Managing Back Pain At Home and With a Chiropractor

Managing Back Pain At Home and With a Chiropractor

Many people with back pain go straight to a physician, and keep going, usually ending up with a pile of bills, a lot of prescription medication, and sometimes not much relief. The majority of those who choose to see a chiropractor for back pain report a higher level of satisfaction1. Their treatment plans are laid out clearly and patients have exercises they can do on their own to increase the level of comfort and decrease their level of discomfort.

While we’ll talk in this post about specific exercises to help you get started in moving towards your goal of lesser back pain, the only long term solution is to see a chiropractor. It’s through a dedicated, personalized treatment plan with a chiropractor who understands your needs, goals, body, and specific injury or pain, that a longer term solution can be gained. But for now, we’ll give you some specific exercises to manage pain and talk about why a chiropractor is your best option for long term success.

Managing Back Pain at Home

Can you really manage back pain at home? Yes and no. It depends a lot upon what kind of pain you have and where it is located. For most people, back pain is concentrated in their lower back so that is what we’ll focus on here.

The goals of these exercises for lower pain are threefold:

  • To increase flexibility
  • To build strength
  • To increase mobility

All three of these goals work together. Flexibility and mobility will help stretch and strengthen the muscles needed to support your lower back. Greater mobility will lead to more flexibility, which will lead to muscles being stronger as they are built up in areas where they are the weakest – one of the causes of lower back pain.

Four exercises to manage lower back pain at home

You can do these exercises every day to start managing lower back pain at home. Consistency is key to any treatment plan and creating good habits by sticking with specific exercises will serve you well in the long term.

These exercises shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes a day and can be done once in the morning and once at night.

Lower back rotational stretch

Lay on your back with both legs bent at the knee. Push your knees to one side of your body while keeping your shoulders on the floor. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat with the other side of your body. Do this exercise three times with each side. You should feel a nice stretch in your hip flexors. Extend the top leg for an even deeper stretch through your legs.

Knees to chest stretch

This one is easy since it’s exactly like it sounds. Lay on your back and bend your knees. Pull your knees to your chest and hold for 30 seconds. Do this three times. You should feel a stretch in your lower back.

Cat-cow stretch

This is a stretch that seeks to lengthen the spine. Go on your hands and knees on the floor and arch your back, pulling your belly button to your spine, and hold for 15 seconds. Then arch your back in the opposite direction, raising your head and neck while you push your belly to the floor. Repeat each motion three times for 30 seconds each.

Hamstring stretch

You’ll need a towel or rubber exercise band for this stretch. Lay on your back and raise one leg straight up. Wrap a small towel or rubber exercise band around the ball of your feet while holding one end with your left hand and the other end with your right hand. Try to straighten the leg as much as possible and gently pull on the towel/band until you feel a stretch in the back of your leg – the hamstring. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat three times on each leg.

Why working with a chiropractor can help relieve back pain

Managing back pain at home is an excellent first step to taking control of your pain. As a chiropractor who works closely with his patients on their goals, it is always encouraging to me to work with a motivated patient because they need to be just as dedicated as I am to managing their back pain.

Improving alignment

It is crucial that the spine is aligned correctly because that is when everything works the way it is supposed to – and with little to no pain. If something is out of alignment, it will likely cause pain not only at the place of misalignment but many other places throughout the body because everything is connected and works together. Spinal adjustment is at the crux of chiropractic care because it is the most important part of what makes your body work the way it’s supposed to.

Increasing movement

Spinal adjustments will help to increase movement in the joints and reduce tightness and tension. Lower back pain can result from not only from misalignment of the spine but the consequential tightness that results from that misalignment as other tendons and joints try to make up for the misalignment. Through regular adjustments, tightness and tension is lessened in the upper, middle, and lower back, leading to better movement, flexibility, and less pain.

Preventing injury

Working with a chiropractor to ease back pain also has the added benefit of preventing future injury. When muscles are strong and a patient has better flexibility, they are more easily able to absorb impact and often result in fewer injuries.

Long term solution to back pain

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to back pain but there are many options to manage back pain while strengthening the muscles that patients need to ease their back pain and avoid further irritation or injury.

