How to relieve back pain quickly? (36 tips)

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Article reviewed and approved by Dr. Ibtissama Boukas, physician specializing in family medicine 

How to relieve back pain quickly? This is a question that I regularly receive from my patients.

If you are also wondering, I have good news for you! In this article, we cover 36 (yes, 36!) therapeutic approaches currently available to relieve back pain.

As much to warn you, I do not share any “miracle” solution allowing to eliminate your pains instantly. Moreover, some of these approaches relieve the symptoms without necessarily treating the real cause of your back pain.

Not ideal, you might say. But temporary relief is often appreciated, especially when the pain is so intolerable that it affects our quality of life (for example, after a lumbago).

Note: Before embarking on any treatment approach, I strongly advise you to consult a physician. Above all, you must ensure that your condition does not require urgent medical intervention. If you have one of the following symptoms, see a doctor right away.


1. Take medicine


This advice, you already know it. Between anti-inflammatories, painkillers, muscle relaxants or relaxants, anti-epileptics, there are many drugs that can relieve your symptoms fairly quickly.

medicines to relieve back pain quickly

However, beware of side effects and the risk of addiction. Be sure to consult a doctor to choose the right medications, and adjust the doses according to your condition.

To learn more about taking medication for your back, see the following article.


2. Consume vitamin D


Did you know that the lack of vitamin D was linked to lower back pain according to some scientific studies? This is particularly the case among menopausal women.

A blood test will determine if your vitamin D level is below normal. If so, a doctor might prescribe vitamin D supplements.

vitamin d to relieve back pain quickly

There are also natural strategies to increase your vitamin D levels. (15 minutes of daily tanning in the sun, seafood, mushrooms, etc).

To learn all about vitamin D deficiency, see the following article. 


3. Apply ice and/or heat


Heat or ice after back pain? Know that there is not really a 100% correct answer.

ice and heat to relieve back pain quickly

It is generally suggested to put ice on when the pain is more intense (such as after a lumbago or an lumbar sprain), and warmth when we feel our muscles tense and contracted.

To learn all about the use of ice and heat in the light of the latest scientific research (including practical applications), see the following article.


4. Apply a lumbar belt (SPAY!)


La lumbar belt can be useful to give you a feeling of lumbar support, and thus relieve your back.

However, it also comes with its own set of drawbacks. It limits the movements of the Lumbar spine, reduces the movement of the abdomen useful for breathing, and makes the trunk muscles "dependent" and somewhat lazy.

lumbar belt to relieve back pain quickly

For this reason, use the belt only when the pain is more intense, or when you have to perform a very physically demanding task. And above all, try to wean off its use gradually so as not to create a feeling of long-term dependence.  

To know my opinion as a health professional (physiotherapist) on the lumbar belts, see the following article.


5. Avoid Prolonged Rest


If you think bed rest will end your back pain, you're wrong.

Prolonged rest and back pain
Prolonged rest is not the solution to relieve back pain quickly.

Prolonged rest is harmful in the long term according to several scientific studies. This comes from the fact that physical inactivity has disastrous consequences on the back, and health in general.

To find out how rest might aggravate your back pain instead of relieving it, see the following article.

prolonged rest vs relieving back pain quickly


6. Do not resume too quickly


Well, I said before that you should avoid prolonged rest to optimize the healing of your back.

But this does not mean that you should act as if nothing had happened, and continue your activities even if your pain worsens. (Athletes and seasoned athletes will recognize each other!).

early recovery and back pain
An early recovery could make your back pain worse!

You may have to wait before resuming your Sunday run. Or miss the next game of tennis. Or even wait a bit before starting your big spring cleaning.

In short, you have to adjust your activities according to your symptoms and your condition. Move, yes, but in the right way!


7. Exercise (THE RIGHT WAY!)


Exercise and physical activity have been shown to be one of the best solutions for back pain.

On the other hand, the same exercise can improve the condition or even aggravate your pain. It all depends on its execution, intensity, frequency, etc.

Un health professional (like a physio or a physio) will know how to adjust these parameters in order to get the best benefits.

Exercise supervised for back pain by a physiotherapist

To understand how to exercise with back pain, see the following article.

Note: For a safe, step-by-step program that takes your symptoms into consideration, try this 21 day program against back pain (exercises, stretching, advice).

tips to relieve back pain quickly


8. Encourage cardiovascular activity


Cardiovascular activity has several effects on blood circulation, oxygenation of your tissues, brain, mood, the health of your back, and overall health.

cycling to relieve back pain quickly

Activities as simple as swimming, cycling, walking can help a lot (again, if done in a safe and progressive setting!).

To find out about the sports and activities that can help relieve your back pain, see the following article.

sports to do after back pain


9. Promote a comfortable sleeping position


Many people complain of low back pain at night (or in the morning when they wake up).

sleep and back pain

By adopting a better sleeping position, we can thus optimize our night and thus reduce back pain.

