Physiotherapy for Back Pain – Insights & Tips Admin February 23, 2024

Physiotherapy for Back Pain – Insights & Tips

Whether you’re a Dubai resident battling traffic, a desk worker struggling with prolonged sitting, or simply dealing with the aches of everyday life, back pain is a frustratingly common experience. It can make everyday tasks difficult, disrupt your sleep, and even take a toll on your mental well-being.

The good news is, there’s hope. Exercise is a powerful tool for managing back pain and building a stronger, healthier back. If you’re in Dubai, the American Wellness Center in Dubai Healthcare City offers expert guidance and resources to help you find relief. Let’s dive into how you can start using exercise to your advantage.

Understanding the Causes of Back Pain

Before jumping into exercises, it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of what might be causing your back pain:

  • Muscle strain or overuse: This is a very common culprit, especially if you have poor posture, lift heavy objects incorrectly, or overexert yourself during activities.
  • Disc issues: Discs act as cushions between the vertebrae in your spine. Degenerative changes, bulging discs, or herniated discs can put pressure on nerves, causing pain.
  • Injuries: Sudden trauma from falls, sports injuries, or car accidents can lead to back pain.
  • Arthritis: Osteoarthritis, in particular, can affect the spine and result in discomfort or stiffness.

If your pain is severe, persistent, accompanied by weakness or numbness in your legs, or you experience loss of bladder or bowel control, seek medical attention immediately. These could be signs of a more serious underlying condition.

Types of Back Pain Exercises

Let’s break down the different ways exercise can help alleviate back pain:


Exercises that target your core, back, and leg muscles provide essential support and stability for your spine, reducing strain and improving posture. Here are a few examples:

  • Bird Dog: Start on your hands and knees. Extend your right arm and left leg simultaneously, keeping your back flat. Hold for a few seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat with your left arm and right leg.
  • Modified Plank: Begin on your forearms and knees. Keeping your back straight, lift your knees off the floor, forming a straight line from head to heels. Hold for as long as you comfortably can, aiming to increase duration with practice.
  • Glute Bridges: Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Engage your core and glutes to slowly lift your hips, forming a bridge. Hold briefly, then lower back down.


Gentle stretching improves flexibility and range of motion in your back, hips, and hamstrings, reducing tension and stiffness. Try these:

  • Knee-to-Chest Stretch: Lie on your back and gently pull one knee towards your chest, holding for a comfortable stretch. Repeat with the other leg.
  • Cat-Cow Pose: Start on your hands and knees. As you inhale, arch your back like a cat. As you exhale, round your spine towards the ceiling. Repeat several times.
  • Hamstring Stretch: Sit with legs extended. Reach towards your toes, going as far as you comfortably can while keeping your back straight.

Low-impact Aerobics

Activities like walking, swimming, or water aerobics increase blood flow to your back muscles, promoting healing and reducing inflammation. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise most days of the week.

“Lately, there’s been a noticeable increase in patients experiencing back pain, particularly related to conditions such as cervical and lower back issues”, says Dr. Beena Walawalkar, Consultant Physiotherapist (Head of Department). This condition commonly arises from prolonged periods of sitting at a computer, which can lead to weakened muscles. To combat this, simple exercises can be highly beneficial. For instance, while seated, you can perform shoulder blade squeezes—simply squeeze your shoulder blades together, hold for a few seconds, and then release. Additionally, neck exercises can help alleviate tension in the neck muscles. A gentle exercise involves tucking your chin to your chest and then slowly lifting your head back up. It’s also crucial to stay hydrated, as drinking water can significantly aid in relieving pain. If the pain persists or radiates to the lower back, making it difficult to walk, it’s advisable to seek professional help. At American Wellness Center in Dubai Healthcare City, we offer non-surgical spinal decompression therapy, which can provide relief without any side effects. For further assistance, please visit our Physiotherapy services.

Important Considerations

  • Proper Form: Correct technique is essential for maximizing the benefits of these exercises and preventing injuries. If you’re unsure, consult with a physiotherapist at the American Wellness Center, who can personalize an exercise plan and teach you proper form.
  • Listen to Your Body: Start with a few repetitions of each exercise and gradually increase as you get stronger. If you experience sharp pain, stop, and rest.
  • Consistency: Regular exercise is key. Aim to incorporate back-strengthening exercises 2-3 times per week and stretching most days of the week.

When to Seek Professional Help

While these exercises can be extremely beneficial, some situations warrant professional guidance. Consider seeking help from a doctor or physiotherapist at the American Wellness Center if:

  • Your pain is severe or doesn’t improve with rest and self-care.
  • You experience radiating pain, numbness, or tingling in your legs.
  • Your back pain is accompanied by fever, unexplained weight loss, or other concerning symptoms.
  • You have difficulty controlling your bladder or bowels.

A qualified healthcare professional can assess the root cause of your pain, create a personalized exercise plan, and offer additional treatment options if needed.

Don’t let back pain control your life. If you’re struggling with back pain in Dubai, the expert physiotherapists at the American Wellness Center in Dubai Healthcare City are here to help. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Beena Walawalkar to develop a personalized treatment plan to manage your pain, strengthen your back, and improve your overall quality of life.

Resources for Back Pain Management & Exercises

  • American Physical Therapy Association (APTA): Offers reliable information on back pain causes, treatment options, and how to find a physical therapist.
  • Spine-health: A comprehensive website with articles, videos, and exercise guides for managing back pain.
  • The Mayo Clinic: Provides reliable health information, including a section dedicated to back pain, its causes, and treatment options.