At home exercises are a great way to start managing back pain at home but a thorough intake and examination by a chiropractor, followed by a detailed and personal treatment plan is the best way to manage back pain. There are no drugs and no surgeries. It is a completely holistic approach to health that aims to get the body back to doing what it should be doing.

As a well-trained Gonstead chiropractor who has been practicing for more than ten years, 98% of my patients achieve their goals. If you want to see what the possibilities are for less back pain in your life, give our office a call, 864-631-1420, to set up your consultation. Can you remember what a pain-free life looks like? I would like to have the chance to get you back there.

1 R. P. Hertzman-Miller, H. Morganstern, E. L. Hurwitz, Fei, Y., Adams, A. H., Harber, P., and Kominiski, G. F. (2002). “Comparing the Satisfaction of Low Back Pain Patients Randomized to Receive Medical or Chiropractic Care: Results from the UCLA Low-Back Pain Study.” American Journal of Public Health, 92(10): 1628-1633.

Back Pain Is Not a One-Size-Fits-All – And Neither Are Treatments

Back Pain Is Not a One-Size-Fits-All – And Neither Are Treatments

If you are experiencing back pain, you are not alone. More than 65 million Americans report a recent episode of back pain and more than 16 million deal with chronic back pain1. It probably comes as no surprise that back pain healthcare-related costs are astronomical, amounting to more than $12 billion a year. And many people miss work, causing them to lose income. Others suffer from anger and depression as well.

In this post, we’ll look at the different areas of back pain, what it feels like, and possible causes.

No “One-Size-Fits-All” Treatments

Addressing the causes of back pain and working to correct things like posture and overall health can make a huge difference in the life of someone dealing with back pain. Approaching back pain through a comprehensive treatment plan with chiropractic can also save thousands of dollars in healthcare costs in the long run. Best of all, people who have little to no back pain report feeling less nervous and anxious than those with chronic back pain issues.

An important thing to note is that every person is different. Every injury is different. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment plan for any patient that entrusts their care to me. I listen to my patients, hear and understand their goals, conduct the necessary tests needed for diagnosis, and then I plan out their treatment. There are so many causes of back pain and I want my patients to have the greatest chance of success so our treatment plans are all individualized.

Areas of Back Pain

There are three main areas of back pain:

  • Upper (thoracic)
  • Middle
  • Lower

Upper Back Pain

This is the area around your neck and it can become tight, limiting movement and causing pain down the sides of your neck, shoulders, and back. Pain and tightness here can also lead to migraines and headaches. Remember, everything in your body affects everything else in your body. If one area of your body, like a vertebrae, is not in alignment, that can easily cause pain throughout parts of your body.

Middle Back Pain

Middle back pain can be caused by poor posture, injuries to other areas of your back, sitting all day, or just sleeping in an awkward position.

Lower Back Pain

This area can be injured through a slip or fall, by lifting something too heavy, or by repetitive movements like swinging a bat. Injuries, like a herniated disc, here can cause spasms, which are quite painful, and can interfere with normal, everyday movements and work.

How the pain feels

Back pain can feel different to different people.

Here are some questions a chiropractor may ask about your back pain

  • Does it feel like a stabbing pain?
  • Is the pain dull?
  • Does it hurt only when you make certain movements?
  • Can you sit or stand without pain?
  • Does anything make the pain better or easier to handle?
  • Does your back pain interfere with your daily life?
  • Does it restrict movement, work, or sleep?
  • Are there other symptoms related to your back pain like swelling, chest tightness, or numbness?

The duration of pain is also an important aspect a chiropractor will consider when planning treatment.

Consider these questions

Is the pain acute?

  • Does it last longer than a day, a week, a month?
  • How long have you had back pain?
  • If you’ve had back pain longer than about three months, it may be considered chronic pain.
  • Oftentimes, a back injury is not given the proper time and treatment to heal, which leads to chronic back pain.

Chiropractic solutions to back pain

Can a chiropractor really help alleviate back pain? Do I need to think about expensive surgery? Can natural remedies without drugs truly help me get back to the life I want to live without back pain? These are all valid and normal questions you should be asking when considering a visit to a chiropractor.