Should it be placed on the side, the back or the belly? Consult next article to benefit from practical advice allowing you to position yourself properly to reduce the stress on your vertebrae lumbar.


10. Improve the quality of your sleep


Poor quality sleep will make your back pain worse. And lower back pain will disturb your sleep. We therefore fall into a vicious circle from which it is difficult to escape.

The solution? Incorporate good sleep habits. This begins before you even go to bed, by setting up an environment conducive to relaxation.

tips to sleep better at night
Good sleep habits indirectly help relieve back pain.

No caffeine or excessive lights before sleep. Control room brightness and temperature. Invest in a quality mattress.

Advice to insomniacs: For 9 tips to help you sleep better at night, see the following article.

11. Manage your stress


No, back pain is not "in the head" in the sense that you imagine it. But no one can deny the link between stress and back pain. It's even scientifically demonstrated.

Stress will increase muscle tension, release "negative" hormones, and increase the sensitivity of your nervous system.

stress and back pain

By managing your stress (family, work, etc.), you put all the chances of healing on your side.

Easy to say, I know. But we can always try!


12. Breathe


What if I told you that people who suffer from low back pain breathe DIFFERENTLY from those who have no pain according to some studies?

Likewise, it is scientifically proven that breathing exercises could help relieve your back pain.

breathing exercises to relieve back pain quickly

abdominal breathing, cardiac coherence, square breathing, all these techniques will allow you to indirectly relieve your lower back pain.

To know everything about the link between breathing and back pain, see the following article.


13. Meditate


No, meditation will not make you an esoteric being. No one is asking you to become a yoga guru.

mindfulness and mindfulness to relieve back pain quickly

Meditation is also gaining popularity for its benefits on overall health and stress. Moreover, there are several scientific evidence showing improvement in back pain following a meditation program.

To learn more about meditation mindfulness, or “Mindfulness” in English (including practical applications to do at home), see the following article.


14. Lose a few pounds


Although the studies do not seem unanimous on the subject, it could be that obesity is related to back pain.

To determine if your excess weight has a link with your back pain (only if you feel concerned), why not start by losing 3 kilos and assess the impact on your symptoms?

weight control to relieve back pain quickly

Here is an article allowing you to know the link between the overweight, obesity and back pain.


15. Adopt an anti-inflammatory diet


Although there is not much scientific evidence on this subject, it is easy to conceive that a anti-inflammatory diet can reduce the overall level of inflammation in the body, and indirectly relieve back pain.

Some foods increase the level of overall inflammation, while others decrease it. The idea is therefore to maximize these healthy foods that have a positive role on inflammation, while trying to limit the intake of harmful foods.

anti-inflammatory diet to relieve back pain fast

To know everything about the anti-inflammatory diet (and the foods to promote), see the following article.

16. Apply a tennis ball


Some people cannot afford to consult a therapist who can reduce their muscle tension.

With this in mind, a tennis ball can be an ally of choice. The idea is to apply a specific and sustained pressure on the sensitive points to cause a relaxation at this level. The points of tension causing low back pain are generally found around the lumbar region and the hips.

tennis ball to relieve back pain quickly
Your new friend to reduce your muscle tension!

Basically, just position the ball on the painful spot and apply continuous pressure using the wall or floor (for about 1 minute). The sensation should be strong but tolerable. If you wince in pain, you should definitely reduce the pressure.

Note: This technique is taken from the guide "15 self-treatment techniques to relieve your back".


17. Apply lumbar traction


Certain lumbar conditions respond favorably to lumbar traction.

This consists of applying a force aimed at stretching the spine in a longitudinal axis.

By stretching the lumbar spine, we can therefore remove the pressure on the discs (as in the herniated disc), nerve roots (as in the sciatica or cruralgia), and on the joints.

Note however that this technique is not effective in the long term according to scientific studies. Rather, it is intended to relieve you temporarily.

lumbar pull-ups to relieve back pain quickly

The concept is simple: When you are lying on your back with your legs stretched out, someone has to grab you by the ankles and slowly pull towards your feet. This will create a force allowing the traction of your lumbar vertebrae via your lower limbs.

It is very important that the caregiver goes there very slowly and very gradually. You can tell him to stop pulling when you feel a comfortable stretch.

Generally, it takes about 30 seconds, and repeat as many times as necessary.

Note: This technique is taken from the guide "15 self-treatment techniques to relieve your back".


18. Use a TENS


TENS is a machine that uses a low voltage electrical current through electrodes to relieve pain.

tens to relieve back pain quickly


The proposed mechanism is pain reduction via inhibition of the pain message (gate theory) and the production of endorphins.


These relatively affordable machines won't necessarily correct the cause of your low back pain, but can be used as an alternative to medication to reduce pain.

