5 things that will actually help your back pain


Courtney Stearn, physical therapist at Joint Effort Movement Center, works with a patient on a Postural Restoration activity to help with back pain

Let's be honest, everyone has had at least 1 bout of back pain in their life. It's estimated that 80% of people will experience back pain at least once. After all, why is there such a huge market for it! Braces, shots, creams, inversion tables, posture straps, lumbar rolls, mattresses, fancy work chairs, standing desks, massage tools, and the list goes on and on and on!!!!! SO. MANY. THINGS. How do you weed it out? How do you decide what actually helps and what doesn't?

  1. Postural Restoration Therapy. I just can't talk about this enough. This Institute completed changed the way we look at the human body.

  2. Proper, TARGETED, Strengthening. If you are having a pain problem, you need to go to someone who knows what the hell they are doing. Going to the gym and jumping on the elliptical is great, but it's probably not going to get your body in the position it needs to be to retrain itself. Using weight machines can also be great, unless you are using the wrong ones or are using too light or too heavy weights. Of course we're going to tell you that physical therapy is the way to go - after all, we're going to encourage our profession. But personal trainers and strength and conditioning coaches can be just as effective. A really good personal trainer will shine out a bad physical therapist all day long.

  3. Squatting. Learning how to squat while staying in your heels and keeping your back flexed can do wonders for opening up your system. The problem is, it's really hard to do. Especially if you have always done it with your back extended. Proper squatting takes practice and a good eye to make sure you are able to do it correctly.

  4. Breathing. Getting that diaphragm moving is the key. Exhale through your mouth FULLY. Feel your ribs go down and into your body. Pause for 5 seconds - no sneaking air in! Then SLOWLY inhale through your nose and feel the air move into your upper chest and upper back. Don't over-inhale or your ribs will pop back up too much and you will start to use your neck muscles. Do 5 repetitions in a row. You've just learned the first step in Postural Restoration Therapy! Getting those ribs back in the correct position is key to reducing pressure to the lower back.

  5. Walking. It's great - but what if walking hurts? We train people to walk with walking poles. It gets the arms swinging and helps to prevent your back from over extending. Most of our back pain patients LOVE these poles! It has helped them improve the length of time they can walk. If you can't walk far, no fear. Just walking 3-4 minutes 5 times per day can really help. Start small.

Joint Effort Movement Center uses walking sticks as a helpful tool with patients with back pain.

If you are having back pain, give us a call! We promise it will be an experience like no other!