Rid that pesky low back pain for good with a treatment that targets the source of the pain — not just the symptoms

Are you considering physical therapy to feel relief from your lower back pain?

Lower Back Physical Therapy is often the best method of treatment for low back pain because it can pinpoint the cause of the pain to diminish the pain for good.

Those who seek physical therapy as a treatment for low back pain are less likely to have reoccurring back pain or develop chronic pain than those who try other forms of treatment, according to a report from UC Berkeley School of Public Health (2019).

Are you ready to wave goodbye to your lower back pain? This guide covers everything you need to know about lower back pain physical therapy, including which conditions a physical therapist can treat and how a physical therapist will treat them.

What is Physical Therapy and How Can it Help?

First, we will answer the common question: what is physical therapy for lower back pain?

Physical therapy is widely regarded by medical professionals as one of the best ways to treat back injuries and pain. This type of treatment relieves pain and helps people of all ages and fitness levels recover from injuries in the least invasive way possible.

Unlike temporary solutions that treat the symptoms of back pain, physical therapy treats the cause. When the cause is treated, the symptoms are less likely to reoccur, saving patients from prolonged frustration and further medical expenses.

A large study of 753,450 patients from 18-60 years of age revealed that medical costs were more than $1,202 lower in patients who entered a physical therapy program shortly after experiencing back pain or injury compared to patients who delayed physical therapy treatment (Childs et al., 2015).

For those who have chronic low back pain (pain that has persisted for more than 12 weeks), physical therapy is still considered the best form of treatment.

According to a recent scientific report, physical therapy is considered a “first line” treatment for chronic back pain since it is regarded as a highly effective and safe way to alleviate chronic pain (Shipton, 2018).

Physical therapy patients are given a treatment plan that includes  stretching, strengthening, and other recommendations to feel relief from pain or injury.

A physical therapy treatment plan is targeted to each patient’s specific needs and symptoms, and is prescribed by a physical therapist.

When Your Back is Aching, a Doctor of Physical Therapy is the Expert You May Need

Physical therapists who treat back pain are professionally trained Doctors of Physical Therapy (DPT) and are educated in the evaluation and conservative management of spine disorders.

Unlike other doctors you may have seen for your lower back pain, physical therapists avoid prescribing painkillers or invasive procedures to minimize the pain.

Instead, a physical therapist will distinguish the cause of the pain and take a whole-body approach to treating that cause, so that the pain won’t keep coming back.

Typically, low back pain stems from weakness and a lack of flexibility in certain areas of the body. Your physical therapist will likely give you a combination of stretching exercises, strengthening exercises, massage/foam rolling therapy, and heat/cold therapy to increase your strength and flexibility.

The specific types of exercises and physical therapy treatments that you receive will depend on the condition and your history of pain and other treatments.

Initially, many patients see their physical therapist about one or two times a week. The physical therapist will continue to monitor the patient’s progress and adjust their plan of care and treatments as see fit.

Typically, the best lower back pain physical therapists will also perform manual therapy and/or spinal manipulation on patients. A physical therapist will use his/her hands to press down on certain points, mobilize joints, and increase circulation in the injured area during manual therapy and spinal manipulation.

These types of treatments ease a patient’s pain and increase a patient’s mobility in the injured area for long-term relief.

Manual therapy and spinal manipulation provided by a physical therapist are considered safer alternatives than visiting a chiropractor. Chiropractors tend to use more aggressive approaches to back pain relief that carry greater risk of injury and negative consequences.

How to Prepare for Your Lower Back Pain Physical Therapy Appointment

Before you go to your first physical therapy appointment for your lower back pain, observe your pain so that you can help guide your physical therapist to an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Make note of the following information:

What Makes Your Pain Better or Worse?

