise specifically meant to relieve back pain
Lower back pain exercises can help you strengthen your back, stomach, and leg muscles. They provide back pain relief by supporting your spine.

Exercise is not a guarantee that your back won’t hurt. Sometimes, a bad move or too much exercise can cause injury. The bottom line is that exercise is essential if you want to feel great. You’ll feel the benefits of exercise and feel great.

Every person has a unique back problem. Before you do any exercises, consult your doctor and/or physical therapist.

This article will give you an overview and provide some suggestions on how to include physical activity in your daily life to reduce back pain.

How Much Exercise Do You Really Need?

What is the magic number for exercise? According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 30–60 minutes per day, most days, will improve strength, energy, stress reduction, and sleep quality. This is all thanks to exercise! Consider how much money you could make if you discovered a pill that did all of this!

Exercise is the solution to so many of our problems as a nation, including obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and back pain. There are so many different ways to stay fit and healthy. It is important to choose things that you like or can tolerate until you begin to feel the benefits.

It may take time, depending on where you start. You may need to try a lot of different activities until you find something you like. You’ll feel more relaxed and calm if you stick to a routine. You’ll also notice a wonderful side effect: you’ll look better. Bonus!

Some people want to run screaming when they hear “exercise”. Running away is fine, and screaming can help you improve your lung capacity. You don’t need to be a gym rat in order to stay healthy. It’s not exercise. Instead, think of it as daily physical activity.

This could include walking your dog, gardening or shoveling snow. Moving your body is key. For back pain, you should include a few muscle-strengthening moves and key stretches.

For A Healthy Back, Balance Your Muscles

Muscles move and stabilize bones. Muscles must be properly conditioned to perform their jobs.

An imbalance is the main cause of strain and back pain. An imbalance could be caused by a muscle pulling too hard or repetitive movement patterns that cause an imbalance.

When you sit at a computer for long periods of time and your spine and shoulders roll forward, this is a common symptom. The muscles in your front and back become fatigued. That’s why it is so relaxing to move backward after sitting for a long time. Your chest is being stretched.

In addition to stretching, strengthening your muscles is important. Good back posture is possible with a well-conditioned abdomen and lower and upper back muscles. A strong back will allow you to keep your shoulders open and improve your posture awareness. Good posture and balanced muscles will prevent fatigue and back and neck pain.

What Kind Of Exercise?

Three types of exercise are necessary to maintain a healthy, functional body: strength-building, aerobic, and stretching.

You can choose how you do that, but it is worth investing in some sessions with a personal trainer or getting exercises from a physical therapist. Bad exercise habits can lead to more back pain.

Aerobic exercise can increase your heart rate (how fast you beat), strength, and flexibility, and it can also improve your flexibility. This trio can help you build a happy, healthy body and back for your whole life.

How Can You Lose Weight?

Being overweight not only places extra strain on your back but also overloads your hips and knees. Most of your body weight is located in your lower back, hips, and pelvis.

This extra weight places more stress on the bones. Although losing weight is a great way to improve your health, it can be difficult. If it weren’t, there wouldn’t be such an obesity problem here and around the world.

One step at a given time is the best way to lose weight, according to us. It’s a cliché, but it’s true.

Successful weight loss requires lifestyle changes. You’ll soon be able to adopt some new lifestyle and fitness habits. These seven strategies will help you be more successful.

