Your back pain is getting worse?  Here are nine tips to help you feel better:

1.  Hold in your stomach muscles (that’s the best and easiest way to strengthen them.)  Just suck them back to your spine.

2.  Lift your chest (this strengthens your back.)

3.  Create a small hollow behind your waist if you don’t have one (you should have one.)

4.  Try to use ALL of your muscles around your whole body–front, back and sides.  Most of us use only a portion of our muscles each day–like 70 out of 300.  Not so good–it causes back pain when muscles are not balanced.

5.  Practice flexing your spine forward and backward, forward and backward.  This improves the circulation around your spine and strengthens your torso.

6.  Roll your shoulders up and back (this strengthens your back muscles.)

7.  Use a lumbar cushion behind your waist when you are seated.  (You can fold a hand towel to the right size for you.)

8.  Stick your tailbone ALL the way back into your seat.  Or if the length of the seat is longer than your thighs, place a large pillow behind your back.

9.  No slouching allowed!  If you catch yourself slouching, just straighten up again.  And again.  And again.  🙂

Whew!  That a LOT of stuff to remember.

Yes, it is a lot but the more little changes you make the easier it will be to keep back pain from getting worse.  In fact, you may even notice that your back feels better and that you feel better all over!

That’s what better posture can do for you!

Oh, and maybe a good, sturdy pair of arch supports for your shoes, too.  If you have flat feet without natural arches, that can cause back pain.  Arch supports can help you get rid of your back pain naturally.  🙂


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16 Comments on 9 TipsTo Keep Your Back Pain From Getting Worse

  1. shawty1122 says:

    thank you for helping me out… i have been in pain for quite sometime.. and im only 20!

  2. You are very welcome! You have a smart body and you are young and that makes it much easier to get rid of pain now. Thank YOU for taking action to get rid of your back pain. 🙂

    The Pain Relief Coach

  3. robert says:

    My wife is a 1st grade teacher.34 years old,and is in very good shape,she has been to a local chiropractor and has had some massages,but is still complaining about her back.almost every night I have to try and rub her knots out of her back,it almost brings her to tears! She has been doing stretches but it doesn’t seem to be working.can you give me any advice? Thanks

  4. Hi Robert,

    Sorry to hear that your wife has back pain. The first step is to figure out WHY. It could be the position that she uses when she teaches, drives, sleeps or sits.

    It could be her posture. Maybe her shoulders are rolled forward? Does she walk or sit with her head leading her body?

    So read the articles here about the Causes of back pain. Read about posture. Posture is BIG when it comes to back pain. Or rather, poor posture is big.

    Slumping, slouching or bending with a rounded back can all cause lots of pain and dysfunction.

    She is lucky to have you helping her, Robert. But I bet she needs massage to the muscles in the front of her shoulders, upper chest, and ribs as well as her back. Something is causing her to have back pain. Gotta get rid of the something.

    I hope this helps your wife get rid of the knots in her back naturally.

    The Pain Relief Coach

  5. Jane says:

    Hello, I’ve been off work for 4 weeks and am now being referred to a back specialist. My upper back muscle between shoulder blade and spine went in to spasm, and, I believe, trapped nerves causing pins and needles in my right arm. Physiotherapist has been treating me for a herniated disc in my neck, but the numbness in my arm has only got worse, hence the referral to my GP. The pain in my arm goes under my armpit, down to my elbow, along under my foream, which is now numb and into my hand and fingers. I’ve had back knots and pain for well over 20 years, had all types of treatment. I work as a graphic designer, I’m 52. Can the muscle be causing the numbness, or does it have to come from discs in my neck? I’m off to do the shoulder rolls and arm stretches as shown in your video now. Thank you for listening!

  6. Dear Jane,

    Good question. The answer is yes, muscles can be causing the numbness. Trigger points in muscles can cause pain and other uncomfortable symptoms. But, muscles move bones and disks!

    That means that muscles can pull or push your disks into the nerves and cause numbness that way, too.

    Tight chest muscles, arm muscles and neck muscles can trap nerves anywhere from your neck to your hand, too.

    There are several muscles that can be causing your symptoms. Please write again and tell me specifically which side of your hand (palm or back side?) and which part of your arm (crease of elbow or pointy elbow)? Do you mean below your armpit on the front side or the back?

