fbpx How to Relieve Back Pain at Home - Chiro One
A woman sits in a yoga pose, her spine highlighted from behind to show proper posture.

Desperately trying to relieve back pain fast at home?  You’re not alone. So are 1 in 4 working Americans. And over 80% of adults will struggle with lower back pain at some time in their lives. The good news? Many natural chronic pain relief routines have been studied and proven to work — if you work them.

Your back muscles and spine support most of your body weight, so repetitive everyday movements (sitting, standing, walking, lifting, leaning) eventually cause some wear and tear, which can be minimized.  You’ll know exactly how to relieve back pain fast at home once you’ve tried these nine tips to discover which ones work best for your body.

How to Relieve Back Pain Fast at Home with Thermotherapy 

You may not know it by its formal name, but you’ve probably met it before. Thermotherapy is the medical term for using hot and/or cold packs to reduce swelling and soothe pain. 

Decreasing the temperature of your soft tissue decreases blood flow and inflammation (this decreased metabolic rate limits further injury). Applying an ice pack, or even bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel after a strain or injury can do the trick. But be sure not to apply ice for longer than 20 minutes. 

On the other hand, increasing the temperature of your soft tissue increases blood flow and oxygen intake — which accelerates healing. A heat pad can soothe an achy back immediately, but make sure to follow the instructions to avoid burns. If you don’t have a heating pad handy, use a hot water bottle or microwave a heated cloth bag or dish towel of uncooked rice for 3-5 minutes. 

To dull the pain a bit more, there are also creams that — in proper amounts — can desensitize pain receptors: menthol creams, cannabidiol (CBD) creams, and arnica creams or gels. 

Stretches That Help Manage Your Back Pain  

The following stretches can help train your body to instinctively relieve back pain fast at home — but only if you do them consistently. 

Toe Touch Stretch 

To stretch your hamstrings and loosen up your lower back muscles: 

A man and woman demonstrate a gentle, straight leg toe touch stretch.
  • Bend forward and down 
  • Touch your toes for 20 seconds 
  • Rest and repeat

Cobra Stretch  

A man in gym clothes performs an upward facing dog yoga pose.
  • Lie on your stomach, with hands face down beside your shoulders 
  • Gently lift your chest so the top of your head points toward the ceiling 
  • Hold for 15 seconds 
  • Release and repeat 4 times 

Cat-Cow Stretch 

A woman demonstrates cat-cow yoga pose, arching her back to stretch her thoracic spine.
  • Begin on hands and knees 
  • Slowly alternate between arching their back toward the ceiling… 

… and dipping it toward the floor 

Child’s Pose 

A woman sits in child's pose on a gym mat, stretching her lower back, arms extended.
  • Sit on your heels with your knees hip-width apart 
  • Lean forward to place their head on the floor 
  • Stretching your arms out in front of the head as far as you can 
  • Hold for as long as comfortable 

Find a Form of Exercise You Enjoy 

When pain strikes it can be challenging to even get out of bed.  But if you move gently through the aching, throbbing, jabbing, or tingling you’ll help loosen up tense muscles and release endorphins — your brain’s natural pain relievers. 

Exercising daily helps develop muscle strength, flexibility and mobility which helps prevent future back pain episodes that are often caused by tight muscles. 

An extensive 2019 study found that the following exercise options can improve both posture and lower back pain. It may require some trial and error to determine which one works best for your body’s current mobility, flexibility and strength levels. 

  • Walking: The benefits of walking — even just 20 minutes every day — have been extensively documented. It’s fun, it’s free, and it can help relieve your pain and keep you mobile longer in life, so you keep doing what you love.
  • Aerobic exercise: Low, moderate or high intensity aerobic exercise may improve physical function, muscle endurance, pain, and even mental health.
    Do whatever form is most pleasant – as long as it increases your heart rate for 20 minutes every day.
  • Yoga: The National Library of Medicine has been publishing studies for years that demonstrate yoga’s ability to improve mobility and decrease pain while optimizing function (not to mention the mental health stress relief benefits). Millions of Americans who’ve spent a lot of time researching how to relieve back pain at home choose yoga.
  • Tai chi: The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health recommends this gentle traditional Chinese exercise for reducing pain, as well as improving function, balance and circulation.
  • Core stability exercises:  Years of research have confirmed that these torso exercises release muscle stiffness while improving coordination and activation, while reducing pain, decreasing tension and muscle spasms.
  • Water exercise: Warm water supports your muscles, so it’s a good place to stretch and strengthen your back muscles. Water relaxes your muscles and provides resistance to help build muscle strength. Buoyancy can also make it feel easier and more comfortable to exercise. You can do warm-water exercise on a smaller scale in your own tub, spa or whirlpool bath. Once you feel up to it, you can start swimming in a heated pool to build back strength and improve your heart health. 