  1. Expect to fail. If you view it as learning a new way to behave, you are more likely to change your behavior. Failure is a natural part of learning. You probably didn’t ride your bike perfectly the first time you tried it. You probably kept going until you were comfortable with the bike. It’s the same with a healthy lifestyle. You don’t always succeed at first.
  2. Be open to emotional perspectives. Don’t let yourself down if you fail. Ask yourself three questions: What went wrong? What can you do now to prevent it? What can you do now to stop it?
  3. Everybody falls off the wagon, even high-performing athletes. Do not focus on the negative. Instead, look at the positive and fix the problem.
  4. Realistic goals are important. You’ll lose 10 pounds in 10 days! Not at all. If you want to keep it up, not at all. Slow and steady is the best way to go. Don’t be alarmed if you suddenly gain some weight. Do your calculations over a period of one month, not just a few days.
  5. Make your daily goals concrete. Instead of saying that you want to exercise more often, make a vow to walk for 30 minutes each day. Be specific and realistic. If you are able to find a buddy who shares your goals, it can help motivate each other during tough times.
  6. Try thinking differently. Sometimes, we believe that losing weight means being poor. Sometimes we eat well and then feel guilty about it. Healthy eating is about feeling good and maintaining a healthy weight. You can reward yourself with music downloads, movie nights, or a new look.
  7. Create a supportive environment. When the cookies and ice cream are still at the grocery store, it’s easier for you to exercise self-control. You can be more mindful of your portion control if you don’t overfill your plate with pasta or place large quantities of it on the table. Ask for half of your order when dining out, particularly if you are ordering pasta.
  8. Think about the company you keep. Research shows that what we eat can have an impact on our behavior. You’ll be more like your friends if you eat too much and aren’t in good shape. If your friends exercise regularly and eat well, you will be more active. We don’t believe you can change your friends and family overnight. You can make your health a priority. The buddy system works. It offers mutual support, accountability, inspiration, and encouragement.

Lunchtime Fitness

It doesn’t take long to build a stronger and more flexible body. It’s possible to fit a bit of fitness into your lunch break. These simple strategies will help you make the most of your lunch break.


Multitasking is a great way to get things done in the office or at the gym. Combining cardiovascular exercise with strength training will give you the most out of your time. You can do this by hopping on a cardio machine and lifting your upper body for 10 minutes.

Then, stretch. To get the full benefit of your workouts, alternate between lower-body and upper-body weight training. Invite a colleague to join you. You can also brainstorm new ideas and create better professional relationships.

Take It In If You Don’t Have a Gym

To exercise effectively, you don’t necessarily need to have a lot of space. You can get your own personal in-office workout with a yoga mat or resistance band. There are many strength-training and stretching options available with resistance bands.

You can use them while standing, sitting, or lying down. They are affordable and come with step-by-step workout programs. You can also hire a group of fitness trainers to come to you at work.

Many exercises can be done without the need for equipment. You can do calisthenics like push-ups and sit-ups, as well as squats and jumping jacks. Control, precision, and form are essential.

Stiffness can be reduced by taking a break from the computer and stretching your back for a few moments. Side stretches, forward bends, and gentle spine twists can help reduce stiffness.

Active In The Office

What can you do to increase your activity during work? There are many!

  • While talking on the phone, stand.
  • Instead of using e-mail or the telephone, walk down the hall and speak to someone instead.
  • Take the stairs to the next floor and get off the elevator on the first floor.
  • Start or participate in a weight loss competition within your company.
  • For charity events, form a team.
  • Find a Y or fitness center near you. You can work out before or after work, and you can also drop in for a lunch workout.
  • Take the bus to work and walk the remainder of the way.
  • Take a walk around your building during lunch or at work to take a break.


  • You need to be active for 30–60 minutes each day in order to reap the maximum benefits of exercise.
  • Instead of doing it all in one session, you can break it up into smaller bursts.
  • For a healthy body, you need to be strong, flexible, and do aerobic exercise.
  • If you are overweight, losing weight can reduce stress.
  • Sound strategies are essential to creating a healthy lifestyle. They include accepting failures and finding ways to overcome them.
woman undergoing acupuncture treatment back

Back Pain Relief – How To Choose Good CAM Provider

woman is receiving traditional chinese medicine cupping method for lower back pain relief.
There are many non-drug treatments for low back pain. These alternative therapies can help you feel better and be more active.

You’ll see that complementary and alternative (CAM) providers can have a high level of education and training.

