10 Effective Ways to Ease Back Pain at Home

Back pain is a common ailment that affects millions of people worldwide. As an alternative medicine practitioner specializing in Japanese Integrated Medicine, I understand how debilitating back pain can be and the importance of finding natural and effective ways to alleviate it. Here are ten simple exercises and techniques you can do at home to help ease your back pain, incorporating principles from Pete Egoscue's "Pain Free" and Kelly Starrett's "Becoming a Supple Leopard."

1. Gentle Stretching

Cat-Cow Stretch: This yoga-inspired exercise helps increase flexibility and relieve tension in your back. Here's how to do it:

  1. Start Position: Begin on your hands and knees, with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Keep your spine in a neutral position and your head in line with your spine.
  2. Cow Pose: Inhale deeply. As you do, tilt your pelvis back, letting your belly drop towards the floor. Lift your head and tailbone towards the ceiling, creating an arch in your back. This is called the Cow Pose.
  3. Cat Pose: Exhale slowly. As you do, tilt your pelvis forward, tucking your tailbone under. Draw your belly button towards your spine, rounding your back towards the ceiling. Tuck your chin towards your chest, stretching the back of your neck. This is called the Cat Pose.
  4. Repetition: Move smoothly between the Cat Pose and the Cow Pose, synchronizing your breath with each movement. Inhale as you move into Cow Pose and exhale as you move into Cat Pose. Repeat this sequence 10 times, moving slowly and gently.

This exercise helps to improve the flexibility of your spine and release tension in the muscles of your back and neck.

Child’s Pose: Kneel on the floor, sit back on your heels, and stretch your arms forward on the floor. This pose gently stretches your lower back and can help relieve tension.

2. Qi Gong

Qi Gong is a practice that involves coordinated breathing, movement, and meditation to enhance the flow of energy (qi) in the body. This can help alleviate back pain and improve overall health.

Basic Qi Gong Move:

  1. Start Position: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and arms relaxed at your sides.
  2. Movement: Slowly raise your arms to shoulder height, keeping your elbows slightly bent. As you lift your arms, inhale deeply through your nose, visualizing energy gathering in your body.
  3. Lowering: Slowly lower your arms back to your sides while exhaling deeply through your mouth. Imagine releasing tension and stress from your body.
  4. Repetition: Repeat this movement 10 times, maintaining a slow and steady pace.

3. Just Exercise!

managing back pain. Staying active helps to strengthen the muscles that support your spine, improve flexibility, and reduce stiffness.

Martial Arts: Martial arts, such as Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, offer an excellent way to stay active and build strength and flexibility. These practices involve a variety of movements that enhance coordination, balance, and overall physical conditioning. Martial arts also emphasize mindfulness and body awareness, which can help in recognizing and correcting movements that might contribute to back pain.

Gentle Exercises: For those who prefer a less intense workout, activities like walking, swimming, or stretching can be very beneficial. These exercises are easy on the joints and can be done at your own pace, making them ideal for easing back into physical activity.

Finding Your Routine: The key is to keep moving and find an activity that you enjoy and can stick with. Regular exercise can prevent future episodes of back pain by keeping your body fit and resilient. It’s important to choose exercises that you feel comfortable doing and that match your fitness level.

For more information on Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu and its benefits, visit here.

4. Egoscue Static Back

This exercise from Pete Egoscue's "Pain Free" method is designed to help realign your spine and relieve back pain:

  1. Start Position: Lie on your back with your legs up on a chair or a block so that your hips and knees form 90-degree angles.
  2. Positioning: Keep your arms at your sides, palms facing up, and your shoulders relaxed.
  3. Relax: Stay in this position for 5-10 minutes, allowing your lower back to settle into the floor.

This position helps to release tension in your lower back and realign your spine naturally.