Pay attention to what makes your back feel better or worse. For example, do you feel that the pain is alleviated when sitting, standing, or sleeping? Factors such as posture affect your lower back pain. Consider the following information to share with your doctor during your first visit:

  • Age: Back pain is more common in adults as they age, usually starting around the age of 30 or 40
  • Exercise: Are you not exercising enough? Inadequate fitness can lead to weak, unused muscles. The CDC recommends that adults perform 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise or 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week along with two days a week focused on muscular strengthening exercises.
  • Your Weight: Excess weight can strain your back
  • Disease: Certain diseases, such as cancer or arthritis, can cause back pain
  • Psychological Conditions: Psychological conditions, such as anxiety or depression, can lead to back pain
  • Improper Lifting Technique: When lifting weights or other objects, you should feel that you are lifting them from your legs, and not your back. Improper lifting technique can lead to pain and back injuries. Maintain good posture and squat down to pick up the weight or object, bending only at the knees and hips. Stand back up in good posture, straightening only the knees and hips.
  • Smoking or Using Nicotine Products: Research has shown that the use of nicotine products, especially via smoking, vaping, or e-cigarettes, can reduce blood flow to the spine, which prevents the delivery of nutrients to the discs in your back. Studies have revealed that smoking also slows the healing process.

A team of spine surgeons have noted that nicotine can also intensify Degenerative Disc Disease (when wear-and-tear of spinal discs cause pain) and increase the risk of osteoporosis (a condition that decreases bone density and can contribute to fractures), (Spinasanta et al., 2019).

How long have you suffered the pain?

Let your physical therapist know how long you’ve had the pain. Your physical therapist will need to know this information since acute, sub-acute, and chronic pain will each require a different treatment plan.

  • Acute Pain = pain that started within the past week
  • Sub-acute pain = pain that you’ve had anywhere from a week to twelve weeks
  • Chronic pain = pain that you’ve had for more than twelve weeks

What Treatments Have You Tried?

Have you tried multiple treatments without success? Let your physical therapist know which treatments you’ve tried, including which ones seemed to help and which ones failed. This will prevent you from repeating methods that don’t work for you.

How Will Your Physical Therapist Determine the Cause of Your Lower Back Pain?

Don’t forget those observations you made to prepare for your first appointment! Your physical therapist will count on your observations, as well as a physical examination, to detect the cause of the pain.

 

Initial Questions

First, the physical therapist will ask questions related to your back pain or sciatica and assess your health history. Questions will relate to your age, health habits, and whether you have experienced weight loss, weakness, or sensory changes.

Specific questions that the physical therapist might ask include:

  • “What makes your back pain better or worse?”
  • “How long have you had the pain?”
  • “Was there a mechanism of injury?” (meaning, do you know exactly how the injury occurred or began, such as a sudden injury/accident, or is this an injury that seems to have evolved over time)
  • “What are your goals?”
  • “How long have you had the pain?”
  • “What treatments have you tried?”

While some of these questions may not seem important to a patient, they are key to helping the physical therapist determine the source of pain and the best method of treatment to relieve the pain.

Physical Examination

After the initial questions, your physical therapist can pinpoint what’s going on with your lower back through a physical examination. Your physical therapist will use this exam to create an accurate diagnosis and determine the cause of pain.

Once the cause of the pain is revealed, your physical therapist will create a plan to fix the cause of the problem, which can help alleviate the symptoms for good.

“Here at Back in Motion Sport and Spine Physical Therapy, we Fix the Cause — Not just the Symptoms”

 

During the physical exam, your physical therapist will ask you to perform the following tests:

Range of Motion

A “range of motion” test will measure the movement around a specific joint or body part. In order to have a full range of motion, your joint or muscle must have good flexibility. This step may include the use of a goniometer, which is a ruler-like instrument pressed lightly against the outside of a patient’s body to measure the angles of the joints.

A “poor range of motion” means that the joint or muscle is not very flexible, which can contribute to pain and prevent a patient from healing quickly. Luckily, a physical therapist can work with the patient to improve the patient’s range of motion, so that the patient can regain flexibility and make a speedier recovery.