At Greenville Spine, we do everything possible to help you achieve your goals and get your body where you want it to be, which, in the cases of back pain, means working towards alleviating that pain without drugs or surgery. Through expert spine manipulation, consistent adjustments, and exercises done at home, the vast majority of my patients that come in with back pain experience extensive relief. How? Stay tuned to our next post where I’ll talk about how I work with patients who have back pain, give specific exercise to get you started on the path towards decreasing back pain, and why a chiropractor is a good option for those experiencing back pain.

1 B. Druss, Marcus, S., Olfson, M., and Pincus, H.A. (2002). “The Most Expensive Medical Conditions in America.” Health Affairs, 21(4): 105-111.
2. M. BenDebba, W. S. Torgerson, D. M. Long (1997). “Personality Traits, Pain Duration and Severity, Functional Impairment, and Psychological Distress in Patients with Persistent Low Back Pain.” Pain 72: 115-125.


5 Scary Side Effects of Bad Posture and How to Correct Them

5 Scary Side Effects of Bad Posture and How to Correct Them

If you constantly wake in the morning after a night of restless or no sleep and feel like a zombie, chiropractic care may help. If you walk like Frankenstein due to constant back pain, chiropractic care may help. If you feel more like a ghost of your former self due to anxiety, depression or other mental health issues, chiropractic care may help.

All of these scary symptoms are side effects of ineffective and poor posture, which is exactly what excellent chiropractic care can address. Everything in your body is connected and poor posture, slumping forward for hours over your computer, sitting all day or holding little kids while taking care of the endless to-do list at home can all contribute to poor posture and lead to bothersome symptoms throughout your body.

Read on and learn other side effects and what can possibly be done to remedy them. 

Tip 1: Neck and shoulder pain

Slumping forward, looking at a computer screen at the wrong angle all day, and stress can contribute to significant neck tightness, headaches, and shoulder pain. This isn’t fun and can be detrimental to everyday life. After initial x-rays and screenings at Greenville Spine, we are able to pinpoint where the misalignments and inflammation, also known as subluxations, is in your vertebrae that need to be treated. With attentive, constant, and correct chiropractic care, more than 95 percent of patients at Greenville Spine see the results they want. 

Tip 2: Back pain

This is a common complaint and while not all back pain is caused by poor posture, it can significantly contribute to this kind of pain. Whether through an injury, strain, or just years of poor posture, most of our patients deal with back discomfort. Almost all forms of back pain are treatable with chiropractic care from Greenville Spine. We want you to live your best life, pain-free.

Tip 3: Digestive issues

When your spine is not properly aligned, it can contribute to a host of digestive issues from cramping to constipation to other discomforts. When sitting incorrectly and slouching forward all day, your organs are going to compress and push on your stomach, adding to the discomfort. 

Tip 4: Poor sleep 

When your neck hurts, when your back is in pain, when your shoulders are tight, when your stomach is cramping, how can you possibly get a good night’s sleep? Poor posture especially affects sleep in such a big way. 

Tip 5: Mental health

The brain talks to all parts of the body through the spinal cord and if that communication is disrupted through misalignments and inflammation, communication will be stifled. Why does this matter and what does it have to do with mental health? If the brain cannot properly talk to other parts of your body, the hormones associated with stress relief and happiness cannot be released. One study from the National Institutes of Health showed that chiropractic care increases neurotensin (induces stress relief), oxytocin (promotes social bonding), and cortisol (blocks pain from inflammation).

Tips for Proper Posture

When sitting

  • Push your shoulders back, straighten your back, and don’t slouch forward. 
  • Bend your knees at 90 degrees and put your feet flat on the floor. 
  • Try to have your computer at eye level so you’re not looking down. 
  • Distribute weight evenly in your hips.
  • Get up every 30 minutes or so to walk around. 

