Back Pain Relief Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

Get back pain relief with these simple stretches and exercises you can do lying on your stomach. See Doctor Jo’s blog post about this at: http://www.askdoctorjo.com/content/prevent-back-pain-core-exercises-prone

To start, lie down on the ground in prone or on your stomach. Try not to lift up your head so you don’t strain your neck. Put your arms straight out in front of you on the ground. Slowly lift one arm and bring it back down. Repeat with the other arm. Then lift one leg and bring it back down, alternating sides. If that is easy, then lift one arm and the opposite leg. Alternate back and forth like you are swimming. If that is still easy, then lift both arms and both legs at the same time, like Superman… or woman. Try to hold it for 3 seconds, doing 10 of each of these.

Related Videos:

Swiss Ball Core & Back Strengthening Exercises (Basic):

Back Pain Relief with Extension & Rotation Stretches:


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Doctor Jo is a Doctor of Physical Therapy.


Back Pain Relief Exercises:

DISCLAIMER: This video and any related comments are not medical advice. Doctor Jo is a licensed Physical Therapist and Doctor of Physical Therapy; however, she is not YOUR Physical Therapist and can’t possibly diagnose you through the Internet. So don’t use this information to avoid going to your own healthcare professional or to replace the advice they have given you. This information is only intended to show you the correct technique for physical therapy exercises and should not be used to self-diagnose or self-treat any medical condition. If you are not properly diagnosed, this information won’t help, and it could make things worse. So seriously, check with your healthcare professional before doing these techniques. If you experience any pain or difficulty while doing these exercises, stop immediately and see your healthcare professional.

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20 responses to “Back Pain Relief Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo”

  1. alcott devalte says:

    Tnx, this is indeed helpful

  2. Urmil Chandra says:

    Haha wonder woman girl!!!

  3. Amy Burciaga says:

    +AskDoctorJo How can I lay down flat on my stomach without my breasts hurting? I've already tried placing a pillow under my chest and it's still a bit uncomfortable for me. I have a weak lower back so I really want to use this exercise to strengthen it, but my breasts start hurting whenever I lay face down. Any tips?

  4. Kailyn Bernardino says:

    +AskDoctorJo I know this is kind of a weird question, but is there a way that I can lay down flat on my stomach without my boobs hurting? I really want to do the Superman exercise, but my boobs start hurting every time I do so. Is there any way I can prevent this from happening?

  5. Con Artist says:

    Hello Dr. Jo:   I have been hearing about having overstretched/hyperextended muscles as a child doing ballet and yoga…now I'm 68 and have been pulling my back several times.  I don't do stretching the way I did as a youngster, so my muscles probably are bunched up and no longer flexible.  I was told that if I did the exercise you are showing here called the Wonder Woman, but instead of trying to bring arms and legs up, concentrate on reaching forward and back to stretch the spine without putting strain on it.  What do you think?

  6. Cocoa Renay says:

    Thank you so much Dr. Jo stretching the body really feels fantastic, i practice all your stretches daily, also with sciatica nerve stretch, you so humorous i like that 😊

  7. Nitin Jain says:

    I am from India and I go to gym. I am having back pain when I bench press..so I hv search on net and find ur video… I am doing ur exercise and it helps me relieving back pain!!!…Thnx a lot DoctorJo

  8. MASH! says:

    no offense but, you are so smart and HOT ! Lol thanks for your videos

  9. KINESIOEDU says:

    Hi , what's your take on Mc Gill's concept regarding the excessive loading or compression forces that the Superman exercise creates on the spine? any thoughts?

  10. abhishek katyal says:

    You are awesome Dr Jo

  11. AskDoctorJo says:

    Yes, they are good for a disc herniation. Nothing will cure a herniation except surgery, but it will prevent pain and flare ups if you keep your back and core strong! Good luck!

  12. ganherngyih says:

    Hei Dr.Jo
    All these exercises good for disc herniation? It cure or mainly prevent pain? Thanks Dr.Jo

  13. AskDoctorJo says:

    Thanks! I would do the exercises every day, but no need to do more than about 15 minutes. I would also recommend changing it up some, and not doing the same exercises every day. Try these, then the ones in quadruped, and then the swiss ball if you have one. I would also recommend getting in a pool and getting some traction if you have access to one. I have a video for that as well. Good luck!!

  14. AskDoctorJo says:

    You can just send me a message instead of a comment!! Or you can go to my website and email me if you want!

  15. Haley Lisa says:

    um, not sure how to respond privately…I'm not too savvy with a lot of this internet stuff. If you can let me know, i can tell you where we're from and would definitely appreciate if you know of someone good:) I'm thinking I need manual therapy, but gentle, to get back into right position…no more chiropractors, for sure!

  16. AskDoctorJo says:

    If you want to message me the area where you are from privately, I might know someone in your area or at least help you find a caring healthcare professional. I don't skype or call only because it wouldn't be fair to me or you to try to diagnose you without actually getting to see you and do an evaluation 🙁

  17. AskDoctorJo says:

    Any doctor that says it's all in your head is not a good doctor! No one knows how you feel except you. No test or imaging can say otherwise. Sorry you are having to go through this.

  18. Haley Lisa says:

    oh, after she turned my torso and crunched down, when I bend over, my rib cage doesn't seem even, like the crease on my abdomen in crooked, as well as the line down my abdomen. my right side feels tighter when I side stretch and I have a definite pull in right abdomen (hip area?) when I do reclining bike. MRI of hip and SI joint look fine. Muscle going from right sacrum to top of iliac crest swollen (gluteus?)
    Say, would you charge to Skype,I'm feeling mildly desperate..hee hee…not sooo funny?

  19. Haley Lisa says:

    Thanks, I'm definitely going to do these then..they seem to feel better at this point then the quadruped exercises, Im going to do the swiss ball too. No, he didn't say I had scoliosis, but my whole right side is closer to my spine! I know not everyone is symmetrical. Despite MRI evidence of the bulge and rotated sacrum, this doctor is saying the pain "is in my head." I've gotten bad care because none of docs wants to deal with the chiropractor injury,so it's easier to label the patient.

  20. AskDoctorJo says:

    Did he say if you had a curve in your spine, like scoliosis? That would explain the higher appearance. However, most of the time one side is higher than the other. Usually our dominant side is actually lower, but it doesn't always have to be that way.

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