Self-Help Tips

Take Frequent Breaks

Change positions regularly to give your muscles the rest needed to support you better when you return. If you’re sitting, stand up. If you’re bending over, stand and arch backward. A 60-second break every 20 minutes is ideal.

Walk 30 minutes briskly on a flat surface

It’s important to keep your body’s circulation working well. This helps to increase healing. If pain arises take breaks as needed.

Apply ice

Should your pain become severe, apply ice to the area for 20 minutes. Do not put directly on the skin.

If your lower back pain began recently due to an injury, or for no known reason, here are some tips you can follow to help bring some relief.


  1. If you are also experiencing any of the below symptoms it is urgent you call us, or your physician immediately. It could be serious.

    Numbness of tingling in the leg(s), toes, or saddle region (groin).

  2. Weakness in the leg(s) or toes.
  3. Difficulty or pain with going to the bathroom.

If you ever aggravate your pain or feel it is worse than normal, ice can help to decrease the inflammation and pain.

You can purchase an ice pack in any pharmacy or Target.

Do NOT put ice packs directly onto the skin (especially if you are older). Use a pillow case or t-shirt to act as a barrier between your skin and the ice pack. This prevents frostbite.


  1. If you lay the ice pack onto your back then leave it on for 20-30 minutes.
  2. If you lie on top of the ice pack, stay on it for 15 minutes. 

The best position to be in when experiencing a lot of pain is…

  1. Lie flat on your back
  2. Elevate your feet and legs by placing a large cushion or char underneath them.
  3. Stay in this position for 5-15 minutes.

You can unknowingly aggravate your back pain. These are some things to avoid.

  1. Do not sit for more than 20 minutes without getting up and taking a break from that position.
  2. Do not slouch down into a soft couch.
  3. Do not lift anything more than 10 pounds off the floor.
  4. Do not twist while holding something of any weight in your hands, such as a bag of groceries, basket of laundry, etc.
  5. Do not hold your breath when exerting, such as bearing down while on the toilet, or lifting something heavy. Make sure to breathe out(exhale) during the act.
  6. Do not bend over at the waist, instead use your legs to squat down.
If you follow all the tips given in this section, you’ll most probably notice a decrease in your lower back pain. 

These tips are not to act as a substitue in participating in a program with your physical therapist, especially if your pain is severe, the are MUSTS to a healthy recovery.