According to the National Institute of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (a division of the National Institutes of Health), back pain is the most common reason people seek CAM therapies.

This article will cover the most common complementary and alternative therapy providers you’ll encounter when searching for relief for back pain.

This article will explain how these providers are educated and what to look for in terms of experience and credentials.

Complementary Care Providers

CAM practitioners generally ask patients to be involved in the healing process. They might recommend self-treatments or exercises. Some doctors avoid pharmaceuticals because they believe that drugs mask symptoms and hinder the body’s natural ability to heal.

Combining complementary and alternative therapies with conventional medicine can be very effective for many people.

Some people might find relief only by using alternative therapies. That’s fine, too. Last but not least, let me remind you about the differences between complementary and alternative providers.

Complementary therapies are those that can be used alongside conventional medicine. Your doctor may recommend one or both of these depending on their philosophy.

Conventional medicine has embraced and encouraged a variety of complementary and alternative therapies that have scientific support. This is known as “evidence-based medicine” in the medical world.

Acupuncture, chiropractic manipulation, and massage therapy are the most popular CAM treatments for back pain. Scientific evidence supports the effectiveness of all three treatments in relieving back pain.

We’ve already mentioned that integrative medicine, a new branch of medicine, endorses many complementary and alternative practices. It also includes them within its own practice scope.

Integrative medicine departments include providers such as chiropractors, massage therapists, and acupuncturists. Here are the details about the providers.


The American Academy of Physician Acupuncturists is an association for doctors who practice acupuncture. Their practice is called “medical acupuncture” by the AAMA.

A practitioner must hold a valid medical license as either a doctor of osteopathy or a doctor of medicine to become a full member. They also need to have completed 220 hours of acupuncture education and have two years of experience as medical acupuncturists.

Acupuncture training programs vary. One program offered by Harvard Medical School for doctors is a nine-month program that offers 300 credit hours. The more rigorous schools require three-to-four years of training for those not already licensed as doctors (about 3,000 hours).

Comprehensive training programs include a deep understanding of traditional Chinese medicine. This includes acupuncture, anatomy and advanced needling techniques. There are also online courses that provide certificates of completion that allow unqualified individuals to practice.

Ask about the education of any person who is going to be inserting needles into your body. This includes years of schooling, practice experience, and licensing. Ask about their experience treating back pain patients and what pain relief options they recommend.

Each state regulates acupuncture. Some states don’t require licenses, while others require certification from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. This organization requires ongoing education and the renewal of licenses every four years.

For more information about what your state requires, visit the organization’s website,


The largest and most regulated CAM profession is chiropractic. After dentistry and conventional medicine, chiropractic is the third-largest doctoral-level health care profession. The state regulates and licenses chiropractic. To practice, you must have a license in all 50 states.

The United States Department of Education has certified the Council on Chiropractic Education as an agency to accredit chiropractic colleges. A candidate must have at least a few years of college credit in the sciences to be eligible for accreditation in a program that trains chiropractors.

The four-year chiropractic program is both classroom and clinical. Spine anatomy, physiology, and microbiology are all covered. Nutrition is also included. Hands-on experience with patients is required. After graduation, graduates receive a doctorate in chiropractic and are eligible for the state licensing exam.

Each state requires chiropractors to be licensed. The requirements for each state are different. Most states require at least two years of education, and in some cases, four years. A Mock patient encounter is part of the national board’s licensing examinations.

In order to maintain their licenses, chiropractors must earn continuing education credits each year in all 50 states. You can find more information on the American Chiropractic Association website at

What Is the Role of a Massage Therapist?

A massage therapist’s education is much less than that of other health-care professionals. Students must learn anatomy, business ethics, and hands-on techniques to obtain the basic certificate or diploma.

The training required for credible programs is at least 500 hours and takes approximately a year. A clinical massage therapy program usually offers more training.

Massage training programs are usually approved by a state board or an independent agency like the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation. Massage therapy is a practice that requires licensure and formal training in many states.