Muscle Strength Test

This test will involve contracting the muscles while doing simple movements. Your physical therapist may ask you to perform movements such as pushing down on his or her hand with your leg or pushing down on his or her hand with your quadricep (the muscle group that is in front of the hamstrings).

Physical therapists use a muscle strength grading scale to determine how strong the muscles are and how they are working. The results of this test will give your physical therapist an idea of which strengthening exercises will work best for you.

Neurological Tests

Your Doctor of Physical Therapy will also take you through an array of neurological tests. These tests will determine if you have any nerve involvement. Some common tests include checking your reflexes, sensation, strength of your muscles, and neural tension tests.

 

Cause Detection Test

Sometimes the cause of the injury is hard to detect, even with the previous tests. If the cause is not entirely clear during the initial assessment, your physical therapist will give you a plan and treatment based on what is known about the pain or injury.

Over the course of physical therapy, your physical therapist will get a better picture of the cause and adjust the treatment plan accordingly.
ca
For instance, one of the main culprits of ongoing and misdiagnosed lower back pain is limitations in the joints adjacent to the lumbar spine. This includes the thoracic spine and the hips.

When weak or tight in the areas around the lumbar spine, the lower back will usually move too much or compensate.

Here’s a quick video on how the thoracic spine can manifest into lower back pain:

Functional Test

The primary goal of a rehabilitation program is to help a patient function as quickly as possible. Functional testing includes various activities that will indicate how well the body is functioning as a whole. These tests are also frequently used to discover why your injury or pain may have started in the first place.

For instance, standing on one leg and reaching down to touch the floor to pick-up an object will give your therapist great insight as to how you bend and use your back.

Similarly, if you’re a runner and have lower back pain when running, your physical therapist can discern if you have enough “trail-leg” motion called hip extension. This is a motion of the hip that is needed when running. Poor hip extension in a runner usually causes lower back pain.

These tests will also measure factors such as coordination, muscular balance, flexibility, and strength. Functional tests are also a great indicator of how you’re progressing with physical therapy.

Lower Back Conditions That Your Doctor of Physical Therapy Treats & How They are Treated…

Once your condition is determined, your physical therapist will design a plan specific to your condition, the intensity of your condition, the individual components of your condition (such as your history and what makes you feel better or worse), and your lifestyle.

Skilled physical therapists may also perform manual techniques to enhance mobility and relieve pain, such as manual therapy (which can include myofascial release) and spinal manipulation.

If you have the symptoms of any of these lower back conditions, take a look at how a physical therapist can treat your condition:

Herniated & Bulging Discs

Herniated and bulging discs have similar symptoms but slightly different causes. Herniated and bulging discs are typically caused by poor posture, spinal hypermobility, and bending improperly.

A herniated disc refers to the soft, jelly-like interior of your spinal disc leaking out into the spinal canal. This condition places pressure on nearby nerves, which can cause pain, numbness, and tingling that radiates from your back into your leg.

A bulging disc occurs when a crack emerges in the exterior of the disc, causing the disc to change its shape and bulge outward. This condition can also place pressure on nearby nerves.

Signs & Symptoms of a Herniated Disc

✔ Leg pain – most commonly on one side of the body

✔ Numbness or tingling into the lower extremity

✔ Weakness/unexplained muscle weakness

✔ Burning sensation in the affected area

✔ Pain worse with bending or prolonged sitting

Treatment of a Herniated Disc

When treating a herniated disc, your physical therapist will focus on strengthening the affected area with personalized strengthening exercises. The goal of these exercises is to reduce the disc herniation or bulge while healing the outer layer of the disc called the annulus.

Your Doctor of Physical Therapy should also consider the use of spinal traction, repeated extension based exercises, and positional distractions to take pressure off the nerve root and get your symptoms out of your leg, buttocks, or thigh.

Once the pain and neurological symptoms are out of your leg, the treatment focuses on healing the disc and figuring out what caused the disc herniation in the first place.