Improve Your Posture to Manage Your Back Pain 

Research has long linked poor posture with lower back pain. To improve yours: 

  • Pay attention to how you sit, stand, and walk: Try lifting your head and pulling your shoulders back and tightening your abdominal muscles. 
  • Avoiding repetitive movements: Both lifting heavy objects and sitting for long periods can aggravate your back pain. 
  • Stand correctly: Rather than leaning on one leg or side, distribute your weight on both sides of your body. 

How to Relieve Back Pain at Home Fast with Massage

The National Library of Medicine has published decades of research on the 

short-term relief of lower back pain after massage. Soft tissue massage techniques include kneading, friction, gliding, vibration, or percussion. You and your partner, friend or family member can learn some of them and help each other release muscles — and endorphins — for immediate pain relief.

(Do not engage in massage if you have: a skin infection, severe inflammation or burn, unhealed fractures, an active cancer tumor site, or deep vein thrombosis.

How Your Shoe Choices Can Help Relieve Back Pain 

Wearing unstable shoes, high heels, or ill-fitting shoes can cause or intensify your existing back pain. A 2015 study found a link between high heels and back pain, but wearing flat flip flops can also affect your gait, by forcing you to take shorter steps which can alter your spinal alignment. That could lead to knee, hip, and back pain, as well as potential balance problems. 

Always get fitted for each pair of shoes and make sure to: 

  • Choose well-cushioned shoes with arch support to help your feet absorb shock. 
  • Change athletic shoes often — just because they’re new doesn’t mean that they’re still offering adequate support after three months. 
  • Try custom orthotic inserts for arch support, alignment, reduced foot movement, and extra cushioning. 

Learn How to Relieve Back Pain Fast at Home by Managing Your Stress  

Moderate to high levels of stress have been linked to lower back pain. To relieve yours, try mindfulness meditation (a mind-body therapy that involves being aware of what the body is doing), deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation and guided imagery (focusing on specific mental images to enable relaxation).  

Manage Back Pain by Getting Enough Restorative Sleep 

Lack of restorative sleep has been shown to affect how much pain a person can tolerate. The CDC recommends most adults get 7–9 hours of sleep every night. If you’re serious about learning how to relieve back pain at home fast, make sure your mattress and pillows are providing comfort and back alignment. If you’re a side sleeper, keeping a pillow between your knees can help achieve that goal. To decrease back pain, make sure: 

  • Your mattress is not too soft or too firm and offers head-to-toe support. 
  • Your firm foam pillow fills the space between your ear and the bed and keeps your spine in a neutral position. 
  • Your sleeping position does not increase the pressure on your spine by removing the curve in your neck. Sleeping on your back puts the least amount of pressure on your spine. Avoid sleeping on your stomach. 

Although these tips can help you learn how to relieve back pain at home fast, long term pain relief and spinal alignment require professional care. The AMA, The American College of Physicians, and The Arthritis Foundation all recommend chiropractic care for lower back pain.  

Ready to take care of your musculoskeletal health to prevent back pain today and in the future? 

Check in with your nearest Chiro One doc at one of our welcoming open-plan clinics across the country. They’ll perform a thorough exam to investigate the root cause of your pain, then personalize your care plan — a combination of gentle chiropractic adjustments and active therapies to get you feeling better longer.
Find a Chiro One doctor near you


Dr. Sterling Glines

Chiro One of Everett, WA
Who wouldn’t enjoy visiting a DC that remembers even the smallest details about their lives and makes them laugh? Dr. Glines’ patients greatly appreciate the attention he focuses on them and the quality of care he delivers to them at each engaging appointment. Dr. Glines has successfully treated over 1000 patients applying his specialties: chiropractic biophysics, advanced whiplash biomechanics and injury traumatology chiropractic biophysics.

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