4 Strategies to Reduce Back Pain FAST

By Michael McKay, LMT

Oh my aching back!”

Even though 80% of adults will experience significant back pain some time in their life, most of us will never need surgery.

In fact 95% of us completely recover within a few months – even days – of onset! [1]

Temporary debilitating back pain can have many causes: improper lifting, sudden twisting, some minor fall or trauma or because of a growing modern problem – sitting too long.

Here are the 4 best strategies to get back to normal FAST:

  • Rest – the right way
  • Walking – the right amount & the right way
  • Low Angle Inversion – such as on a Gravity Pal Low Angle Inversion Table
  • Services of a Massage Therapist or MD – depending on severity


Assume the Best & Take a Rest Break

If this is your first time experiencing significant back pain it can be scary. Take a break and calm yourself. It makes you MORE tense if you lose perspective.

Don’t panic. The stats are clear – you’ll probably be among the 95% that recover quickly. So, assume this is a Short Term problem.


Start Walking

I was attending a conference a few years ago when the guy next to me said his back was “killing him” and would I mind taking a look at it.

I said, “Let’s take a walk and talk about it.”

After about 10 minutes of chatting and walking I asked him, “So, how does your back feel now?”

His eyes lit up and he said, “You know, I don’t have any back pain right now!”

This is an example of the power of walking – the right way!

And HERE is the right way:

  1. We walked slowly and steadily for 10 minutes.
  2. Second, I made sure that the route was easy and level.
  3. Third, before we started I asked him, “Are your shoes comfortable?” – to which he said, “Yes.”

Why does this work? Because we sit so much of the time, and often for long stretches, we may simply need to exercise our muscles that otherwise are feeling underworked, cramped from lousy chairs, poor posture or otherwise “not happy.” Walking allows the muscles to work together and coordinate a better functioning body.

Walking in comfortable shoes for 10+ minutes can be a significant exercise to someone who isn’t used to it. If that is you, then start with 5 minutes and make it a daily habit to go longer.


Low Angle Inversion – such as on a Gravity Pal Low Angle Inversion Table

Short daily 1 to 3 minute sessions on a Gravity Pal Low Angle Inversion table have been reported to quickly release back tension and pain as well as having a CUMULATIVE effect of back muscles and tissues becoming more flexible and pliable – which means less apt to cramp or knot up in the future.

Net result: quick release of back pain in the short term – and – fewer back pain events in the long term.

What about HIGH ANGLE inversion? Wouldn’t that be better?

The Mayo Clinic warns that High Angle inversion should be avoided.[2] It’s simply too much of an otherwise good thing. Low angle inversion on a Gravity Pal is a great strategy that doesn’t stress the system and can quickly release tense tissues throughout the body.

I look for things that will allow me to obtain RELIEF in the shortest possible time frame. That was a big reason I developed the Gravity Pal LOW Angle Inversion Table as part of my own self care program. Gravity Pal allows the tissues to immediately release and the fluids of the body to thoroughly circulate – while I simply relax.

Here is my Ideal Relief Strategy checklist:

1. Takes very little time – only 1 to 3 minutes.

2. Conveniently fits into my schedule.

3. Immediately and positively impacts my body. I feel effects immediately afterward.

4. Helps me prepare for exercise and also quickly helps me recover from exercise.

A valuable self-care strategy for dealing with back pain requires both: effective exercise and effective rest and recovery – so we can get on with life and living.



Services Of A Massage Therapist Or MD – Depending On Severity

If you have severe back pain and have no previous experience with sudden back pain – don’t mess around.

Call your doctor and discuss it with them. They will, most likely, suggest that you rest, stretch and perhaps see a massage therapist. Importantly, they will help you create a long term plan to have a healthy back – free from pain.

Those of us who have regularly received massage know that the services of a competent Massage Therapist may be just the trick to get you functional again – and quickly.

The key is to know that in all likelihood this Back Pain event will be TEMPORARY.

This is very good news. No one needs to suffer unnecessarily.

There are common sense strategies that everyone can employ: rest, walking exercise, low angle inversion and making a future plan that reduces problems both now and for your future.


Learn about which Gravity Pal is right for you at www.GravityPal.com

  1. National Institute of Health (NIH), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4339077/

  2. https://www.gravitypal.com/problems-with-high-angle-inversion-tables/