For instance, is your spine hypermobile and in need of more stability?

Do you have faulty bending mechanics secondary to lack of flexibility?

All of these things need to be considered when designing a proper treatment program to heal a herniated disc.


As your disc starts to heal, your condition will improve and the irritating symptoms should diminish soon.

Joint Stiffness

Joint stiffness can be caused by wear-and-tear of the joints overtime, injury, arthritis, or other conditions and diseases.

Signs & Symptoms of Lower Back Stiffness

✔ Stiffness and pain upon waking

✔ Stiffness and pain after lying, sitting, or standing still for a long period of time

✔ Lack of muscle flexibility

✔ Lack of joint mobility

Treatment

Joint stiffness and lack of mobility go hand-in-hand, so your physical therapist will focus on mobilization and flexibility exercises, heat to increase blood flow to the joints, ice to reduce inflammation, and manual therapy to mobilize the joint and soothe the surrounding muscles.

Your Doctor Of  Physical Therapy will also give you specific exercises that will improve your spinal mobility and range of motion.

Postural Lower Back Pain

It’s in the name — one of the most common causes of this condition is poor posture. Improper standing, lifting, or sitting for long periods of time can put abnormal stress on the spine which can lead to changes in the structure of the spine.

When postural back pain is left untreated, many patients develop a bulging or herniated disc.

When the spine is restructured from poor posture, the blood vessels and the nerves may become constricted, provoking pain. This condition can also lead to problems with your discs, joints,muscles, and ligaments.

Signs & Symptoms of Postural Lower Back Pain
✔ Poor posture

✔ Muscle weakness or tightness

✔ Poor core stability

✔ Sedentary lifestyle

✔ Pain with prolonged sitting

Treatment of Postural Lower Back Pain
Your physical therapist will identify which muscles are contributing to your poor posture and give you targeted strengthening exercises accordingly. Once your postural muscles are strengthened, it will be easier to maintain good posture.

Likewise, your physical therapist will also show you how to sit in your chair properly. If you were not sitting correctly, none of the other treatments may work. After all, this condition is named after poor posture and if you’re sitting incorrectly, you’re going to continue irritating your lower back.

Here’s a quick video on how postural lower back pain can be treated:

It is likely that certain muscles have tightened due to poor posture overtime, so your physical therapist will assign you some exercises to increase your flexibility. The increased flexibility will alleviate the stiffness and pain.

For instance, the thoracic spine usually becomes rounded from prolonged sitting. This can further increase the risk of developing postural pain in your lower back.

Skilled physical therapists may perform manual therapy and spinal manipulation in addition to the other treatments. These manual techniques will increase circulation to loosen the muscles, repair muscle tissue, mobilize stiff joints, reduce inflammation, and improve the function of nerves that were compressed by poor posture.

Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction is a condition where the joints that connect the sacrum to the pelvis move too much (hypermobility) or too little (hypomobility).

If the joint is hypermobile or hypomobile, it may become inflamed and contribute to lower back pain.

Some causes of this condition include pregnancy/childbirth, weak muscles in the pelvis or lower back, scoliosis, a difference between each leg’s length, or previous lower back surgery.

Signs & Symptoms of SI Joint Pain

✔ A dull pain in the lower back

✔ Pain that radiates into the buttocks and thigh

✔ Pain across the SI joint

✔ Pain at the end ranges of motion or with sitting

✔ Poor stability in the lower back and pelvic region upon sitting/standing, or exercising

✔ Hypermobility syndrome

Treatment of Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

When getting treatment for your SI Joint, your physical therapist will determine whether your condition is caused by hypermobility or hypomobility.

If the condition is caused by hypermobility of the joint, your physical therapist will focus on stability exercises to increase the stability of the joint.

