Back Pain

Back Pain Help Is Here: What Positions Relieve Back Pain?

Back pain comes in many forms and varying intensities. We all suffer from back pain at some time in our lives from many causes including poor posture, injury, stress, infection, or genetic disorders such as scoliosis.

If or when you suffer from back pain, there are some things you can do yourself to help alleviate the pain before you reach for medications or a visit to your doctor. “There has been a shift away from medical intervention for back pain and an increased emphasis on treatments that don’t focus on medication,” says Dr. Steven J. Atlas, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “There is also an increased appreciation that even medicines such as acetaminophen have risks, particularly in older adults.” (1)

Acute v. Chronic Back Pain

According to the Cleveland Clinic, acute pain usually comes on suddenly and is caused by something specific. It is sharp in quality and goes away when the underlying cause is gone. It doesn’t usually last longer than six months. (2)

Chronic pain is ongoing and usually lasts longer than six months. This type of pain can continue even after the injury or illness that caused it has healed or gone away. Pain signals can remain active in the nervous system for weeks, months, or years after the cause has healed. (2)

One approach to easing acute back pain is to change positions for the daily activities that you do that may be aggravating your back. Relief should take between 10-20 days. If it worsens, see your doctor. Chronic back pain can also be relieved with a change in the following positions.

Positions That May Relieve Back Pain

Lower Back Pain And Sitting

We are a much more sedentary society than were our ancestors. Office jobs, computer work, business meetings, watching TV all have us sitting for sometimes long periods of time. For office and computer work, make sure your posture is correct and your chair is ergonomic and supportive which means sitting up straight, keeping your hips and knees at right angles, and your feet flat on the floor or on a footrest. Be aware of how you sit during other situations. And be sure to get up and walk around or stretch every 20-30 minutes.

Standing Correctly Supports The Spine

Some people prefer standing to work rather than sitting. There are adjustable desks that you can use in either a sitting or standing position. It is a good practice to alternate between the two. While standing, try to rest one foot on a stool or box then switch feet every 10-15 minutes. If working at a kitchen counter, practice this same technique.

Say Goodnight To Back Pain Symptoms While Sleeping

Your back is more relaxed when sleeping on your side. A pillow between your legs also helps as long as you keep your knees only slightly bent. This helps neutralize your position and relieve stress on your back, especially your lower back. When standing from a lying down position, bend your knees, swing them to touch the floor, push yourself up with your hands, and don’t bend from the waist. A good firm mattress is also recommended. Studies have shown that a poor night’s sleep can increase back pain while making you anxious and stressed which then can cause more pain. (3)

Natural Pain Relievers: Squatting or Kneeling

To keep your back pain at a minimum it is important to keep your back straight. Face the object, keep your feet apart, tighten your stomach muscles, and lower yourself using your legs. If you will be in this position for a while, it is better to kneel.

Healthcare providers specializing in back care will tell you that resting your back for too long can increase your back pain. Moving is better for back pain and is one of the most effective ways to relieve back pain quickly. Try walking daily. If you are still experiencing some pain, try swimming which supports your body weight while moving.

Spinal Alignment

In addition to moving, practicing a regular exercise routine can make your back stronger and help to reduce future episodes of pain. Exercises should focus on increasing strength while improving range of motion and flexibility. Yoga is a great practice for this. If you prefer to exercise at home, watch this video on five exercises to strengthen your back.


  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/dont-take-back-pain-sitting-down  
  2. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/12051-acute-vs-chronic-pain
  3. https://centrallondonchiropractor.co.uk/london-chiropractor/could-your-sleep-time-be-putting-your-back-at-risk
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUaDDg1UxBs 

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