You should look for massage therapists who have completed at least 500 hours of education and are COMTA accredited. Professionalism is also demonstrated by membership in a respected professional association. The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) is the largest of these non-profit associations.

Most states require licensure and passing a national exam. This is usually through the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.

Many states require that massage therapists have malpractice insurance and participate in continuing education. To find out your state’s requirements, go to

Medical massage therapy is distinct from traditional massage therapy. Special certification is available in some states for medical massage therapy.

Both can be beneficial, but insurance coverage is unlikely to cover lavender-infused massage oils and cucumber water. Instead, you will need to sit in white fluffy robes while listening to Enya.

Alternative Medicine Providers

This is where we enter murkier waters in relation to state requirements. The following practices are not covered by the law: These practices aren’t less credible because there isn’t any regulation, but it does allow the unregulated to practice more freely. Health claims about cures are more often made without any evidence.

Follow your gut instincts. Ask providers about their back pain experience and methodology. These providers are educated in their respective fields.


It is very similar to being a doctor when becoming a naturopath. They are highly trained practitioners. A bachelor’s degree is required to be admitted to a naturopathic school.

The same curriculum is used for naturopathic medical students as well as traditional medical students. Their education includes clinical hours under the supervision of a licensed naturopathic physician (ND).

Naturopathy aims to treat the whole person, not just a specific disease. It also aims to improve a person’s overall well-being. Naturopathic studies focus on holistic and non-toxic therapies like acupuncture, homeopathy, and clinical nutrition.

Naturopaths can also learn psychology and counseling strategies to help people make lifestyle changes. The Association of Accredited Natural Medicine Colleges states that there are six basic principles of naturopathic medicine.

  1. Do no harm. Use the least invasive, natural and toxic therapies.
  2. Nature’s healing power: Rely on your body’s natural wisdom to heal yourself.
  3. Find the cause and treat it.
  4. Help patients understand the steps involved in achieving and maintaining good health by acting as a teacher.
  5. The whole person is important. Treat them as a whole.
  6. Prevention: Stress on overall health and wellness.

Only 15 states have licensed naturopaths. A naturopath in those states is considered the same as a primary-care doctor. Look for NDs who have completed a four-year college and are continuing their education in non-regulated states.

To find a credentialed doctor and learn more about their scope of practice, see


Homeopathic doctors are healthcare professionals who have received basic college education in anatomy, pathology, physiology, and disease. They also learn homeopathic remedies and how to treat individuals.

Two people may report back pain and receive different treatments. These OTC remedies for back pain are made from specially prepared, diluted animal, plant, and mineral substances. Since 1796, homeopathic remedies have been known.

This field is gaining popularity in the United States. Homeopathy is a healing modality that can be added to the practice of medical doctors. Some courses are specifically designed for them. The course work for Naturopaths includes homeopathy.

Homeopathy is recognized worldwide. There are many regulations. It is not covered in the United States, but is in France and Austria.

Homeopathy is covered by the public health programs of Denmark and the United Kingdom. Schools in the United States have different requirements. Homeopathic doctors should have at least 500 hours of training. Ask about their experience treating back pain.


The healing properties of plants have been around for a long time. They were the first medicines. Many pharmaceuticals today are based on plants. The practice of herbal medicine is still a very important part of many cultures, particularly the Chinese.

Traditional Chinese medicine is often associated with herbalists. Some courses last only six months, while others require years of study. This field is not subject to regulation in the United States.

The American Herbalists Guild, which sets standards for education, is responsible for defining educational guidelines that are applicable to all who seek a holistic education.

They recommend that practitioners complete 1,600 hours of education, with 400 hours of supervision and clinical training. The course work should cover basic sciences such as anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry. It also must include hours in therapeutic herbalism.

