7 Ways to Relieve Back Pain – Ask Doctor Jo

hey everybody it’s doctor Jo and today
I’m going to show you seven ways to relieve back pain. so let’s get started. So the first exercise / stretch is going to be
lying down. make sure you get it in a nice comfortable position. so use a comfy
pillow to get your head in a nice neutral position. feet are going to be
propped up. your knees want to be about hip-width apart. and so hip width is you
can take your fist and then put them in between and that ends up putting it
about a hip width apart. so the first exercise / stretch because
it’s going to kind of loosen up everything, is just a pelvic tilt.
pelvic tilts don’t look like a lot because there’s not big movements, but
it’s really a great way to kind of help relieve back pain because a lot of those
muscles around that pelvic area are really tight. so with the pelvic tilt, all
you’re trying to do is flatten out your back where that curve is. but you’re not
pushing with your feet. if you’re kind of pushing in with your feet, you’re not
really doing the pelvic tilt right. you want to do like it sounds, you want to
tilt that pelvis, but using your hips to do it not your legs. so if you feel like
you’re pushing down almost like you’re coming up into a bridge, that’s too much.
you just really want to rotate it back. see it’s not a really big movement, but
I’m trying to flatten everything out. so if you need to put something underneath
just the first couple times you do it, that’s fine, but you want to feel that
movement there .so I’m just going to do a tilt and then hold it for about three to
five seconds. really kind of get those muscles working and get those muscles
relaxing by working them a little bit. and then do maybe five or ten. so again
just holding it three to five seconds and then relaxing it. but again if you
feel like you’re trying to come up a little bit using your legs, that’s not
quite a tilt because the next exercise is a bridge. so when you’re bridging,
you’re in the same position. but now you’re gonna lift your bottom up off the
floor or bed or a couch. if you have a hard time getting down on the floor, you
can you don’t have to do these on the floor, you can you can do these on your
bed. might be a little bit harder, but don’t try and get down on the floor if
you know you’re gonna have a hard time getting up. so with a bridge,
you really want to kind of come up one segment at a time. you’re pushing those
knees forward as you come up. you don’t have to stop at each level, but you’re
not just coming up and down because then you’re using momentum and you’re not
really using those muscles. you really want to activate those glute muscles. and
if you come forward or even if you bring your knees a little bit or your feet a
little bit closer to your bottom, you take the hamstrings a little bit out of
it. and then as you come up, you want to try and get about level. you don’t want
to try and arch up higher, and if you’re a little bit lower that’s okay, but you
want to eventually try and get to here and then nice and slow coming back down.
so again, you don’t have to stop at each segment, but you really want to roll that
back instead of just popping up and down. so nice and slow coming up, a little
squeeze at the top, and then slowly coming back down. so depending on how
that feels, maybe you can only get to there. that’s okay. just start with what
you can do, about five to ten and a couple sets of those throughout the day
just to get everything nice and moving. so the next exercise is going to be a
trunk rotation. this can be an exercise or a stretch. so now you’re going to
bring your feet and your knees close together. with an exercise, you can go
continuously side to side, or with a stretch you can hold it. but you’re just
gonna bring both knees down to one side to get a stretch. your shoulders should
stay down. so you’re not coming all the way up, but your your shoulders should
stay down so you’re getting that stretch. so again if you want to do the stretch,
then you’re just going to hold it there for that twenty-five to thirty seconds,
get that nice stretch. if you want to do an exercise, then you’re just gonna
gently roll back and forth pausing maybe just for a second or two back and forth.
but make sure for the stretch or the exercise you’re going both both sides
just to get everything loosened up and and get some strengthening in there as
well. so the next treatment is really using something like a TENS unit to help
relieve that pain, and the great thing about TENS units is you can put them on
while you’re doing your stretches and exercises. and
the folks at Auvon sent me their dual-channel massager. and so this is
really nice because it has 20 modes and it has 8 electrodes that come with it.
what I really like about the Auvon brand is they have some really good
instructions in with their units. and if you’ve ever gotten a TENS unit before,
you might know that sometimes manuals aren’t the best with the the units. and
so as you can see here, their user manual does a nice job of showing what each mode
does. and the reason that’s important is with tens units particularly, I always
tell people it’s really about your comfort level. you it’s all about pain
control. but sometimes people want to know what those pictures mean, so what’s
really nice about this is it has the picture and then it tells you what it’s
doing, and then it tells you what it’s stimulating as well. so I think that’s a
really nice component to have into a product. what’s really cool about using a
TENS unit especially with back pain is like I mentioned before you can do these
with your stretches and exercises. you don’t necessarily just have to use the
tens unit and then sit there in one spot, they make them so portable now, you can
see this, you can slip it in your pocket and have it on, even go do your
activities. so when you’re using a tens unit for the 4, the four electrodes, you
want to make sure they’re crossing each channel. channel a, and channel B. if you
have it on your back and it’s like this then the current is just going to go up
and down like this, so you really want them crossing so those currents make an
X pattern into the middle of your pain. so I’m gonna put them on my back real
quick and then show you what it looks like. so now that I have them on, you can
see here that it’s kind of a square rectangular pattern. and they’re those
those channels are crossing. so you want to make sure that they’re crossing. now
sometimes it is a little bit harder if you put it on your back or your neck or
something to do it by yourself, so it’s always better to have somebody put it on
for you. but if you have to put it on yourself which is fine, with tents unit
electrode placements you don’t have to be exact. they don’t have to be in this
specific spot, this specific spot. you know they don’t have to necessarily
