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How to Mend Your Lower, Middle or Upper Back Pain

Updated on November 1, 2012

The majority of back pain is related to some type of muscle strain which puts undue stress on the spine. It is easy to injure or "pull" a muscle with activities as simple as reaching, lifting, or twisting. However once the muscle becomes inflamed, it puts pressure on the spine which leads to back pain. Back pain can be attributed to a number of causes such as a herniated disc, hip or sacroiliac pain, and sciatica, among others.

 

Additional Information Treatment Options


Lower Back Pain

What Causes Lower Back Pain & How Can You Strengthen Your Lower Back Muscles?

Lower back pain is the most common source of back pain as this portion of the spine, the lumbar, provides mobility to perform daily tasks. By overreaching, twisting, or straining the back you can severely impair your ability to perform any sort of activity. Thus it is important to keep the muscles in your lower back healthy and strong by ensuring that they will not atrophy (waste away). Persistent lower back pain should be evaluated by a physician in order to determine the root cause.

Often the cause of lower back pain is simply a lack of muscle tone and strength to handle daily activities. There are many exercises available to strengthen lower back muscles, which can be performed in a few minutes everyday. Consult a physician before beginning the exercises listed below. Please note that your back pain may worsen when you initiate a strengthening exercise regimen, however if the pain persists you should immediately stop the exercises and consult a physician.

For additional treatment options please view the "Treatments" section below.

Standing Hamstring Stretch - Raise your leg to place your heel on a stool or chair. Keep your knee straight, lean forward, bending slightly at the hips. You should feel a mild stretch in the back of your thigh. Do not roll your shoulders forward. Take a deep breath and exhale as you bend forward at the waist to deepen this stretch. You should now feel this stretch in your lower back. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds then relax and continue on to the next stretch.

Pelvic Tilt - Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Tighten your abdominal muscles and push your lower back into the floor. Hold this position for 5 seconds, then release. Repeat this exercise 10 to 30 more times, then relax and continue on to the next stretch.

Double Knee to Chest - Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Tighten your abdominal muscles and push your lower back into the floor. Take a deep breath and as you exhale slowly pull both knees up to your chest. Do not pull so far that you feel pain in your lower back. Take another deep breath and hold this position for 5 seconds. Exhale and lower your knees back down, resting your feet flat on the floor. Repeat this exercise 10 to 20 more times, then relax and continue on to the next stretch.

Lower Trunk Rotation - Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Tighten your abdominal muscles and push your lower back into the floor. While keeping your shoulders flat on the floor with your knees bent, gently rotate your legs to the right. Hold this position for a few seconds, and then gently rotate your legs to the left. Repeat this exercise 10 to 20 more times, then relax and continue on to the next stretch.

Partial Curl - Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Tighten your abdominal muscles and push your lower back into the floor. Slowly raise your arms up so they are stretched out in front of you, tuck your chin to your chest, and take a deep breath. As you exhale gently curl your upper body forward until your shoulders are raised up off of the floor. Hold this position for 3 seconds, and then take another deep breath as you slowly lower back down to the floor. Repeat this exercise 10 to 30 more times, then relax. You can challenge yourself further by performing this exercise with your hands clasped behind your head, elbows out to the side.

Piriformis Stretch - Lie on your back with your knees bent, cross your right leg over your left leg. Wrap your arms around your legs, placing your hand under the thigh of your left leg. As you inhale gently pull your knees toward your chest - you should feel this stretch along your buttocks and the outside of your hip. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds, and as you exhale release your knees back the starting position. Remember to keep your breathing nice and even. Repeat this exercise with your right leg crossed over your left 3 more times, and then relax. Now cross your left leg over your right leg and repeat this exercise 4 times.

Cat and Camel - Go down onto your hands and knees while keeping your back in a neutral position. Take a deep breath and slowly arch your back up, tightening your abdominal muscles. Hold this position for about 5 seconds. As you exhale lower your back, curving your spine inward and releasing your abdominal muscles. Repeat this exercise 10 to 20 more times, then relax and continue on to the next stretch.

Quadruped Arm/Leg Raises - Begin on your hands and knees and gently tighten your abdominal muscles. Take a deep breath and as you exhale slowly raise your right arm and left leg up to stretch them straight out, away from your body. Take another deep breath and hold this position for 5 seconds, and then as you exhale slowly lower your right arm and left leg back down to the floor. Now take a breath and exhale as you slowly raise your left arm and right leg up to stretch them straight out, away from your body. Take another deep breath and hold this position for 5 seconds, and then as you exhale slowly lower your left arm and right leg back down to the floor. Repeat this exercise 10 to 20 more times, then relax.

Middle Back Pain

What Causes Middle Back Pain?

Middle back pain is often experienced by individuals who have a history of lower back pain or individuals that have previously had back surgery. This is also common if a fusion of the L4-5 to 5-S1 vertebrae has occurred. These vertebrae can easily become stressed and the best treatment for middle back pain is muscle strengthening. Additional treatments available are listed below in the "Treatments" section.

Upper Back Pain

What Causes Upper Back Pain & How Can You Strengthen Your Upper Back Muscles?

Upper back pain may occur due to injury from an accident, strain, joint dysfunction, poor posture, or atrophied (weakened) muscles. Chronic upper back pain is not nearly as common as lower back pain. Although the lower back has more mobility, the thoracic section of the spine (upper or middle back) consists of 12 vertebrae and is used mostly for stability. This is why the upper back is less susceptible to injury than the lower back.

