How to fix Back Pain from bad posture? Suggested Exercises

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Written By Dr. Marcus Yu Bin Pai

MD, PhD. Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Physician from São Paulo - Brazil. Pain Fellowship in University of São Paulo.

Back pain from bad posture is a common issue that many people experience at some point in their lives. However, you don’t have to suffer in silence.

In this blog post, we will discuss several tips and exercises from a physical therapist that you can do at home to alleviate your back pain and help you feel better.

Keep moving, but don’t overdo it

poor posture and spine pain

While it’s crucial to allow your back time to heal, you should also keep moving and stretch your muscles to promote recovery. Too much rest can actually make your pain worse, so try to find a balance between rest and activity.

Heat vs. Ice

When it comes to using heat or ice for back pain, the answer depends on the nature of your injury.

For sudden back pain caused by an acute injury, use ice to reduce inflammation and calm your muscles.

For chronic back pain, heat can help relax your muscles and promote flexibility.


Mechanical low back pain is a prevalent condition that can greatly impact an individual’s daily activities and overall quality of life. It often results from injuries or strain to the muscles, ligaments, or joints in the lower back.

As the first line of treatment, healthcare providers typically recommend a combination of conservative measures, such as physical therapy, and medications to alleviate pain and inflammation. The most common medications prescribed for mechanical low back pain include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), non-opioid analgesics, and muscle relaxants.


NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve), are often the go-to choice for managing pain and inflammation associated with mechanical low back pain. These medications work by inhibiting cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes, which are responsible for producing prostaglandins that contribute to pain and inflammation. By reducing prostaglandin levels, NSAIDs provide relief from pain and inflammation, facilitating recovery.

Non-opioid Analgesics

Non-opioid analgesics, like acetaminophen (Tylenol), provide pain relief through a different mechanism by blocking pain signals in the central nervous system.

While acetaminophen does not possess anti-inflammatory properties like NSAIDs, it can still be an effective choice for managing pain in patients with contraindications or intolerances to NSAIDs.

Muscle Relaxants

Muscle relaxants, such as cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), carisoprodol (Soma), and tizanidine (Zanaflex), can be prescribed as an adjunct treatment for mechanical low back pain, particularly when muscle spasms contribute to discomfort. These medications work by targeting the central nervous system, reducing muscle tone and spasms, and providing temporary relief from pain.

However, muscle relaxants are typically prescribed for short-term use, as they may cause side effects like drowsiness, dizziness, and potential dependence.

It is crucial for patients to work closely with their healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate medication and dosage to manage their mechanical low back pain effectively, taking into account the severity of pain, underlying medical conditions, and potential drug interactions.

Exercises for Low Back Pain Relief

posture back pain

a. Knee-to-chest stretch: While lying on your back with your knees bent, slowly bring one knee to your chest until you feel a gentle stretch in your lower back or hip. Repeat on the other side.

b. Hip stretch: With one leg crossed over the other and your knee bent, gently push your knee out to stretch the outside of your hip. If you experience pain or discomfort, stop immediately.

c. Back muscle stretch: Cross one leg over the other and gently pull the leg toward you, focusing on stretching your back muscles. Avoid this stretch if you have pain radiating into your leg.

d. Hamstring stretch: While lying on your back, bend one knee and hold behind your thigh. Slowly extend your leg until you feel a stretch in the back of your thigh.

e. Nerve flossing: This exercise can help calm irritated nerves, especially for those with sciatica. Hold your leg up with your knee bent and toe pointed down. Slowly extend your leg while pointing your toe, only stretching as far as you feel a gentle tension.

f. Core activation: Strengthen your core muscles by flattening your back against the floor and squeezing your glutes while lying on your back with your knees bent.

Properly getting up and down from a lying position

When getting up or lying down, use a “log roll” technique to protect your back. Keep your knees bent, and move your hips and shoulders in a straight line as if there’s a rod down your back.

Conclusion: If you’ve tried these exercises and tips for a couple of weeks with no improvement, it may be time to consult with your doctor.

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MD, PhD. Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Physician from São Paulo - Brazil. Pain Fellowship in University of São Paulo.

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