Ask about the hours of education and past experience in treating back pain when you are looking for a herbalist. To find an herbalist and learn more about the practice, go to

Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), one of the most ancient and widely-used traditional medical systems, is one of the most important in the world. It incorporates traditional Chinese medicine and therapeutic practices from the past.

Practitioners of TCM can recommend or administer acupuncture and traditional Chinese herbs. They also have nutritional guidelines and shiatsu massage. Others may be trained in traditional Chinese herbs or acupuncture.

Master’s programs require four years of full-time study (about 3,300 hours) and include clinical training. Accredited schools by the Accreditation Committee for Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) are considered the best.

Some schools offer courses that allow M.D.s to incorporate TCM into their practice. While most states have licenses for acupuncture, they regulate TCM therapies differently. Nearly all states that license acupuncture require passing the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine’s (NCCAOM) written exam, but some states may also require a practical exam.

Remember to communicate with your providers. Make sure you inform your team if you’re taking blood thinners or have bleeding disorders. Don’t be embarrassed. It is possible for herbal remedies to interact with prescription medications in a dangerous way.


  • Many CAM practitioners have the same education as conventional doctors.
  • Some CAM therapies are rooted in centuries-old healing traditions from other countries.
  • Each state has its own regulations regarding CAM providers.
  • Chiropractic is the most regulated CAM treatment; all states require that chiropractors be licensed.
  • Unregulated does NOT mean unqualified. To evaluate a provider, you will need to inquire about their credentials, education, and licensure.
physiotherapist examining senior patient she is massaging various trigger points his back askig if it is painful

Back Pain Tests – Physical, Neurological, and Imaging

doctor reviewing an x-ray of the person affected by the back pain
Because a lot of different things can cause back pain, your doctor will ask you about your medical history as part of the exam.

When and how do you choose to see a back pain specialist? What kinds of tests are doctors able to perform and what results do they reveal? These are just a few of the many questions this article will answer.

Primary Care Physician

Your primary care physician is well-versed in many conditions and illnesses that can lead to back pain. This person can help you narrow down the causes of your discomfort. Your primary care physician can also diagnose and treat non-spine-related issues like bladder, kidney, or gynecological issues.

First, it is best to approach everything from a broad perspective. If you don’t, how will you know if you need to see a back pain specialist in bone, nerve, or another specialty? Your primary care doctor can help you navigate the process.

A benefit to first seeing your primary physician is that they already have your health history and that you have built trust with them. Good rapport can get you better treatment. Talking openly and freely about your body and mind can help you get better treatment for back pain.

The same evaluation rules apply, regardless of whether your primary care doctor is new or has been with you for decades. Ask your primary care doctor lots of questions, including when, where, and how it hurt; how long it has been there; and what treatment you have used to treat it.

Reflexes, muscle strength, flexibility, and reflexes should all be tested during physical exams. They should also feel your spine and back muscles.

You may find that you have a common strain or sprain after these initial tests. These conditions can take some time to heal. While this is a relief, you still need to manage the pain.

You can get additional medication, self-help suggestions, home remedies for lower back pain, and/or physical therapy prescriptions from your doctor to help you heal.

However, if your doctor suspects that it is more than a simple strain or sprain, imaging diagnostic tests (Xray, MRI, etc.) might be recommended. To rule out infections, primary care doctors may order additional tests (mostly blood tests). We will discuss the diagnostic tests that your primary care doctor or another specialist may use to diagnose the root cause of your backache.

Common Tests

Back pain specialists and primary care physicians use many of these tests. Always inquire about the reason for the test, the information it will reveal, the time it will take to get the results, and how you will be notified. We’ll help explain the purpose of the tests.

Preparation is important for some tests. You should not, for example, eat or drink anything the morning of your test. To ensure accuracy, be clear about what you must do. You can also find out if there are any side effects to the test so that you can plan your day accordingly.

Physical Tests

A physical exam will be performed by your primary care physician. If you visit a specialist, they may repeat the same tests. Your posture, range of motion, reflexes, as well as strength, flexibility, balance, strength, and sensations will all be evaluated by them. Here are some common ways they do it.