When standing:

  • Stand straight, hands at sides, and draw your belly button into your spine. 
  • Breathe deeply, relaxing your neck, jaw, and shoulders. 
  • Pull your shoulders back, look straight ahead so your ears are directly over your shoulders. 
What You Need to Know About Your Lower Back Pain

What You Need to Know About Your Lower Back Pain

Freedom From Lower Back Pain is Possible

Lower back pain is one of the most common complaints among adults in the US with 80% of individuals experiencing lower back pain at some point in their lives. However, most of those people who suffer from back pain will continue to live their lives merely dealing with their pain instead of finding a solution. Contrary to popular belief, lower back pain is not a normal part of aging and you do not have to live your life in pain. It is possible to live a pain-free life!

The secret to living a pain-free life is finding the root cause of your pain. A few common causes of lower back pain include vertebral subluxations, sciatica, degenerative disc disease, facet syndrome, postural syndrome, and disc lesions. These conditions can be either localized or radiating pain, discomfort, stiffness, numbness, or paresthesia. In rare cases, the cause of one’s back pain may be caused by a more sinister condition such as infection or cancer. Even though those problems may sound frightening, if you determine the root cause of your lower back pain and act to resolve your problem, you don’t have anything to worry about.

But where does one start to find the root cause?

Chiropractors Can Find the Root Cause of Your Pain

Chiropractors are highly trained to find the root cause of what could be causing your lower back pain. Chiropractors undergo over 5,000 hours of schooling to be well versed in diagnosis and treatment recommendations. The first thing a chiropractor will do is perform a thorough consultation to investigate what is occurring. Next, the chiropractor will then perform an examination that includes physical, neurological, and orthopedic testing to further evaluate the root cause of your problem. If necessary, the doctor will perform X-rays of the spine to continue their assessment. The doctor will then evaluate the results and will either construct a customized care plan catered to your specific condition or refer you to a general physician or specialist if additional testing is required.

The Most Common Causes of Lower Back Pain

Two common issues seen in chiropractic offices are vertebral subluxations and degenerative joint disease (DJD), also known as Osteoarthritis. Vertebral subluxations occur when forces enter your spine and misalign your vertebra in which they become stuck. When they become stuck, they lose their proper movement and begin to degenerate leading to degenerative joint disease. DJD is a condition in which the protective cartilage that surrounds the bone and the disc begins to break down. Symptoms of DJD include local or radiating pain, stiffness, lack of flexibility, swelling, and more.

Chiropractic care is great for treating both conditions due to the fact that the chiropractor’s job is to return normal motion to the spine. Chiropractors meticulously analyze the spine to find areas of dysfunction and lack of motion and apply gentle and safe adjustments to the area to return to normal function. When the normal function is restored, the damage process to the cartilage and disc is stopped and healing begins. However, the healing does not stop at the adjustments alone, there is supplemental work that you have to do as an individual to protect your body from future damage.

Other Ways to Relieve Lower Back Pain

In addition to getting your problem assessed and fixed, it is important to do supplemental work at home to prevent further injury. If you are having an acute episode of low back pain, icing the area for 20-minute intervals will help pull swelling and edema from the area to reduce your pain and stop the damage process. Heat should never be used on an acute injury.

Additionally, walking helps keep your spine moving and also pumps swelling and edema out of your spine. Practicing proper posture while driving and sitting is crucial to protecting your spine. Sitting and standing in the upright position and avoiding slouching will help prevent stress on your spine by keeping it in its normal positioning. You can help prevent slouching while sitting by placing a pillow or rolled towel on your lower back to help your spine remain in its normal positioning. Though this work will help prevent further injury, it is important to get your low back pain assessed to ensure that you are resolving the root cause of your pain.

Low back pain, though it is common, it is not normal. It is crucial to find the root cause of your low back pain so that you can live your best life free of pain. Consult your nearest chiropractor to find the key to your new pain-free life!

Give our office a call at 1 (864) 631-1420 to schedule a FREE consultation or visit our website at

Nall, Rachel. “Lower Back Pain: Causes, Treatment, and When to See a Doctor.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 4 June 2019,

“Osteoarthritis.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 22 Feb. 2020,

“Your Back Pain May Be Osteoarthritis: UPMC Pinnacle.” UPMC HealthBeat, 18 Dec. 2020,