Strengthening your upper back muscles is important to maintain good health. There are a few exercises available to strengthen upper back muscles, which can be performed in a few minutes everyday. Consult a physician before beginning the exercises listed below. Please note that your back pain may worsen when you initiate a strengthening exercise regimen, however if the pain persists you should immediately stop the exercises and consult a physician.

For additional treatment options please view the "Treatments" section below.

Thoracic Extension - Sit comfortably on a chair, but do not lean against the backrest. Clasp both of your hands behind your head and gently arch your back allowing your neck to tilt back so you can look upwards. Take a deep breath while in this position, then release back down to a neutral position. Repeat this exercise 10 more times, then relax and continue on to the next stretch.

Scapular Squeezes - Sit comfortably on a chair, but do not lean against the backrest. Take a deep breath, and as you exhale gently squeeze your shoulder blades together. Take another breath and hold this position for 5 seconds, then exhale and release. Repeat this exercise 10 to 20 more times, then relax and continue on to the next stretch.

Arm Slides - Stand with your back against a wall. Let your arms rest at your sides with your elbows and wrists against the wall. Take a deep breath and as your exhale gently raise your arms, allowing them to slide against the wall with your elbows and wrists still touching the wall. Raise them as high as is comfortable for you; please do not strain your back muscles too much. Take another breath, then exhale and lower your arms back to your sides. Repeat this exercise 10 to 30 more times, then relax and continue on to the next stretch.

Thoracic Stretch - Sit comfortably on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Hold your mid-thighs with your hands. Take a deep breath and as you exhale slowly curl your head/neck forward. Take another deep breath and hold this position for 15 seconds, then exhale and release. Repeat this exercise a few more times, then relax. Remain in a seated position with your legs straight in front of you, hands resting on your thighs. Take a deep breath and as you exhale twist your right shoulder and elbow to the left - you should feel this stretch in your upper back. Hold this position for 15 seconds, then release back into a neutral position. Now take a deep breath and as you exhale twist your left shoulder and elbow to the right - again you should feel this stretch in your upper back. Hold this position for 15 seconds, then release back into a neutral position. Repeat this exercise a few more times, then relax and continue on to the next stretch.

Treatments

What Treatments are Available to Mend Your Back Pain?

Sometimes the root cause of back injuries is not due to an acute injury or is undetectable through routine diagnostic methods. This is why it is so important to consult a physician prior to treatment.


ColdCure® Technology



As soon as your back is injured your body triggers natural events that isolate damaged tissue and prepare it for healing. The main symptoms you will immediately feel after injury - the swelling, redness (rubor), heat (calor), pain (dolor), and loss of function - are really just signs that your body is starting to heal.

Unfortunately when your back is swollen and inflamed the damaged tissue is blocking vital blood flow from coming into the tissue to continue the natural healing process. When your blood flow is blocked, the other healthy tissue in your back is starved of oxygen, nutrients and antibodies needed for your healthy tissue to thrive and for your injured back to heal. This is why it's never good to let a new injury stay untreated for too long.

Using cold compression immediately following a back injury, re-injury, or surgery reduces pain and swelling and reduces the tissue damage that occurs with soft tissue injuries.

Click here to learn more about
ColdCure® Tehcnology



Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy



What can be done for your back when the swelling is gone, but the pain is still there? Once the swelling is gone our bodies are starving for the naturally occurring oxygen, nutrients, antibodies and energy available in our blood. Blood flow is like the life force of our bodies, and the healing process really takes off only when the back receives proper blood flow.

If you want to heal quickly you need to keep your blood flow moving constantly, but you also need to make sure your back is actively getting rid of cellular waste and toxins. This is where BFST® comes in, but what exactly is BFST® and how can it help to accelerate healing?

BFST® is exactly what it seems - it's a therapy that substantially increases the flow of blood to your back without the need to exercise your already damaged tissue.

Think about your injured soft tissue as if it is a sponge that has dried out. Your damaged tissue is waiting there ready to absorb all of the benefits of increased blood flow but your body is unable to keep up with the demand of what your tissue needs. BFST® boosts your body's natural blood flow, delivering oxygen, nutrients, antibodies and energy directly to the source of your pain. Once you start receiving all of the benefits BFST® has to offer your injured back becomes like a sponge that now has enough blood flow within reach to soak up everything good that is in your blood flow. Increased blood flow through BFST® also acts as a cleanser for your tissue, whisking away all toxins and cellular waste.

Click here to learn more about
Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy

Treating Your Back Pain!

Products available on Amazon to help with your back pain!

Treating Back Pain at the Source

The terms Inferno Wrap®, Freezie Wrap®, and MendMeShop® are registered trademarks of In.Genu Design Group Inc.

The terms BFST®, Energy Web®, and ColdCure® are registered trademarks of King Brand Healthcare Products Ltd.

If you have any questions about back injuries please feel free to comment on our Lens. You can also reach one of our MendMeShop Advisors directly via phone or e-mail at service@mendmeshop.com

Please note that comments are directed by e-mail to one of our MendMeShop Advisors. This allows us to receive your comments and respond to your queries as soon as possible. If you do not see your comment as soon as you have posted do not be discouraged, your comment will most likely appear along with our response in due time.

We look forward to hearing from you!

The MendMeShop Advisor Team :)

Back Pain Questions & Comments

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    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      I searched long and hard to find this lens again, having lost it last Summer when some interruption caused me to shut down my computer. The exercises looks very helpful.

    • MendMeShop LM profile image
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      MendMeShop LM 8 years ago

      [in reply to RinchenChodron] Thank you for your kind words. :)

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 8 years ago

      Excellent - I'm blessing your lens and also giving you 5 stars.