Your posture will be assessed by the doctor, whether you are standing or sitting. These positions should feel natural and comfortable. Do not suddenly sit straight up when your natural posture is slouched. Realize your situation to get the care that you deserve.

A small rubber hammer can be used to gently tap your knees or other parts of your body by a doctor to test your reflexes. Tests of reflexes reveal what’s going on with nerve communication. The doctor might ask you to stand on one foot in order to test your balance.

This is another test that can reveal how your nervous system functions. There are many ways to determine your range of motion or flexibility. Do you feel your toes touching the ground? How far back can you bend, turn, and extend your back?

Your doctor will then use your feedback to determine if you are experiencing pain. Back pain can be caused by tight muscles. Your Rx may be to simply do lower back stretches or to take medication to reduce inflammation and pain.

The doctor will again ask for your input by touching your back or palpating it. Is it painful? What is the problem? Your doctor will also be looking at it to determine if there are any abnormalities in your spine.

These physical exams can be compared to detective work. It’s a process that eliminates the problem. Nerve problems can lead to pain and loss of sensation. A gentle poke with a newspaper clip can help you determine if there is a loss of sensation.

Sciatic nerve problems can be identified by a lift in the leg that causes pain. If your reflexes aren’t responding, it could indicate a problem with your nerve pathway. If you feel pain when you bend forward, it could be an indication of intervertebral disk problems.

If you feel pain when you bend backwards, this could be a sign that you have spinal stenosis, or arthritis in a facet. Your pain may decrease after you wake up, which could indicate osteoarthritis.

Physical tests can help you diagnose the problem and also indicate which tests are needed to find the main reason of your back pain.

Neurological Tests

Your balance, coordination, and reflexes are all evaluated by physical neurological tests. The following neurological tests can be used to determine if an unusuality has been identified: A specialist, such as a neurologist or physiatrist (see section “The Medical Specialists”), will usually order neurological tests.

Electromyography (EMG), which is also known as nerve conduction studies (NCS) or nerve condition studies, can often be combined with electromyography (EMG). These tests assess your peripheral nervous system (PNS).

An EMG measures the electrical activity of nerves and muscles. An NCS measures the speed at which electrical signals travel through nerves. These tests are not difficult to perform, but they can be uncomfortable for reasons that will soon become apparent.

A specialist will insert fine needles into the muscles of your body to conduct an EMG. An EMG machine uses the needles to record and detect electrical patterns produced by nerves. The EMG monitors your muscles and the nerves they supply.

An EMG test will ask you to move one part of your body, such as your arm. Your nerve responses are visible as wavelengths in a special scope. You can also hear them through speakers. The nerve produces signals that sound almost like radio static.

This test measures how your nerves and muscles respond to a stimulus, such as your brain’s telling your arm to raise. There are no side effects to the test. You might feel some tenderness or bruising around the site where the needles were placed.

Two sets of electrodes are used in nerve conduction studies. They look similar to electrocardiogram patch patches and are placed on the chest to check heart function. The electrodes are attached to the skin and are not used for needles in nerve conduction studies.

One electrode stimulates a nerve running to a specific muscle with a mild electric shock. The second electrode measures how fast impulses travel through the nerve. The test results will reveal how well the nerve functions.

It can sometimes reveal pinched nerves outside the back, or other neurological problems. Although the shocks may be uncomfortable, they are not usually painful. Once the shocks stop, there are no side effects.

Imaging Tests

There are many tests that can be used to determine the condition of your bones and soft tissue. These tests should not be your first step in the evaluation. These tests come later in the process because of common age-related changes in soft tissue and bone.

However, they may not be the cause. There are many treatment options for osteoarthritis that can be used without worrying about side effects. If the signs are clear that the patient has arthritis, why not treat them accordingly?