For example, some patients prefer to relieve their symptoms with a TENS instead of taking an anti-inflammatory.

To learn more about TENS, see the following article.


19. Go see a physio


It is often said that physical activity is one of the best solutions for curing back pain. The problem is, many people don't know where to start when it comes to exercise.

The physiotherapist is your ally of choice to determine the right exercises according to your condition, as well as the right dosage.

physiotherapist assessment
A physiotherapist will assess your condition and prescribe exercises adapted to your back pain.

He will also know how to use manual techniques and other analgesic modalities to help you relieve your symptoms.

To find a physiotherapist in France

To find a physiotherapist in Quebec 


20. Go see an osteo


An osteo is often consulted to relieve back pain. By using manual and visceral techniques, he will know how to reduce your pain, reduce your tensions and improve your movements.

osteo to relieve back pain quickly

To know the role of the osteopath in the management of back pain, consult next article.

To find an osteo in France

To find an osteo in Quebec


21. Go see a chiropractor


Many think that chiropractors will put their displaced vertebrae "at a good place". It's wrong. The vertebrae cannot be misaligned in the sense that you imagine it.

Certainly, the chiropractor often uses joint manipulations to relieve their patients. But the "crack" often heard following manipulation comes rather from a change in pressure inducing audible cavitation.

spinal manipulation to relieve back pain fast

If cracking your back makes you feel good, a chiropractor could definitely help. But if he tells you that your vertebrae are out of place and that you absolutely have to “put them back in place” to reduce the pain, beware!

To find a chiropractor in France

To find a chiropractor in Quebec 


22. Go see an acupuncturist


Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine used for millennia that uses dry needles.

Although not supported by much quality scientific evidence, many patients see relief from their symptoms following one session.

acupuncture to relieve back pain fast

It can be used by those who are not afraid of needles, and who are looking for natural methods to relieve their back pain.

To learn more about acupuncture as a form of alternative medicine, see the following article

To find an acupuncturist in France

To find an acupuncturist in Quebec


23. Go get a massage


A good massage will reduce muscle tension contributing to back pain.

massage to relieve back pain quickly

Obviously, this approach (like all passive approaches) should be complemented by a active approach including strengthening exercises, cardiovascular activity, etc.

To find a well-being masseur in France

To find a massage therapist in Quebec


24. Apply cupping


Mediafixer suction cups ( cupping) are very fashionable nowadays, and many athletes and celebrities use them for their physical problems.

michael phelps suckers
Michael Phelps, Olympic swimmer

From a scientific point of view, the studies examining their effectiveness are few in number and of poor quality.

On the other hand, this technique is unique in the sense that the suction cups create a negative pressure via the suction effect, allowing a relaxation and a different stimulation of the nervous system. No form of massage can reproduce the same effect.

cupping cups to relieve back pain quickly

If ever conventional massage no longer provides a therapeutic effect, then you could consider cupping.

However, be sure to consult a qualified therapist to avoid risks and adverse effects (sores, infection, dizziness, etc.). This technique could also be contraindicated if you ever have skin problems.

To learn more about cupping, see the following article.


25. Go see a shrink


We have already talked about the deleterious effect of stress on back pain, and the importance of managing stress to indirectly relieve its symptoms.

If you observe a link between your pain and your state of mind, why not consult a psychiatrist?

shrink to relieve back pain

A healthy mind in a healthy body, it is often said. The shrink will be able to help you and equip you to find this much desired balance!

To know everything about the role of the shrink in the presence of back pain, see the following article.

To find a psychologist in France

To find a psychologist in Quebec


26. Try hypnosis


I see you raise an eyebrow. Hypnosis to relieve my back pain?

hypnosis relieve back pain fast

Again, let's turn to science. Several scientific studies have demonstrated a favorable effect of hypnosis on lower back pain, and chronic pain in general.

How it works? Hypnosis will attempt to alter an individual's perception of their back pain and thus modulate that perception to make the symptoms more bearable. It will therefore act on the emotional dimension of pain.

A therapist specializing in quickly could guide you through conversational hypnosis. There are also self-hypnosis techniques that can be used.

hypnotherapist to relieve back pain quickly

To know 15 interesting facts about hypnosis, see the following article.

To find a hypnotherapist in France


27. Laugh!


Yes yes, you read that right!

Laughing releases hormones that have a beneficial effect on pain (by temporarily increasing the pain tolerance threshold). It's even scientifically demonstrated.

Laughing is also associated with good humor, pleasant evenings, comedy short, pleasure. And when you have back pain, you particularly need it!

laugh relieve back pain fast

Let yourself go, and have a good laugh! 


28. Adapt your workstation


If your back pain seems to be getting worse after a day at work, your work environment may be to blame.