    Until I have more clues from you, my best guesses are the latissimus or the serratus muscles which cover your ribs. Those muscles can be released or relaxed by a skilled massage therapist.

    Or, if you can, have someone grab the muscle below your armpit, next to your shoulder blade. And then have them pinch it and hold for about 20 seconds. You want them to pick up muscle, not just skin. If it hurts, that means it is tight and the pinching will help the muscle to relax. Pay attention about 20 minutes after the pinch and you may notice it feels much better.

    And there is always a question, Jane. The question is Why? There is a reason you are having symptoms. Disks cannot move all by themselves. So it could be an injury (any car accidents?) or it could be posture or position that is causing pulling or pushing on those disks.

    I hope you enjoyed the shoulder rolls and stretches. 🙂 Have you been to yet? Lots of articles there about the causes of pain in hands and arms.

    You are welcome and let’s get to the root of your symptoms of numbness and pain in your hand and fingers.

    The Pain Relief Coach

  7. Jane says:

    Gosh Kathryn, I never expected such a helpful response! The numbness in my right hand is on the back of the hand and the underside of my foream. The pain is on pointy side of the elbow, lower side of my upper arm and under my armpit going around to the front. Sitting causes me more discomfort than standing, especially if unsupported. Head movement looking side to side is ok, but putting it down to my chest or looking up to the ceiling is worse. I had this problem 20+ years ago, off work for 12 weeks then. Physio eventually started to manipulate a rib which she thought was fused to my spine as conventional treatment was obviously not working, 2 weeks later I was back to work. I’m doing the shoulder rolls and the arm twist and circle movements as in your video. I’ll look at the carpal tunnel information next. Thank you so much for this Kathryn.

  8. Jane says:

    Sorry, I meant to say too,that my posture is more than likely the root cause. I tend to sit for hours at my desk when working, forget the time, so when I’m under pressure too, the added stress doesn’t help. I intend to address this when I get back to the office, take more breaks, and get a better chair. Been doing this work for 34 years now, perhaps my back is telling me its time to stop!

  9. Good catch, Jane! That is exactly what your body is telling you.

    Take care,
    The Pain Relief Coach

  10. Dear Jane,

    Thank you and you are very welcome!

    When I look at the trigger point chart, the description that you gave me in this and your previous comment appears to be muscles called serratus posterior superior. That muscle is between the spine and shoulder blade and attaches to the outside of the ribs in back. This muscle group may be what the physiotherapist inadvertently released when she worked to manipulate the ‘fused rib.’ It sounds like it may be the same area. Regardless, it worked. 🙂

    Tennis Ball Therapy may help as a home treatment. (There is an article here about Tennis Ball Therapy–scroll through the articles on the right hand side.) The place to apply the pressure is where you first felt it–between spine and upper shoulder blade? Cold packs may also help. And if nerves are involved, cold is the treatment of choice for nerve related muscle pain.

    I’m betting cold packs on the back of your neck, base of your skull will also help by relaxing the muscles there. It’s possible other neck muscles may be involved but that’s a good start for the neck pain. Actually, if you can, wrap the cold pack around from the base of your skull to your collarbones. Be sure to put a thin cloth between you and the cold pack to prevent burning from the cold.

    The Pain Relief Coach

  11. Jane says:

    I am eternally grateful to you Kathryn. My physio started work on the serratus superior posterior muscle today, very painful at times, but I definitely feel this is the way forward for me. So thank you once again. Your website is so informative and helpful, it is now officially my back-bible.
    Kindest regards
    Jane Mitchell

  12. Jane, thank you for letting me know and you are most welcome.

    Tight muscles can be very uncomfortable. This is a good starting point. There may be a reason the serratus muscle is giving grief to you. There may be others areas to check out along the way.

    I appreciate your kind words. Thank you very much!

    The Pain Relief Coach

  13. catherine says:

    Hey kathryn,
    I’m sixteen and two years ago I was diagnosed with scoliosis. My curvature is a top heavy s shape. I was never given a brace or anything Bc the doctor said since I was done growing the curve would not worsen, but my shoulder blade on my right side does have worse posture and unless I push it back its pretty noticeable also my right ribs protrude more I can feel it if I ever lay on my stomach. Recently my back pops constantly and I’m in constant pain everywhere and the knots have become extreme especially around the back of my neck. When I lay down kn my back ot always pops really hard right kn the lower arch and it hurts for several minutes. I’m worried and don’t know what to do. I’m afraid everytime unmake an effort to pull my shoulder back or stand talller I am onlyy making it worse. I’m also worried it will not get better and only worse as I age since I’m so young. Is there anything I can do? If not I don’t want to worry my parents.