When there are questions or concerns about the patient’s condition, tests are recommended. Common X-rays can show problems with bones and their structure, such as a fracture, infection, or tumor.

The results can be seen on either physical film or on a computer monitor. It is the same painless procedure that you have probably had many times at the dentist’s office, but this time they are taking photos of your back.

Dynamic X-rays can be used to evaluate the motion of the spine. They are usually taken at the extremes of bending. You can bend forward or backward (flexion, extension), or side-to-side (lateral bending). These tests may reveal spinal instability while moving.

Computerized tomography, also called computed-axial tomography or CAT scan, is an improvement on the standard X-ray. It shows the bones in great detail. It provides basic information about soft tissues (muscles and tendons as well as discs).

This tool can help you determine whether your back pain is caused by spinal stenosis or an intervertebral disk rupture. It is painless and fast. It does not reveal nerves well. This type of scan is often used by orthopedic specialists (which we’ll talk about shortly) when patients have had an accident or fallen.

It shows more detail than an X-ray. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is similar to an Xray, but it uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves instead of radiation. These are converted into three-dimensional computer images that show your spine and soft tissue.

These images show the position of the spine, discs, nerve roots, spinal cord, and discs. MRIs are often ordered for surgical purposes. This will allow surgeons to pinpoint the problem areas (where nerves have been pinched). These machines can be expensive, as can the tests they run. They typically cost between $1,000 and $2,000, so make sure you check with your insurance before you order.

MRI scans require that your entire body be placed in a large cylinder. The cylinder is narrow and noisy, and you must remain still for at least 30 minutes. Your doctor might prescribe mild anti-anxiety medication if you are claustrophobic. Because MRIs are magnets, MRIs cannot be performed on people who have metal in their bodies, such as pacemakers, shrapnel, or certain aneurysm clips.

The test of discography can be used to determine if a disc is responsible for your pain. A special contrast dye is injected into the spinal disc that’s causing your lower back pain. The injection may trigger your pain.

The disc may not be the cause of your pain if it doesn’t replicate the symptoms. A CT scan is often done following the injection of the dye. The dye is injected into the disc to highlight any disc problems.

Patients who have a disc problem may be ordered by their doctors to have discographies done. It can be painful because the needle passes through muscle and tissue to reach the disc. Other risks include infection, bleeding, or worsening symptoms.

Myelography uses a contrast dye, which is similar to discography. The dye is injected into your spinal canal. Images are then taken using a fluoroscope. This is a special X-ray machine that displays real-time moving images. Another option is to have a CT scan.

This scan shows if there is nerve compression in your spinal canal. Painful injections can occur. In rare cases, spinal fluid may leak from the needle at the dye injection site. This can cause headaches that last several days. Patients who are unable to have an MRI due to a metal implant or screw in their back often have myelograms.

Bone scans are used to diagnose bone diseases such as fractures or tumors. Radioactive material is injected into your bloodstream and absorbed into your bones. The material takes several hours to reach the bones. After that, a special machine scans the image.

Radioactive material can collect in areas that are problematic and show up in an image as a hot spot. Although injecting radioactivity may sound scary, the amount used is very small. It’s about the same as what you would get from a few X-rays.

The Medical Specialists

Four years of pre-medical school and four years of medical school are required to become a doctor. Two years in the classroom and two in a clinic setting. Graduates can apply for residency after they have completed their medical or osteopath degree. This is the final step.

They are medical doctors who have completed their degree and can now treat real patients, but they are still students in training. The residency is similar to a paid internship. Residency training is required in most states. Doctors are then licensed to practice medicine in the state. The internship is the first year of residency.

To become a medical specialist, you will need to complete many years of training. An example of this is an internist, who is an internal medicine specialist who studies for three more years. The typical training period for a neurosurgeon is seven years.

This is in addition to the eight years spent in medical school and pre-med. Although specialists are not required to hold board certification, it is worth seeking out a specialist who has completed board-specific training.