Here’s a quick video on how your Doctor of Physical Therapy may treat your SI Joint:

If the condition is caused by hypomobility of the joint, your physical therapist may perform manual therapy and spinal manipulation to mobilize the joint. He or she may also create a personalized plan for you that includes stretching, strengthening, and aerobic exercises to reduce stiffness.

Sciatica

Sciatica is a condition that causes low back pain due to irritation of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body, originating in the lower back and extending through the buttock area.

The sciatic nerve’s endings are sent down the lower limbs, which is why many people feel numbness or tingling in the leg when the nerve is irritated.

The most common cause of the sciatic nerve getting pinched/irritated is from tightness, entrapment, or inflammation of the nerve at the piriformis muscle.

Signs & Symptoms of Sciatica

✔ Difficulty bending or sitting

✔ Numbness, tingling, or pain in the leg

✔ Pain with straightening of knee

✔ Muscle guarding of the piriformis muscle

✔ Pain when swinging a golf club or other sporting activities

✔ Difficulty sleeping

Treatment of Sciatica

When considering sciatica treatment, your physical therapist will prescribe exercises and stretches for the lower back that increase flexibility and reduce stiffness. You may also perform flossing exercises, which are exercises that stretch and move your sciatic nerve. Flossing exercises help to free the nerve.

When the nerve isn’t freeing up with flossing exercises, your physical therapist may also do myofascial release or Active Release Technique to relax the piriformis muscle.

If the pain is due to a herniated disc, your physical therapist will focus on treating the herniated disc. This is a condition that mimics sciatica but requires an entirely different treatment. The differing treatments for sciatica versus a herniated disc is just one of the many reasons why you need to see a professional for a correct diagnosis.

Physical therapists who are up-to-date on the most modern treatment techniques may also treat sciatica with manual therapy or myofascial release to relax tightened muscles and tissues such as the piriformis muscle.

Spinal Stenosis Treatment

Spinal stenosis is a condition in which the spaces in the spine narrow down and place pressure on the nerves that travel through the spine.

Typically, this condition is caused by wear-and-tear of the disc which causes the canal where the nerve exits the spine to narrow.

Since spinal stenosis usually occurs in the lower back and neck, those who have this condition may experience both lower back and neck pain. The condition can also cause pain, tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness that can worsen overtime.

Signs & Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis

✔ Numbness or tingling in a foot, or leg

✔ Issues with walking and balance

✔ Lower back pain

✔ Lower back pain that is worse with standing and walking and better with sitting

✔ Bowel or bladder dysfunction (in severe cases)

Treatment of Spinal Stenosis

It is important to treat this condition, as it can progress and lead to more serious symptoms such as bowel or bladder dysfunction or paralysis if left untreated.

Your physical therapist will treat your condition with various techniques and exercises designed specifically for you and to open the canal where the nerves are being pinched or compressed.

One of the most underlooked treatments for spinal stenosis is to treat the hip. When the hip becomes tight in the front of the thigh, the spine compensates by arching the lower back excessively. This causes closure and narrowing of the spinal canal. Thus, one of the best ways to treat spinal stenosis is to stretch out the front of the hip.

Here’s a quick video explaining how to stretch the front of the hip:

If you have muscle weakness, your physical therapist will give you exercises to increase your strength. If you are having issues with balance, your physical therapist will give you exercises to improve your balance and coordination.

Your physical therapist may also provide manual therapy and a stretching routine for you to regain flexibility and mobilization of the spine and to manually open the foramen to decrease the pressure on the nerves.

More About Treatments For Lower Back Pain…

We’ve mentioned that manual treatments such as “manual therapy,” “spinal manipulation,” “myofascial release”, and “specific exercises” are effective ways that top-notch physical therapists use to treat many lower back conditions.

Physical therapists can use these manual treatments in combination with other forms of treatments to alleviate symptoms and tackle the underlying cause of your condition.

Sadly, not all Doctors of Physical Therapy are qualified to perform these types of interventions or treatments.