  14. Hi Catherine,

    First off, you notice the scoliosis much more than anyone else. We are always our own worse critics.

    Secondly, there are a few articles here at Simple Back Pain Relief about scoliosis. You can find them in the list of articles on the right hand side. If you haven’t read them yet, please take a few minutes. They will give you some more information.

    You are not making your scoliosis worse when you try to correct it.

    But you are right: Over time it will get worse. That’s how gravity works. And that’s why it will get worse–gravity will keep pulling on your curves.

    It’s really great that you are so young. Your body hasn’t had the chance yet to get really stuck in this posture so this can be corrected.

    If you watch yoga instructors carefully you will notice that a lot of them are asymmetrical. They had body distortions and pain and started doing yoga to correct it and stay out of pain. Perhaps there is a nearby yoga teacher with whom you could talk about this? Maybe classes are the answer for you.

    There are many possible reasons for scoliosis. Most often it is caused by areas of tight muscles. But sometimes it is caused by spinal bones which are mis-shaped or by a leg length difference. The leg length difference is easy to fix by raising the sole of the shoe for the short leg. But if one or two spinal bones are triangle shaped instead of rectangular that means you will always have to lots of counter-stretching.

    When you have scoliosis, you have a series of curves in your spine. On the inside of the C part of each curve are tight muscles. Those areas may look to be more ‘inward.’ Those are not usually the areas that bother you. But those are the areas that need the most massage or stretching.

    If you have an S curve, that is actually 2 C’s, one facing in each direction. A double-S curve would have 4 C’s.

    What Can You Do?

    1. When you are in bed on your back, wiggle and shake your spine by pretending one of your feet is a windshield wiper. Swish it back and forth several times. Then do the other foot several times. Can you feel that movement all the way up to your head? 🙂 That will help relax your spinal muscles. (There are lots of them.) If it feels better to lay with your knees raised, try this: Shake your hips from side to side like a hula dancer. If you do these movements a few times each day (like morning and night) your body will start to get the message to relax those muscles.

    2. Look in the mirror. Check without clothes and when you have jeans on. Look at your hips. Does one look higher to you? Or is your belt higher on one side? Or can you see more of the pocket of your jeans on one side than on the other? Is one pant leg always longer than the other? Those are clues that your scoliosis starts in your feet, legs or hip bones. A brace doesn’t help if this is the case. As soon as the brace comes off, the curves can come back because the cause was not changed.

    3. There are some massage/muscle therapists who specialize in helping people figure out the cause of their scoliosis and get rid of it. You can check with in Florida. I believe they have a list of therapists who have trained under Paul St. John who is quite a genius in these things. He may still be working there, too.

    4. You can try using cold packs on the insides of the C’s. Heat might also work. Notice I’m not saying where it hurts but on the insides of the C’s if you can figure out where they are.

    5. Gentle stretches will help your muscles relax, too.

    It is very kind of you not to want to worry your parents. But there may be things they can help you with like getting an appointment with a neuromuscular or neurosomatic massage therapist trained by Paul St. John.

    Most of the time scoliosis happens for a reason. And most of the times, muscles are to blame. And most of the time, the roles of muscles are overlooked by most doctors.

    And that’s good because muscles can be treated. I hope this gives you some hope and some relief.

    Thank you for writing, Catherine, and for asking about ideas for getting rid of your scoliosis naturally.

    The Pain Relief Coach

  15. Wendy Owen says:

    I do a lot of sitting at the computer, so am a prime candidate for back pain. Thanks for you tips above, I have used several of the tips on your site to improve my back pain. Another useful tip is to get up every 30 minutes and walk around. Set the timer if necessary.
    I am currently doing a lot of exercises to strengthen and stabilize my core muscles as they are quite weak and not providing enough support.

  16. Hi Wendy. A really easy way to strengthen your abdominal muscles is to sit up as straight as you can (or lay down on your back) and pull your stomach muscles to your spine. I will be posting a video on this later today.

    Thank you for writing and sharing your tips for getting rid of back pain.

    The Pain Relief Coach