Back Pain

Hi, I'm Doctor Jo, a Physical Therapist and Doctor of Physical Therapy. I hope you enjoy my video demos of stretches & exercises for common injuries and syndromes. Be safe. Have fun. And I hope you feel better soon.

Scoliosis Exercises (Postural)

Scoliosis is basically an abnormal curve of the spine. It can come from several things. You can be born with it, it can come from an injury, or it can even come from bad posture. Letitia from the YouTube channel lookunderhere stopped by to get some stretches and exercises for her postural scoliosis.

Letitia has back pain, shoulder pain, and some neck tightness and pain. These stretches and exercises should help.

A great way to loosen up the lower back is a trunk rotation stretch. It can also help with back spasms in the low back.

The next stretch is a side stretch using a foam roll or towel. This helps if you have one side of your back that’s tighter than the other, which is very common in scoliosis. This back stretch does a great job of focusing on a specific side.

A prayer stretch or child’s pose is a great way to stretch your shoulders and upper back. It also helps stretch your lats if you stretch at a slight angle. These are often tight with postural scoliosis issues.

Chin tucks are one of my favorite ways to help correct bad posture. They are very easy, and very effective in correcting forward neck posture, and pain when sitting or standing for long periods while concentrating on things.

The next stretch is for the upper back or the thoracic area. When rotating the upper body, it really loosens up those upper back muscles that get very tight from leaning forward while working on projects.

The upper trapezius stretch is a great stretch for people who hold a lot of tension in their neck area. If you have neck pain, shoulder pain, or upper back pain, this is a great stretch.

Shoulder squeezes or scapular squeezes are a very effective strengthening exercise that helps strengthen your upper back muscles, and stretch your chest area at the same time.

While standing up, you can do an easy chest stretch where you don’t need any equipment. This is very easy to do if you are working for long periods, and need to reset your posture muscles.

The last stretch is a whole body stretch. I call it the ballerina stretch because that’s what it looks like! This stretches almost every part of the body. It stretches your shoulders, lats, hips, IT band, and everything in between. If you have enough balance for it, it is definitely worth doing.

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Sponsored Content: This video represents the honest opinions of Doctor Jo. Thank you to FlexiSpot for sponsoring this video and providing Doctor Jo with free Standing Desks to use/review. If you purchase the product from these links/ads, Doctor Jo will receive a commission.

Back pain at your desk can be the result of bad posture while working on the computer all day long. Even though it might feel weird and uncomfortable at first, there are some easy changes you can make to get you in the correct posture.

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When you are sitting, make sure your lower back has a slight arch. If you are slouching, it will cause increased pain in the back. You can sit upright or use a cushion/lumbar support. Many times people also say they feel like their feet or legs are going numb. This is often the result of your chair being too high or too low. You want your knees and hips to be at a 90-degree angle. If the chair is too high, you can place a box underneath your feet. You also want your arms to be in a relaxed neutral position. You can put your keyboard or laptop on books as well until it is in a comfortable position where your shoulders are not hunched up or stretched too far out.

Another great way to help prevent back pain is to have a sit to stand desk. This allows you to sit for awhile, and then stand up and even do exercises while you work. You should stop every 30 minutes to do some simple stretches and exercises to keep your body moving through out the day.

To start out, you can stretch your forearms to help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. If you are typing a lot through out the day, these will hopefully feel really good. Start off with your arm straight out in front of you. Bring your wrists downward or into flexion. If you need more of a stretch, push down with the other hand. Hold for about five seconds and alternate sides. Now bring your wrists upward to stretch the opposite side.

Next you will march in place. You don’t have to go high with the march, but you want to keep the blood flowing in your legs. You can start with 10-15 seconds and work your way up to a minute.

Then you will do some heel/toe raises to help prevent DVTs (Deep vein thrombosis). For the heel/toe raises, make sure to go as high up on your toes as you can to work the calf muscles. Then roll back onto the heels and pull your toes up to work the anterior tibialis muscle. Try not to stick your bottom back, just pull your toes up.