be level. if you’re like me and you like to have things level, you know then when
you’re seeing it, you want that, but they don’t have to be exact. if you’re using
EMS it needs to be a little more specific, but I don’t ever recommend
using EMS um near the spine. so like if you don’t ever want to cross the spine,
but I don’t even really like using the EMS which is the muscle stimulation on
the back or the neck area. but since you’re using TENS, you can cross the
spine. and sometimes a lot of people ask that, but if it’s tens, and you’re not
having the muscles contracting, it’s okay to cross that spine. so if you’re
interested in purchasing the auvon dual-channel unit, you can click on the
link up there or in the description below. so I’m just gonna go ahead and go
on into the rest of my exercises with the unit on to make sure everything’s
feeling good while I’m doing it. so the next one is going to be a bridge with a
ball squeeze. and so what the ball squeeze does it starts actually using
other muscles to help. so with the ball, you can use a ball if you don’t have a
ball you can use a pillow, you can use a yoga block, but you want it again to be
about hip distance apart. this is a little further out that’s okay not a big
deal, but you don’t want it to be something super big, and you don’t want
it to be something so small like a tennis ball. you want to have them still
about hip width apart. so with this one, you’re gonna squeeze the ball. so you’re
activating those adductor muscles. while you’re squeezing in, you’re gonna come up
into that bridge .try and keep that squeeze the whole time. don’t let that
squeeze go while you’re coming up or let it slip it out on you while you’re
coming up. so you’re squeezing, coming up into that bridge, and then still rolling
down really gently. so you’re not just coming up and down. that’s not really
working it that’s just using momentum. but make sure you get that squeeze, come
up into that bridge, and then nice and slowly come down. since you’re activating
more than one group now of muscles, maybe you just want to do five couple sets of
five, see how it feels, then go up to ten. then do that a couple times a day just
to get it working. so then the next one is just going to be kind of the opposite
direction with the bridging. so now you’re just going to take a band, the
resistive band. and the loop ones are nice because you don’t have to tie a knot,
but you can just you know make a little loop on your own if you’ve just got a
regular resistive band. and so it’s the same kind of concept. now I’m using the
band to work my abductor muscles, the ones on the outside. I’m not doing this
while I’m going up into the bridge, I’m just bringing my my knees out to about
that hip-width apart, but I want to keep that distance the whole time. as we come
up, a lot of times that band is going to want to pull your knees back in, but you
want to activate those muscles so you’re keeping about that same distance the
whole time. and then nice and slow coming back down. it shouldn’t be super hard, you
don’t want to have to be fighting the band the whole time, you’re just trying
to activate those muscles to get those muscles to work together with the gluts
in the back. so again just nice and slow coming up, a little squeeze at the top,
and then rolling nice and slow back down. so again 5 to 10 to start off with. you
can do a couple sets a couple times a day. and then so the last one is going to
be a stretch kind of in a tall kneeling position. so the last stretch is going to
be for the QL muscle muscle or the quadratus lumborum. and so this muscle is
one that’s not stretched. a lot people don’t think about it, but it does cause a
lot of back pain. so in this tall kneeling position, make
sure you protect the knee of the side that you’re going to stretch because you
don’t want to end up getting knee pain by putting all the pressure down on the
floor. you’re going to put the other leg out to the side. so if you have some
balance issues make sure you have your couch or your table or someone next to
you just to make sure you’ve got some nice balance. so the side that I want to
stretch is going to be the side that’s down on into the pillow or something to
protect that knee. you can place your other hand on the side here and then
you’re gonna bring the same arm of the knee that’s down up. so if your QL is
tight just doing this you might get a little bit of a stretch. if you need a
little bit more of a stretch, try and keep your body straight, a lot of times
people rotate like this. but just bring your arm
up and over almost like you’re trying to point towards the corner of the ceiling
or the the the curb or point in the ceiling over on the other side. so I
should feel that stretch through here. since this is a full stretch, you want to
hold it for 30 seconds. and see I’m not coming over like this, I’m coming up and
over. that’s why you want to kind of point towards the ceiling or that corner
as you’re going and really get that stretch. oh yeah, I was I was turning a
little bit, so you want to keep this kind of flat forward not rotating, and then
coming up to get that stretch. so when you’re stretching the back, you want to
make sure you’re doing both sides just because those muscles attach to the
spine so even if you’re hurting more on one side, I would do both sides. so again
leg out, you might be getting a little bit of an adductor stretch with that
that’s that’s fine. that’s good to stretch everything out. and then arm up,
and if you’re getting enough stretch with that that’s fine holding for 30
seconds. and if you need a little bit more, that up and over holding that
stretch for about 30 seconds. so if you’re interested in purchasing the
Auvon dual-channel tens unit, make sure and click on the link up there or click
on the link in the description below, and don’t forget to subscribe. and remember
be safe, have fun, and I hope you feel better soon.


  1. I have been doing all (not using TENS) except for the last one! They are great! Clamshell using the band is another good one. Dr. Jo, could you recommend some exercises for internal rotation, hips and legs? I am an amature ballet dancer and we are turning out all the time. So my PT suggested that I include some internal rotation exercises. But she and I haven't figured out what I can do more easily during the day withiut lying down. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hi, doctor I have question. I've watched some videos where they say that the "touch your toes" stretch is good for mid and Low back pain relief, but some of them say that it's not good, specially if you do it stand cause you can put too much pressure on the vertebral discs…. So Whats your opinion about that stretch. You'll have to excuse my English is a little rusty. Thanks!

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