Home Remedies for Back Pain and Sciatica Relief

best home exercise for low back pain

After an extensive search on the internet for common recommendations for remedies for addressing back pain,, I found that the information iswas outdated, incomplete,, and simply didn’t follow the current science of how to solve back pain in the comfort of your own living room. 

This blog is written to address those indecencies and serves as a most up-to-date (2024) guide on the dos and dont when your lower back hurts. 

Let’s address the most common misconceptions from the start. 

  1. Aggressive stretching makes it worse! 
    • Stretching might alleviate symptoms for about 10-15 minutes, but it generally returns and often is worse. 
    • Nerves don’t like to be stretched when compressed or stressed. 
  2. Sucking your navel to your spine isn’t optimal core stability.
    • Although abdominal hallowing is popular in Yoga and Pilates and does provide some stability, it’s not the natural way the core muscles create the stability that abdominal bracing does.

What Causes Lower Back Pain?

Most resources on the internet state that back pain is most commonly caused by a strain or sprain of the muscles or ligaments of the lumbar spine. Although this can be true, both my clinical experience and needle studies injecting the lumbar disc show that the lumbar disc is the most common cause of lower back pain in most patients.

Disc herniations can occur from repeated bouts of forward bending of the lower back. In our modern society, most daily activities include sitting, driving, poor posture, and improper form during exercise. Over time, the disc material bulges backward towards spinal nerves, giving you a backache, especially when bending forward. This process causes sciatica (pain down the back of the leg) in most cases. 

Other Common Causes:

  • Fractures
  • Pregnancy
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Muscle spasms (likely from disc)
  • Osteoarthritis and osteoporosis
  • Kidney Stones

To help as many people as possible, we will focus on the most common cause of lumbago (back pain). This is also for educational purposes, and you should always contact your doctor or healthcare provider prior to engaging in self-help rehabilitation programs you find on the internet. 

This is relevant for those of you with these common set of symptoms:

  • Lower back pain when bending forward
  • Pain or stiffness that’s worse first thing in the morning
  • Stiffness or pain caused by simple tasks like putting on your shoes, picking up children, and pain during sitting. 

Most Effective Home Remedies for Back Pain Relief

To naturally and effectively relieve pain, it’s important to eliminate treatments, exercises and stretches that shouldn’t be used when pain is present. 

 Stop These:

  • Stop stretching your back and hamstrings (wait until the pain is gone)
  • Never do crunches; do side planks instead. 

The Best Exercise or Stretch: Start Here

Lay on your stomach with your upper body propped up by your elbows

Take deep breaths deep into your stomach, and on the exhale, feel your lower back relax and sink towards the floor. Do this for 2-3 minutes, and then recheck how your back is feeling. 

Repetitive End Range Loading into Extension (Sloppy Push-up)

Advanced at home exercise to address lower back pain.
  1. Start Position:
    • Lie face down on a mat.
    • Legs straight, feet together.
    • Hands palm-down near shoulders.
  2. Press-Up Movement:
    • Relax your body.
    • Push your upper body with your arms, keeping your hips on the floor.
    • Extend elbows, lifting chest, and gently arching lower back.
    • Keep your neck neutral.
  3. Return to Start:
    • Slowly lower your chest back to the floor.
  4. Repetition:
    • Do 8-10 repetitions, keeping movements smooth and controlled.


  • Breathing: Inhale while lowering, exhale while pressing up.
  • Range of Motion: Only go as high as comfortable.
  • Relaxation: Keep the lower body relaxed.


  • Stop if you feel pain and consult a healthcare professional.
  • Use a comfortable surface.
  • Consult a professional if you have back conditions.

Side Planks

Side Plank Exercise that anyone can do at home for low back pain
  1. Starting Position:
    • Lie on your side with your legs extended and stacked on each other.
    • Place your bottom elbow directly under your shoulder.
  2. Lift Your Body:
    • Engage your core and lift your hips off the ground, creating a straight line from your head to your feet.
    • Keep your top hand on your hip or extend it towards the ceiling for added balance.
  3. Hold the Position:
    • Maintain a straight body line, keeping your core engaged.
    • Hold this position for as long as you can while maintaining proper form.
  4. Switch Sides:
    • Slowly lower your hips back to the ground.
    • Repeat on the other side.


  • Alignment: Keep your body in a straight line.
  • Core Engagement: Focus on engaging your abdominal muscles.
  • Breathing: Breathe steadily throughout the exercise.


  • If you feel any pain, stop immediately.
  • Ensure proper alignment to avoid strain on your shoulders or back.

Best Exercises Conclusion

The best offense is a good defense. In the case of lower back pain, this is also true by eliminating movements and exercises that don’t suit the long-term goal of lower back pain relief. 

