Back pain

How to manage your back pain at home?

Nowadays, back pain has become so common that almost everyone complain about it at some point of time. It can interrupt your day or interfere with your plans. It can also result from injury and some medical conditions.

Back pain can affect people of any age but the reason may be different for everyone. As people get older, the chance of developing lower back pain increases due to factors such as previous occupation or degenerative disk disease.

Furthermore, physical inactivity is also one of the reasons these days for the back pain. When an individual does not meet the recommended level of physical activity, he or she will be classified as physically inactive. This prolonged physical inactivity can actually increase back pain as the back becomes stiff, weak, and de-conditioned.

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What are the types of back pain?

There are two types of back pain:

  • Acute back pain: It is a short-term back pain which lasts a few days to a few weeks. It tends to get better on its own within a few days with self-care.
  • Chronic back pain: It is defined as the pain that continues for 12 weeks or longer, even after an initial injury or underlying cause of acute low back pain has been treated. About 20 percent of people affected by acute low back pain develop chronic low back pain with persistent symptoms at one year.

What are the risk factors for developing back pain?

The risk factors of developing back pain are as following:


The first attack of low back pain typically occurs between the ages of 30 and 50 years, and back pain becomes more common with advancing age. The inter-vertebral discs begin to lose fluid and flexibility with age, which decreases their ability to cushion the vertebrae.

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Sedentary lifestyle:

Your prolonged inactivity can increase back pain as this inactivity can make your back stiff, weak, and atrophied. As the pain increases, many patients reduce their activity more resulting in even more back pain and aggravating the cycle of inactivity and back pain recurrence. Studies also shows that low-impact aerobic exercise can help maintain the integrity of inter-vertebral discs.

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Weight gain: 

Being overweight, obese, or quickly gaining significant amounts of weight can put stress on the back and lead to low back pain.

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Job-related factors: 

If you have a job that requires heavy lifting, pushing, or pulling, particularly when it involves your spine, can lead to injury and back pain. Also, working at a desk all day can contribute to pain, especially from poor posture or sitting in a chair with not enough back support.

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It can restrict blood flow and oxygen to the discs, causing them to degenerate faster leading to back pain.

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Psychological factors: 

Mood and depression, stress, and psychological well-being also can influence the likelihood of experiencing back pain.

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How common is back pain?

Back pain is one of the most common medical problems which affects 8 out of 10 people at some point of their lives. It can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain. This back pain can be acute as well as chronic. Acute back pain comes on suddenly and usually lasts from a few days to a few weeks. Whereas chronic back paint lasts for more than three months.

The estimated worldwide lifetime prevalence of back pain varies from 50% to 84%.  Studies in developed countries have shown that the back pain point prevalence was 6.8% in North America, 13.7% in Denmark, 12% in Sweden. Also, 14% in the United Kingdom, 33% in Belgium, and 28.4% in Canada. Similarly, some studies in developing countries have revealed much higher incidence of 72.4% in Nigeria, 64% in China, and 56.2% in Thailand.  

The occurrence of back pain in India is also alarming with nearly 60% of the people in India have suffered from low back pain at some time during their lifespan.


How to treat your back pain at home?

Back pain which results from improper body postures may be prevented by avoiding movements that jolt or strain the back and maintaining correct posture. There are several ways to treat back pain at home. Here are few recommendations for keeping one’s back healthy.

Try heat and ice:

Both are very good in relieving back pain. You can use the option which works best for you. Usually, ice is best if your back is bothered by swelling or inflammation. A heating pad may be better if you’re trying to relax stiff or tight muscles. Furthermore, you should not exceed this treatment for more than 20 minutes at a time. And don’t use them if you’re also putting muscle-ache creams or ointments on your skin.


Stay active through regular exercise to keep muscles strong and flexible. You can opt for age-appropriate exercises that are specifically targeted to strengthening lower back and abdominal muscles.

Weight loss:

Loose weight if obese or overweight to maintain healthy weight. By maintaining healthy weight and eating a nutritious diet with sufficient daily intake of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D can promote new bone growth and strengthen your bones.

Stretch in between your working hours:

You can switch sitting positions often and can take a small walk around the office or gently stretch your arms and legs to relieve tension in your muscles. Also, placing a pillow or rolled-up towel placed behind the small of the back can provide some lumbar support.

Wear comfortable shoes:

If you like wearing heeled shoes then you should opt for the comfortable no-heeled or low-heeled shoes which will help you in preventing your back pain.

Sleeping posture:

Sleeping on one’s side with the knees drawn up in a fetal position can help open up the joints in the spine and relieve pressure by reducing the curvature of the spine.

 Smoking cessation:

Smoking reduces blood flow to the lower spine, which can contribute to spinal disc degeneration. It also increases the risk of osteoporosis and impedes healing. Excessive coughing due to heavy smoking also may cause back pain.

How does yoga help in relieving your back pain?

There are several types of yoga that involves practicing specific postures or poses, breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques. Yoga can stretch and strengthen your muscles and improve posture.

Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana):

This yoga pose is a great for total body stretch. This posture targets the large muscles that help form lower back, support and also strengthen your spine.

How to do it?

  • Firstly, bend on your hands and knees, with your hands slightly in front of your shoulders.
  • Now, pressing your lower body back, raise your knees away from the floor. And lift your tailbone up toward the ceiling.
  • For an added hamstring stretch, you can also gently push your heels toward the floor. Hold the position for a while and repeat the same pose.

2. Child’s pose (balasana):

Child’s pose is an active stretch that helps elongate your back.

How to do it?

  • Firstly, start on all fours with your arms stretched out straight in front of you. Then sit back so you butt come to rest just above but not touching your heels.
  • Hold the position for a while, and repeat the same.

Pigeon’s pose (Kapotasana):

Pigeon pose is a popular yoga pose that stretches your hips and lower back

How to do it?

  • Firstly, start in downward facing dog.
  • Next, lift your leg and bring your knee behind your wrist.
  • Now, walk your back leg directly behind. Next, untuck your toes and press into the top of your back foot so that your back leg is active.
  • Keep your knee outside of your hip.
  • Fold forward keeping your shoulders away from your ears.
  • Finally, rest your head on a yoga mat for support.

Cat and cow pose (Marjaryasana/Bitilasana):

Cow and Cat stretches helps to loosen your back muscles. Moreover, moving back and forth from Cat to Cow helps move your spine onto a neutral position, relaxing the muscles and easing tension.

How to do it?

  • Firstly, start in an all-fours position, move into Cat pose by slowly pressing your spine up and arching your back.
  • Next, hold for a few seconds and then move to Cow by scooping your spine in, pressing your shoulder blades back and lifting your head.
  • Repeat this Cat to Cow, and Cow back into Cat formation for few times.

Bottom line:

Back pain can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain. It has become so common which can interrupt your plans. This condition can affect people of any age but with different reasons. Although, old age increases the chance of developing lower back pain. It can be acute as well as chronic.

The risk factors for the back pain can include age, sedentary lifestyle, job-related factors, smoking, weight gain, etc. These factors can lead you to severe health condition if proper measure are not taken.

Moreover, this back pain can be treated at home with few home remedies such as ice/hot pack, common and simple physical exercise, yoga, maintaining correct posture, etc. By taking correct measures at correct time instead of ignoring can help you to prevent your back pain.

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