Read on to find out more about each type of treatment:

 

Manual Therapy

Manual therapy involves techniques such as massage and joint mobilization to decrease pain and improve mobility. Your physical therapist will use his or her hands to massage and place pressure on your joints and muscles.

You may be asked to perform certain stretches while your physical therapist pushes down on a certain point on your body. Manual therapy can aid in recovery by decreasing pain, improving mobility, promoting circulation, and relaxing muscle spasms.

Myofascial Release

Myofascial release is a specific type of manual therapy focused on breaking up myofascial tissue. Myofascial tissue is a type of connective tissue that supports and protects muscles and bones.

If your myofascial tissue is too tight, you will feel pain and experience a lack of mobility in certain areas of the body, such as the lower back. Physical therapists can loosen the myofascial tissue through a specialized massage technique.

Not all physical therapists perform manual therapy and myofascial release. Typically, only the most highly trained physical therapists can speed up a patient’s recovery using these techniques.

Dr. Scott Gray and his team of experts are some of the best in their fields, helping patients feel better through manual therapy, myofascial release, and spinal manipulation. Call today to learn more about how our skilled team can help ease your lower back pain.

Manual therapy and myofascial release can provide instant and long-term relief for patients experiencing chronic and acute back pain. These types of treatments can help heal joint problems, muscle strains, a strained back, and other issues such as herniated or bulging discs.

Spinal Manipulation

Spinal manipulation is a technique that can soothe acute (pain experienced from 0-4 days) and sub-acute (pain experienced from 1-12 weeks) lower back pain. During this technique, a physical therapist, chiropractor, or other medical doctor will use their hands or a tool to apply a controlled thrust to a joint in the spine.

The controlled thrust will allow a joint to mobilize more than it could on its own. Spinal manipulation can therefore enhance mobility and muscular functioning in addition to reducing pain.

Here’s a quick video showing how a physical therapist can manipulate your spine:

Chiropractors may take an aggressive approach to spinal manipulation, which can increase the risk of side effects or unwanted consequences. Luckily, Doctors of Physical Therapy can take a less aggressive approach to maximize benefits and minimize risks.

Specific & Custom Exercises

If you’re sick or have an urgent medical condition, taking a specific type of drug can either make you better or worse.

Too little of the drug, you don’t get better.

Too much of the drug, you get worse.

The same thing goes with exercising.

Exercise is a drug. Too little or too much exercise can make you worse.

The same thing goes with performing the wrong or incorrect exercises. They can make you better or worse as well, too.

That’s why seeing an expert Doctor of Physical Therapy, who can pinpoint the condition in your lower back, is crucial because each condition needs a different and specific treatment.

For instance, if you have a disc herniation, doing flexion exercises is going to make your back pain worse.

Similarly, performing spinal manipulation on a patient that is “hypermobile” will increase that patient’s symptoms.

 

What Can you Do in the Meantime?

Instead of suffering until your appointment, try some of the most popular back pain relief exercises and tips recommended by physical therapists to jumpstart your recovery process.

If you feel worse when following the tips or performing the back pain relief exercises below, do not continue them. Tell your physical therapist about which exercises made you feel better or worse.

Tip #1: Pay Attention to Posture

Posture is a habit that can make or break you (literally)! Avoid the increased risks of fractures, injuries, and pain that poor posture activates.

Habits are hard to break, but reminding yourself as much as possible to practice good posture while sitting, standing, or moving, will help retrain your brain to automatically que you into a better posture.

What does correct posture feel like? Try these posture-tests for sitting, standing, and walking to get an idea of what good posture feels like:

Correct Sitting Posture

Sit with your buttocks and back against the chair’s backrest. Look forward so that your ears are aligned with your shoulders.

Position your knees so that they are at hip-height or slightly lower. Keep your feet planted flat on the floor, with your ankles slightly in front of the knees.

If your back will not touch the backrest of the chair while staying upright, place a rolled up towel or a back-support pillow between the chair and the curved portion of your lower back.