Rehab advice: Do the three exercises above, limit forward bending, and stop stretching for two weeks. If able, take daily walks of at least 20 minutes. 

After two weeks, many patients following this simple rehabilitation program will likely experience a natural method to alleviate this extremely common cause of back pain. 

How to Properly Use Heat and Cold Therapy

Using heat and cold therapy can be an effective way to alleviate back pain naturally. Here’s a detailed guide on how to use these therapies correctly.

Cold Therapy

Cold therapy, or cryotherapy, helps reduce inflammation and numb sore tissues, relieving pain. Here’s how to use it effectively:

  1. Ice Packs: Apply an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel to the affected area. Keep it on for 15-20 minutes. Repeat every 2-3 hours for the first 48 hours after the pain starts.
  2. Cold Compress: If ice packs are too intense, apply a cold compress. This method can help reduce swelling and numb the area.
  3. Cold Baths: A cold bath can be particularly soothing. However, it should not be too cold to avoid shock to your system.
  4. Timing: Cold therapy is most effective within the first 48 hours of acute back pain or after activities that trigger pain.

Heat Therapy

Heat therapy helps improve blood flow, relax muscles, and alleviate stiffness. Follow these steps for proper application:

  1. Heating Pads: Apply a heating pad or hot water bottle to the painful area for 20-30 minutes. Wrap the heat source in a towel to prevent burns.
  2. Warm Baths: Taking a warm bath can help relax the entire body. Add Epsom salts for additional muscle relaxation benefits.
  3. Heat Wraps: Use heat wraps or patches for continuous, low-level heat. These can be worn under clothing and provide sustained heat.
  4. Consistency: Apply heat therapy during the day, especially before physical activity or stretching, to ease movement.

Combination Therapy

Alternating between heat and cold therapy can also be beneficial. Start with cold therapy to reduce inflammation and use heat therapy to relax muscles. This method can provide comprehensive relief and improve mobility.


  • Avoid Direct Contact: Never apply ice or heat directly to the skin. Always use a barrier, such as a towel.
  • Monitor Time: Limit each session to 20-30 minutes to avoid skin damage or burns.
  • Consult a Professional: If you have conditions like diabetes or cardiovascular issues, consult a healthcare professional before starting any therapy.

Best Natural Supplements and Herbs for Inflammation

Natural remedies, like herbs and supplements can help ease back discomfort. Below is a rundown of the options and how to make use of them.


Curcumin, found in turmeric boasts inflammatory qualities.

Supplement Form: Opt for turmeric supplements with curcumin levels. Adhere to the dosage directions provided on the packaging typically ranging from 500 1000 mg
Turmeric Tea: Prepare turmeric tea by mixing a teaspoon of powder in boiling water. Enjoy 1 2 cups for relief.


Ginger is renowned for its inflammatory and pain relieving attributes.

Ginger Tea: ginger slices in hot water for 10 15 minutes. Drink this tea 2 3 times per day.
Ginger Supplements: Take ginger capsules in the recommended dosage, between 250 500 mg, up to three times daily.

Devils Claw

Devils Claw is a remedy used to alleviate pain and swelling.

Capsules/Tablets: Consume devils claw supplements as per the suggested dose on the packaging around 600 1200 mg per day.
Tea: Boil devils claw root in water, for 10 minutes. Drink this infusion twice daily.White willow bark, which works like aspirin is effective, in relieving pain.

For supplements it’s important to follow the dosage instructions on the product label around 120 240 mg of salicin per day.

To make a tea with white willow bark steep 1 2 teaspoons of dried bark in boiling water for 10 minutes and drink this up to three times a day.


Commonly called frankincense is known for its inflammatory properties.

When taking Boswellia supplements follow the recommended dosage of 300-500 mg two to three times daily.

For localized relief from inflammation you can use Boswellia creams or oils on the area.


Capsaicin is derived from peppers and applied topically can help alleviate pain.

Using capsaicin cream on the area up to four times a day or applying capsaicin patches as needed can provide relief.

Remember these Precautions
Always consult a healthcare before starting any supplement or herb if you are, on medication or have health conditions.
Adhere strictly to recommended dosages to avoid adverse effects.
Be aware of potential allergic reactions when using these remedies.Please discontinue use away. Consult a healthcare professional if you encounter any negative side effects.

Natural supplements and herbs can be a great addition to your back pain relief regimen, providing an alternative to conventional medications.

Reach out to Dr. Dean (sports doctor) in California by texting (best), calling 323-354-6077, or emailing at drjustindean@gmail.com

Our editorial practices include evidence-based practices, interventions, and recommendations.

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Justin Dean, DC on June 28th, 2024

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