5. Mobilization from "Becoming a Supple Leopard"

Kelly Starrett’s book emphasizes the importance of mobilization exercises to improve joint function and reduce pain. Here’s a simple mobilization exercise:

Hip Flexor Stretch:

  1. Start Position: Kneel on one knee, with the other foot in front of you, creating a 90-degree angle at both knees.
  2. Stretch: Push your hips forward gently until you feel a stretch in the front of your hip.
  3. Hold: Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, then switch sides. Repeat 3 times on each side.

This stretch helps to relieve tension in the hip flexors, which can contribute to back pain.

6. Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing, or "belly breathing," can help relax your muscles and reduce stress, which often exacerbates back pain. Here's how to practice it:

  1. Start Position: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly.
  2. Inhale: Take a deep breath in through your nose, allowing your belly to rise as you fill your lungs with air. The hand on your belly should move up while the hand on your chest remains relatively still.
  3. Exhale: Slowly exhale through your mouth, allowing your belly to fall. The hand on your belly should move down as you expel the air.
  4. Repetition: Repeat this process for 5-10 minutes, focusing on keeping your breathing slow and deep. Aim for a rhythm of 5 seconds to inhale and 5 seconds to exhale.

Diaphragmatic breathing helps to engage the diaphragm, which can reduce tension in the back muscles and improve overall relaxation.

7. Acupressure

Acupressure involves pressing specific points on your body to relieve pain. Here are some easy-to-find points that can help with back pain:

  1. Lower Back Points: Place your fingers about two finger-widths away from the spine at the level of your waist. Press gently but firmly on these points for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Buttocks Points: These points are located where your buttocks meet your thighs. Sit on a chair and press these points with your thumbs for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Central Lower Back: In the middle of your lower back, right on the spine, just below the waistline. Use your thumb to press this point for 1-2 minutes.

To apply acupressure, use your thumb or fingers to press gently but firmly on each point. You should feel a slight discomfort but not pain. Hold the pressure for 1-2 minutes while taking slow, deep breaths.

Instinctual Acupressure: Even if you don't know the exact points for acupressure, you can still benefit by following your instinct. Palpate your body and listen to your body's signals. If you find a tender spot, gently press and massage it, allowing your body to guide you to areas that need attention.

8. Heat Therapy

Let's keep this one simple: Applying a warm compress or a heating pad to the affected area for 15-20 minutes can help increase blood flow and relax tight muscles.

9. Hydration and Proper Posture

Staying hydrated and maintaining proper posture are essential for back health. Here are some tips:

  • Hydration: Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to maintain the elasticity of your spinal discs and prevent back pain.
  • Posture: Ensure that you maintain good posture, especially if you sit for long periods. Keep your back straight, shoulders relaxed, and feet flat on the floor. Take short breaks every 30 minutes to stand up, stretch, or walk around. Consider using a lumbar support pillow if needed.

10. Healthy Diet

Your diet plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy back. Eliminating sugar, junk food, and processed foods can help reduce inflammation and improve your overall health. Here are some dietary tips:

  1. Avoid Sugar: Excessive sugar intake can lead to inflammation, which can worsen back pain. Try to limit sugary snacks, sodas, and desserts.
  2. Eliminate Junk Food: Processed and fast foods are often high in unhealthy fats, salt, and sugar, which can contribute to inflammation and weight gain, putting extra strain on your back.
  3. Eat Whole Foods: Focus on a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. These foods provide essential nutrients that support overall health and can help reduce inflammation.


If your back pain persists despite trying these home remedies, it may be time to seek professional help. As a practitioner of Japanese Integrated Medicine, I can provide a more personalized approach to your treatment. Don’t hesitate to book an appointment through my contact page.

Taking care of your back is essential for overall well-being. Try incorporating these tips into your daily routine to alleviate discomfort and promote a healthier, pain-free life.

Ready for Professional Help?

If you're still struggling with back pain, I can help. Schedule an appointment with me to get a personalized treatment plan tailored to your needs. Let's work together to achieve a pain-free life.

Visit my contact page to book a session. 

Stay healthy and be well!

Armiche Barreno
Sanshin Health Practitioner
Japanese Integrated Medicine

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