In addition to the seat, which can be adjusted for more comfort, it is even more important to vary the positions adopted during the day in order to avoid back pain.

ergo workstation relieve back pain quickly

Un Occupational therapist is a professional who will be able to assess your work environment and offer you advice aimed at improving the health of your back at work!

To find an occupational therapist in France

To find an occupational therapist in Quebec


29. Stay active during work hours


You may be surprised to learn that the perfect posture does not exist! For this reason, it is better to vary the position of your spine instead of seeking an ideal posture (even if your back is as straight as a post!).

back pain from lack of exercise

Admittedly, it is sometimes impossible to get up from your chair regularly when you are at work. So why not include exercises to do while seated?

The following article offers exercises for straighten your back which will take you less than a minute of your time, and which can be done from your work chair.


30. Try changing your shoes


Some people suffer from back pain after a long walk. Although there are several possible causes, a bad pair of shoes could contribute to the pain syndrome.

shoes and back pain
An unsuitable shoe could contribute to your back pain!

If walking increases your symptoms, try another pair of shoes. For example, arch support or a light heel may relieve your symptoms.

In short, the idea is to use a different pair from the previous one to see if it will have a positive influence on your back pain.


31. Quit (or limit) smoking


Note to smoker. In addition to the 1001 other harmful effects of cigarettes (that you already know!), I would like to tell you that your back pain could be related to tobacco.

smoking increases back pain

What is certain is that cigarettes do not create an environment conducive to the optimal healing of your back.

To know 3 disastrous consequences of tobacco on back pain, see the following article.

Here's hoping these arguments will add weight to the ones you already know about finally quitting smoking!

32. Set goals


You probably know that relieving your back is not necessarily an easy task. You have to be patient, progressive, proactive, and determined.

And that requires a lot of motivation, questioning, and structure!

goals to relieve back pain quickly

Who says structure says objectives. More specifically, it will be necessary to set goals to visualize the light at the end of the tunnel, and to celebrate our successes (however small!). This step is essential, and should not be taken lightly.

Using the acronym SMART enables the achievement of specific, measurable, acceptable, realistic, and time-bound goals for back healing.

set goals to relieve back pain quickly

If you want to set goals to finally put an end to your low back pain, see the following article.


33. Keep a journal


What's a diary got to do with back pain?

pain diary

For you, it will allow you to better understand your pain, and the trend of your symptoms.

For your healthcare professional, this will allow him to better understand the progression of your condition over time.

Either way, a journal might serve as motivation, and improve communication with your therapist or doctor.

If you want to benefit from a framework allowing you to keep a diary for your back pain (in addition to 5 benefits of keeping a daily diary), see the following article.

back pain diary


34. Avoid social isolation


When we have back pain, our first instinct is to isolate ourselves. The morale is not there, and the idea of ​​participating in a social activity is not at all appealing.

The problem is that social isolation can lead to depression in the long run. Without necessarily acting as if nothing had happened, it would be appropriate to adapt your social activities instead of giving them up completely.

social isolation and back pain

Choose a restaurant where the seats are comfortable. Ask your friends to bring dinner next time. Host a movie night in your own living room to get you up regularly.

To benefit from 5 tips to avoid social isolation despite your back pain, see the following article.


35. Educate yourself


An educated patient greatly increases their chances of recovering from the back.

education and back pain

Some doctors will immediately offer you powerful drugs, a infiltration and / or surgery.

Minimal research tells us that these remedies shouldn't be the norm, and that there are far less invasive strategies for back pain relief.

Looking to educate yourself about your back pain? So much the better, it is precisely our mission to Lumbafit.


36. Stay positive (and surround yourself with positive people!)


The prognosis for back pain is generally favorable. That's a fact.

positive attitude to relieve back pain quickly

And even if your situation doesn't seem to be progressing, know that there is always something to be done to help you get better.

I know it's not always easy, but staying positive will help you fight your back pain better.

Surround yourself with people who can lift you up. Doctors, therapists, relatives, online educational resources, Forums are available to help you.

And above all, know that you are not alone.

multidisciplinary team in the treatment of back pain
Health professionals are there to help you fight your back pain!


In this article, we've covered 36 tips to relieve back pain quickly.

Normally, these approaches should be integrated into a comprehensive approach that takes into consideration your medical history, your diagnostic your preferences, etc. Of course, consult a health professional remains the best approach in case of low back pain.

medical consultation to relieve back pain quickly
Do not hesitate to consult if you ever suffer from back pain!

On the other hand, I dare to hope that you realize how vast the treatment of back pain is (I offer you 36 tips here, but there are dozens more!)

If a particular approach or therapist hasn't brought you relief, that's not the end of the story!

Keep fighting, adopt a positive and proactive attitude, surround yourself with the right people, and be patient.

Healing from the back is not always an easy task. But it is possible. And you can do it.

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