Finally you will stretch your hip flexors and calf muscles. These can get tight when you are sitting for a long time. This stretch is called a runner's stretch. You want to lean against your desk or something sturdy. Place the foot you want to stretch behind you. Make sure to keep your heel down and your toes forward pointing towards the wall. With the other foot in front of you, like you are in a lunge position, bend your knee towards the wall until you feel a stretch through your back leg. Try to keep your back leg as straight as possible, and try to keep your upper body straight for the hip flexor stretch. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and do it three times.

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Purchase Back Pain Stretches Exercises WorksheetThese back pain stretches and exercises are for general back pain like soreness from overworking your back or if you've pulled a muscle. If you know your specific back pain diagnosis, can check out the back pain section of my website for more specific exercises and stretches.

The first stretch is called the pelvic tilt. You will roll back onto your back with your knees bent. You want to imagine pushing your belly button into the ground, or push your back flat onto the ground like you are squishing something. You can put your hand under the curve of your back, and try to push your back into your hand. Make sure you are breathing and not holding your breath while doing these exercises.

Next you will do a bridge. Push your bottom up off the ground, but try to do this slowly, and do one segment of your back at a time curling upward. Then slowly go down the same way, one segment at a time.

Now you will do a single knee to chest stretch, bend one knee and bring your leg up to your chest as far as you comfortably can. Hold this for 30 seconds and do it three times on each side. Next, bring both knees to your chest, and hold it for 30 seconds doing it three times. This is called a double knee to chest stretch.

Then try some gentle trunk rotation stretches on your back with your knees bent in hooklying. Gently rotate your bent legs from side to side. You can hold them on each side for 3-5 seconds or you can continuously rotate them back and forth. Again, try to keep your lower back on the ground. You can start off with 10 and work your way up to 20-25.

The next stretch is the prayer stretch. Bring your butt back onto your heels, and keep your arms straight out. Relax your head down to the ground. Hold it for 30 seconds, and do it three times.

Finally, you will do a combination move where you start in a plank position, and go into an upward dog yoga position. Hold that for 3-5 seconds, and then make a smooth transition into a downward dog position. You can go through this motion 3-5 times.

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Buy Back Crack WorksheetCracking your back (or self manipulation, as we call it) can feel great, and it can help relieve back tension and back pain when it's done correctly. So before you attempt to adjust your back with a good back crack, it's very important to have a proper diagnosis on what's causing your back pain and the proper ways to crack your back for your type of back pain. And if you have certain diagnoses, you should not crack your back at all, so make sure you have cleared it with your doctor or physical therapist. It is best to have them do it first to make sure you know what it's suppose to feel like.

The first way to crack your back is using a medium to low height chair. If the chair is not padded, you might want to use a towel for extra padding. Put your hands behind your head, and lean back over the backrest of the chair where you want to pop your back. Taking a deep breath in and letting the air out as you lean back.

The next way to crack your back is by using your hands behind you. I like to call this the reverse Heimlich Maneuver. Clasp your hands behind you in the area you want to crack. The motion will be upward at an angle. Use a quick thrust when you do this, and taking a deep breath in and pushing when all the air is blown out helps.

Now here are some ways to do it with a foam roller. Make sure to prop your knees up when doing these. Put the roller horizontally on the ground where you want to crack your back when you lie on it. Put your hands behind your head again to protect your neck. Use a quick push when you lean back, and taking a deep breath in and pushing when all the air is blown out helps. You can also put the roller at an angle to get the rotational adjustment. Make sure you talk with your doctor or physical therapist to find out which way will work best for you.

Finally, lie down on your back. Try to keep your upper back flat on the ground through out this manipulation. Put one leg straight out, and then bend the other one up and over the leg that is straight out. Some people like to hook the foot onto the back of the knee to help support the leg. Put the opposite arm straight out to the side to help keep your upper back on the ground. Then take the hand of the same side, and place it on your buttocks area. You will push downward and pull over at the same time. Use a quick push when you do this, and taking a deep breath in and pushing when all the air is blown out helps.

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