5-star Fitness

8 Ways to Ease Chronic Back Pain

Written By Megan Brandt • 2 min read

Are you one of the 80% of adults who has experienced low back pain? Most back pain is acute, meaning it occurs suddenly and only lasts a few days to a few weeks. However, for some of us, it lasts months or even longer. This chronic low back pain can arise from injury, disease, poor posture, or other stresses put on the body. This pain can persist even with treatment from your doctor or physical therapist and can be felt as bone, nerve, or muscle pain. The pain intensity can range from mild to severe and can present as sharp, dull, aching, burning, stabbing, or tingling. It can even be hard to pinpoint the location of this pain. So, what can we do to help alleviate this chronic low back pain?

Try incorporating these strategies at home to improve and help prevent recurring back pain:

  • See your doctor: Have a thorough exam done to rule out serious injuries.
  • Stay active – Daily movement and stretching have been shown to help with low back pain rather than resting. Motion is lotion!
  • Strengthen your core muscles – Strengthening the muscle of the abdomen, back, and hips encourage proper posture and muscle balance. Try the bird-dog exercise described below!
  • Sit and stand tall – Don’t slouch when sitting and standing. Try lumbar support when sitting or better yet, try a standing desk!
  • Use hot and cold packs  – Applying hot or cold packs to your low back may ease pain and inflammation. Hot packs can be applied for 20 minutes at a time; and cold packs for 15 minutes.
  • Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes: Proper footwear can help take pressure off your back and allow for correct posture. Say goodbye to stilettos!
  • Sleep on your side with knees drawn up: Sleeping in the fetal position with a pillow between your knees can help relieve pressure on the joints of the spine.
  • Lift with your hips, not your back: Bend from your knees and hips when lifting, keeping your core braced and the object close to you. 

Learning how to manage chronic low back pain will help you live a healthier, happier life!  


Start on your hands and knees on an exercise mat with knees underneath hips and wrists directly underneath shoulders. Engage your core and keep your head in line with your spine. Slowly raise and straighten your right arm and left leg until they are parallel to the floor, hold for 3-5 seconds, then lower yourself back to the starting position. Continue on the other side maintaining balance and control.  This is one repetition on each side. Perform 12-15 repetitions on each side three times per day!

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