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How to Treat Back Pain at Home

how to treat back pain at home

If there is one thing I have come to learn about 2020, it is that there are no flying cars (like we thought there would be) and there is no right way to quarantine during a world pandemic. Some folks are working from home while also creating a side hustle. Some folks are working parents and also the teachers and recess coordinators for their children. Some folks are simply finding the space to heal and be patient as we all collectively wait for this nightmare to end.

Regardless of what situation you are in, it can be tough to find the time to check in with your physical body. Whether you are juggling 100 things or catching up on rest, your body is also trying to get used to this new normal we are in. That new normal also includes new aches and pains and the gut-wrenching thought that you do not have access to your Chiropractor at the moment.

Fortunately, we are here to provide you with solutions to not only get out of pain but ways to prevent pain from taking over your quarantine. Because let’s face it, we may not have the perfect recipe on how to get through quarantine, but no one wants to do so in pain.

How does back pain start?

Back pain, or any sort of pain, is not a simple on and off switch and this is due to the fact that our anatomy is so complex. If there is direct trauma to your body, it is safe to say that that event caused your current pain; however, back pain tends to sneak up on us in a few different ways.

Poor Posture

Most people tend to think that poor posture means slouched shoulders and a tight neck and upper back. Yes, this is true, but poor posture also affects your low back, core, breathing and large muscle groups in your lower extremities.

When you sit with poor posture and your mid-back is rounded and your chin is jutting forward, your low back is also flexed or rounding. The low back (lumbar spine) is naturally meant to extend as that is how the lumbar spine develops to help you sit upright. When you constantly put your body in a position to be flexed instead of extended, the muscles and tendons attaching to those bones get overstretched and tight. The longer we sit this way without allowing the spine to extend as it is meant to, the greater our chances of dealing with chronic pain.

Bending vs. Hinging

“Lift with the knees, not with your back!” Raise your hand if you have heard that one before as you’ve reached down to the ground to pick something up. My rendition? “hinge at the waist, not with your back.”

Bending with the low back to reach for items on the floor or during certain exercises also is a cause for concern. Should your lower back be able to bend? Of course! The point is not to force it there to the point of no return.

Perhaps you or someone you know bent over to lift up something seemingly mundane like a laundry basket and then couldn’t stand back up? I like to call that the straw that broke the camel’s back. No pun intended.

We may feel fine when we bend over most of the time, but that is because our bodies learn to work around those movements and form what are called ‘compensating patterns’. This means that other muscles are recruited to do the job other muscles should be doing. So when you bend over to pick something up, you do not engage your glutes or core and instead use your low back muscles to stand back up. After some time, those muscles get tired of doing the job for someone else and give out.

Learning to hinge at the waist while bending the knees and activating the glutes as you would during a deadlift is how you want to think of moving your body when lifting any other heavy items. This not only preserves your back, but your body begins to use muscles the right way.

Lack of movement

I say this over and over that it is basically a mantra of mine: your body is made to move! As a lover of anatomy and movement, I can’t stress enough that our bones, ligaments, joints and muscles are not destined to simply be still. Not only that, but our blood also needs to pump, our lymph needs to flow and our cells need turnover. To move means to heal.

If you take one component, the muscle, then you will find that by not moving muscles a number of things can happen. Muscles will get tight, trigger points will form, there is a build-up of lactic acid and this can lead to a muscle spasm as well.

Lounging on your couch after a long day is okay, but going from one static position to another is hurting you more than your fear of being hit by a cab in NYC. In order to keep your body from sending you pain signals, move your body and allow for the natural energy to flow so that you and your body do not feel stuck.

5 moves to help you get out of back pain at home

3-Month Prone

4.5-month prone

6-month supine


Hip hinge to wall

A virtual UWC patient case

If you are looking to learn more exercises or would like a personalized routine, then a virtual session may be just what you need.

I recently did a virtual session with an established UWC patient. She is not new to the work from home life, but not being able to freely leave home and partake in her social life had left her body feeling extra tight. What’s more? Her sciatica pain had returned as her body tried to navigate constant sitting.

In this instance, structures in her low back were applying pressure on the sciatic nerve that was causing numbness and tingling into her left leg if she sat in her desk chair for more than 10 minutes.

A great way to take the pressure off of the sciatic nerve is to traction the lumbar spine and the way to do that on her own was with exercises such as the 4.5-month prone (similar to a child’s pose) as well as 6-month breathing on her back while she rested her legs on the wall. Lastly, we reviewed Rocking on her hands and knees with her low back in a neutral position so that her body could start to pattern how to hinge at the hips versus rounding her low back and applying more pressure on the sciatic nerve.

After 10 reps of each exercise, she was feeling no pain and could sit comfortably in her chair. When we touched base a few days later she stated that she felt great and that the exercises not only kept her pain free but were a highlight to her day to get movement through her body.

Try out the go-to exercises above to help ease your low back pain at home and tension and if you find that you are craving for more you can schedule a one on one session with a provider at Urban Wellness Clinic. Reach out to us at or call us as 212-355-0445.

Let yourself feel whatever it is you need to feel as we navigate quarantine and know that when it comes to how your body is feeling physically, we are here to provide you with the tools to care for yourself from the comfort of your own home.

Yours In Health,

Dr. Monisha Mallik, D.C.