Some physicians also receive additional training after completing their residency. This is known as a fellowship. This is a more specialized form of apprenticeship. These are typically done by orthopedic surgeons to further their training in spine surgery. Without undergoing a fellowship, neurosurgeons can operate on the spine.

For any physician, the education process does not end. Physicians must keep abreast of new treatments, medicines, and procedures. Fortunately, they can do so by continuing their medical education. Each state has its own licensing renewal process. Most states require physicians to keep and submit continuing medical education credits (CME) every year.

Pain-Management Physicians

According to the American Board of Medical Specialties, a pain-management specialist must be an M.D. in anesthesiology or physical rehabilitation. The pain-management specialist helps people reduce their pain and improve their quality of life.

A pain-management specialist might be referred to you if you have had back surgery or if your pain is persistent or recurring. It takes a village to manage back pain. Patients suffering from severe or chronic pain must be managed from all angles. Patients will be assigned a pain management team that includes several disciplines.

Orthopedists And Neurologists

Neurologists do nonsurgical treatment of the central and peripheral nervous systems (brain, spinal cord). They identify pain causes such as pinched nerves, and also treats patients suffering from fibromyalgia and strokes.

Orthopedists are concerned with issues related to bones and muscles. They are also known as the musculoskeletal systems in medical lingo. They treat the bones of the spine and surrounding tissues, such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Some are more concerned with scoliosis, or back pain that is caused by problems at the hip joint. This specialty is also known as orthopedics.


Physical medicine is the specialty of physiatrists. They help those who are severely disabled. The field grew after World War II, when soldiers returned from combat with physical injuries. To help patients with back problems, physiatrists are recommended.

Physiatrists can prescribe medication, therapy with a physical therapist, and assistive devices (such as a cane), as well as prescriptions for medications. Sometimes, physiatrists are also called rehabilitation specialists or physical medicine specialists.

Although the training required to become a physician is shorter than in other specialties, it can take a decade or more if the candidate intends to specialize in neuromuscular medicine and traumatic brain injury.


A rheumatologist is a doctor who treats arthritis patients. Their scope of practice is much broader than that of other doctors, though they can treat pain conditions of the joints, soft tissues, muscles, tendons, connective tissues, and autoimmune diseases.

Ankylosing Spondylitis, a form of progressive and chronic arthritis of the spine that can cause a bent-forward posture in severe cases, is called ankylosing spondylitis. It can also be an autoimmune disease.

A rheumatologist may also treat osteoporosis or fibromyalgia. Rheumatologists, like the other specialists we have mentioned, train for many years after completing their medical doctor’s degree.

The Surgeons

A decade of education is not enough. To become a surgeon, you will need to complete several more years of training. You will be referred either to an orthopedic or neurosurgeon for spine surgery. Many of the same procedures are performed for spine conditions.


Neurosurgeons are specialists in the surgical treatment of the nervous system. They can treat sciatica, ruptured discs, and other causes of lower back pain. Neurosurgeons can also diagnose and treat back and neck problems.

They may also see patients with brain injuries or other conditions of the nervous system, such as tumors and aneurysms. However, neurosurgeons can also treat brain conditions. Orthopedists are skilled at treating spine conditions.

Orthopedic surgeons

Specialized in spine surgery, orthopedic surgeons treat herniated discs and degenerated discs. They also deal with stenosis and fractures. Peripheral nerve surgery is also performed by some orthopedic surgeons.

Orthopedic surgeons are more concerned with hip joints, sacroiliac diseases, and arthritic causes of back pain. Most scoliosis surgeries are still performed by orthopedic surgeons.


  • Your primary care doctor should be the first doctor you see to treat your back.
  • In-office physical tests are common and include ones that test your balance and flexibility as well as muscle strength and reflexes.
  • After physical examinations, diagnostic tests like MRIs or CT scans should be performed.
  • Back pain can be treated by a variety of specialists. The right specialist will be referred by your primary care doctor.


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