Correct Standing Posture

Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart with a slight bend in the knees.  Look forward so that your ears are aligned over your shoulders.

You should be able to draw an imaginary line down the center of your body, so that your head, shoulders, hips, knees, and feet are part of this straight line. There should be a slight curve in your lower back and shoulder blades.

You can test your standing posture by standing against a wall with your heels about two inches away from the wall and placed shoulder-width apart. Maintain a slight bend at the knees. The back of your head, shoulder blades, and buttocks should all touch the wall.

Place your hand in the space created between the wall and curve of your lower back. The space between the wall and your lower back should be about the thickness of your hand.

If there is more than a hand’s-thickness of space, use your abdominal muscles to flatten the curve in your back until you reach the proper amount of space between your lower back and the wall.

If you find that you are pushing back too hard against your hand, create more space by arching your back until you achieve the proper amount of space between your lower back and the wall.

Are you having trouble placing yourself in correct posture during the standing wall test? Your physical therapist can assess your posture and provide you with the appropriate exercises to help you correct your posture.

Correct Walking Posture

Your head, shoulders, hips, knees, and feet should create a straight line in the center of your body. As your arms swing forward, keep them close to your body and below chest height.

Keep your shoulders relaxed. Do not clench your fists, but hold them in a gentle, curled position, as if you are holding a few potato chips.

 

Reduce Your Phone Usage

If your phone usage aligns with the majority of Americans who spend about two hours looking at their screens each day, try to cut back and ask yourself:

  • Can what I’m doing on my phone be done on a computer with a more ergonomic setup?
  • Am I looking down or tilting my head forward when I look at my phone?
  • Am I taking breaks to move my body when looking at my phone for an extended period of time?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, try to minimize your phone usage, create a posture-friendly setup for your workspace, and avoid craning your head forward and looking down when using your phone.

Keep Moving!

Your muscles tense up when sitting or standing still for a long period of time. Multiple scientific studies have suggested that taking a break to move every 20 to 30 minutes of sitting or standing still will reduce pain and stiffness.

And if muscle tenseness won’t convince you to take breaks from prolonged sitting or standing, there are loads of scientific studies that cover the health benefits of moving and the detriments of prolonged sitting.

Take a recent study from the Journal of American College of Cardiology for example, in which scientists find a direct relationship between sitting too long and increased death rate (Stamatakis, 2019).

Back Pain Relief Exercises

The video below contains some of the best back pain relief exercises that you can try at home while waiting for your physical therapy appointment. During the video, expert physical therapist Dr. Scott Gray explains how to perform each exercise.

The three exercises in the video are categorized based on the following types of lower back pain: pain during prolonged sitting, pain while standing or walking, and pain while working out.

Video: Three Exercises for Low Back Pain by Dr. Scott Gray

Give Your Back a Break — Back in Motion PT is Here to Treat Your Lower Back Pain

Looking for the best team of experts & a lower back pain specialist? Look no further than Back in Motion Sport & Spine Physical Therapy, where we’ve helped everyone from health professionals to the mayor of Fort Myers say goodbye to their back troubles.

Our practice is featured on NBC Sports, ABC, and DEW TOUR and is the leading physical therapy clinic in Southwest Florida for orthopedic, sports, and spine injuries.


Ready to see how one of our skilled physical therapists can help you say goodbye to your back pain?

You can call us directly at 239-223-0484 or click here to inquire about appointment availability and cost.

You can also click here to learn more about how we can help you with your lower back pain or sciatica.

About the Author: Dr. Scott Gray

Dr. Scott Gray is an internationally recognized, expert physical therapist specializing in back, neck, and sport-related injuries. He is the inventor of the GRAY METHOD, a revolutionary form of treatment that addresses the CAUSE, rather than just the SYMPTOMS. His cause-based, full body approach has helped patients recover for the long-haul. For more information about treating the cause of your pain or injury, visit https://backinmotionsspt.com/