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Self-Treatment for Lower Back Pain

          Spinal Decompression & Traction                       

Back Pain

Lumbar Spine

Lower Back Pain is often an underlying cause of getting out of shape.  To get back in shape, learn ways to manage your back pain by yourself with self-treatment techniques.

Consult with your healthcare provider to discover the best exercises and self-treatment techniques for your condition.

Learning how to properly care for your own back on a daily basis will give you the best results. 

Learn self-treatment techniques to interrupt the pain cycle with exercise, breathing, relaxation, self massage, posture, traction or distraction - decompression and movement.

Self-Treatment with Exercise To Prevent Lower Back Pain:  

As anyone with back pain knows, a consistent, daily exercise program is best for lower back pain relief.  Self-treatment exercises can relieve symptoms and prevent them from recurring. The key is finding a simple and time efficient routine that works for you.

Mimi Solaire, has put together an excellent exercise routine for a healthy back.

 Back In Shape

Back in Shape by Mimi Solaire is a great DVD for lower back pain. It includes gentle flexibility and strengthening exercises in two 15' sessions.*

These exercises are often taught by yoga instructors and physical therapists for people with back pain.

 3 Minutes to a Pain-Free Life: The Groundbreaking Program for Total Body Pain Prevention and Rapid Relief

3 Minutes to a Pain-Free Life, by Joseph Weisberg P.T., Ph.D. has truly simplified feeling better.  The six easy to do therapeutic movements combine multiple joints and muscle groups to streamline your daily routine to just 3 minutes.

This book, complete with diagnostic tests you can perform for yourself, has a place in everyone's library.

*You should not experience pain with any exercise routine for back pain.  Consult with your healthcare provider to make sure these exercises are appropriate for your condition.

Also see Stability Fitness for more exercises that are helpful to strengthen postural muscles.

Self Treatment Exercises for Low Back Pain: 

Exercises can not only help you control and prevent back pain, but you can also use specific exercises to treat back pain. 

Robin McKenzie's, Treat Your Own Back has been used successfully by thousands of people suffering from back pain and by healthcare practitioners who treat back pain. For many it works wonderfully, but it is important to note that for a small percentage of people it can actually make back symptoms worse. 

 Treat Your Own Back

 Treat Your Own Back

  See below to see if this book is right for you.

Treat Your Own Back by Robin Mckenzie

5 Stars for a time tested book with the following caveats. All back pain conditions are not alike and each condition has a unique solution. Therefore, the optimal use of this book is in conjunction with an assessment by a healthcare practitioner, such a physical therapist. This will avoid its inappropriate use and ensure that the McKenzie exercises will be beneficial.

When used appropriately, it can be an extremely helpful, simple guide to centralize low back and leg pain (sciatica) with gentle movements. Once you are over your acute symptoms, McKenzie gives you some additional movements to assure you regain your full motion which will help prevent future episodes. He includes some basic body mechanics instructions to make you aware of how you position yourself during your activities to avoid aggravating to your back symptoms. He also shows you how to use a lumbar roll to make sitting and lying more comfortable.

Strengthening exercises are beyond the scope of this book. Instead it is more concerned with immediate symptom reduction and protection thru body mechanics and positioning. So, for complete, long term management you may want additional instruction in an appropriate progression of exercises.

To help you decide if this book is right for you, know the cause of your back condition. The extension portion of the exercise will not help and may even hurt people with spondylolesthesis, spinal stenosis, or a fully herniated or ruptured disc, for example, but can help a disc that is bulging, but not herniated. Locate a McKenzie Provider.

Self-Treatment with Relaxation Exercises:

Learn to breathe, relax and reduce tension to relieve back pain.

 Progressive Relaxation and Breathing Audio CD

Progressive Relaxation and Breathing is an audio CD for deep muscle relaxation.

When you have back pain, if you can learn to relax and release muscle tension, you have a valuable self treatment technique.

 Breathing is one of the best self-treatment techniques you can do for lower back pain.

Self-Treatment with Relaxation Exercises:

Relaxation begins when you become aware of tension that you are holding and then release it. Back pain always has a tension component. Learning to relax is an essential part of releasing back pain and abnormal holding patterns.

 The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook (New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook)

The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook helps you tackle one of the main culprits of back pain - STRESS.

This workbook has lots of exercises to help you understand and identify your stress triggers. Because stress comes in many forms, the workbook helps you release your stress with a variety of techniques. This is a comprehensive workbook.

Self-Treatment with Massage:  

Sometimes you simply need to release muscle tension and/or spasm to alleviate pain.  Massage for lower back pain is not just a luxury.  It is a necessity. Learning how to massage your own back makes frequent massage affordable and allows you to treat yourself, when you need it.

Check out some of our self massage tools that can help you reduce back pain. You'll love the Miracle Ball Method:

 The Miracle Ball Method

The Miracle Ball Method is a wonderfully simple way to release muscle tension and back pain. This technique is often taught by physical therapists using tennis balls. Elaine Petrone's miracle balls are softer, a little larger and easier on the body than tennis balls.

The technique is as easy as learning ball placement, breathing, relaxing and letting muscle tension dissolve away. The value of being able to treat yourself anytime is priceless. And the price of the balls are a bargain as well.

The smaller travel size ball may work better for neck muscles.

Consult with your healthcare practitioner to make sure these self-treatment tools are appropriate for you.

 Thera Cane

The TheraCane is a particularly good tool to reach and massage trigger points.

Claire Davies' books, The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook and The Frozen Shoulder Workbook will help you learn where to find and treat trigger points. You can use either the TheraCane or the ball method to release trigger points.

Exercise Programs for Lower Back Pain:

Some forms of exercise to get back in shape are more appropriate than others when you have pain. Those exercise programs that address joint range of motion, restoring muscle balance and retraining the nervous system are the most successful in helping you get back in shape while correcting the causes of neck and back pain.

Find appropriate exercise programs and supplies to help you get back in shape when you have back pain:

Aquatic Exercise, Tai Chi, Yoga, Posture, Pilates, 3 Minute Exercises, Cardio,   Somatics, Strength Training

See more on body awareness exercises and other self treatment books.


  Locate a McKenzie Provider.

Pain Relief Supplies and Equipment:  

While specific self-treatment exercises can help you control and prevent back pain, you can also use pain relief supplies and equipment to treat your neck & back pain. See our Pain Relief store for more ideas.

 Pain Relief

 Self-Treatment Books


Pain Relief Equipment


What self-treatment and pain relief supplies are helpful for lower back pain while you are getting back in shape?

Traction - to stretch your spine and back muscles.  Consult your healthcare practitioner before using traction or spinal decompression as it may not be indicated for your condition.

Back Belts - to support your spine.

SI Joint Belt - to support your pelvis and sacroiliac joint.

Moist Heat or Cold Pack - to reduce pain and to increase circulation

KinesioTape - to ease pain and reduce swelling 

Stretch-Out Strap - to help you stretch hip flexors and hamstrings

 Back Vitalizer
The Back Vitalizer

The Back Vitalizer is a multi-functional cushion that supports and decompresses the lumbar spine and discs.

It can also function similar to an exercise ball when you sit on it, activating the deep muscles of the spine for core stability.

The Back Vitalizer acts as a back support, cushion and traction device all in one.


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