Threw my back out: Quick pain relief with 3 exercises

Last Updated on by Martin Kielema

Throwing out your back can be a painful experience. So when you just threw out your back, you’re probably looking for a way to relieve your pain and to prevent it from ever happening again.

Luckily for you, throwing out your back can be easily fixed.

By a quick fix, we mean one or two weeks by the way. Unfortunately, it can’t heal within a few days because of the amount of damage.

To be able to understand how to fix a thrown out back fully you’ll have to know what happened, why it happened and how to prevent it from happening in the future.

We know that when this happens once, there is a significant change it will happen again in the future.

If this is not your first time, it might already have turned into chronic lower back pain, and it can cause back pain when bending.

And I’ll show it to you just in a minute.

Often the back pain is caused by a pulled muscle in your back. When you put some of this anti-inflammatory cream on it, it will reduce your pain immediately and make it easier for you to do the exercises to recover.

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Today you’ll learn here:

  1. Throwing out your back, why does it happen?
  2. The anatomy of your lower back
  3. What are the symptoms of throwing out your back?
  4. What is the quick fix treatment of throwing out your back?

Throwing out your back, why does it happen?

About 80% of all people experience a-specific lower back pain at some point in their life. Throwing out your back makes up for a big part of the causes of a-specific low back pain.

Since you’re on this page it probably happened to you too, maybe even quite recently. So you’ll know what it feels like:

You’ve dropped your pencil or toothbrush and bend over to pick it up. Suddenly you feel a stinging pain in your back, and it locks up.

You’re trying to make your way to your bed or couch and think:

How did this happen?

There are a few hypotheses what happens when you throw out your back.

Renegadehealth states that when you throw out your back, you’re most likely to have damaged a muscle or ligament in your back. You don’t have to worry about your back being out of place or anything like that.

What can potentially happen is that you damage a vertebral discus in your lower back. In this case, we talk about a herniated disk and not about throwing out your back anymore.

A herniated disk also causes radiating pain in your leg. That doesn’t happen when you throw out your back.

Throwing out your back happens because:

Throwing out your back happens because you lack stability in your back.

When you lift something, you’ll have to keep your back stable to be able to transfer all the forces and keep your body in balance. When you’re unable to do this, you’ll throw out your back.

What happens is that because of the lack of stability, other muscles take over to prevent any real damage to occur. Unfortunately, these muscles are incapable of doing this. That is what causes the injury in your muscles. The sudden significant force overuses the muscles.

But that’s not the only thing that happens

When you throw out your back, your back feels very stiff. It feels like something blocks. That’s why many people are afraid that something is out of place.

Luckily that’s not the case. What happens is that a joint in your back locks up. That’s why your back feels rock solid after you threw your back out.

What happened is that there is a vacuum between the two vertebrae. That’s why you’ll have to crack your back to remove it. It’s similar to cracking your knuckles.

Research shows that when you crack your knuckles, the vacuum in the joint is destroyed.

You can see what happens in the video below.


You can compare it with a stiff neck. When you have a stiff neck, you can sometimes move it back and forth to ease it up. Suddenly you feel a crack, and the mobility of your neck becomes much better.

That is also what happened in your back. Unfortunately, you can’t just move around a bit to ease it up. It is because of the damage and increased tension in your back.

However, there is a way to solve this problem quickly. But before we get into that, you’ll have to understand the anatomy to fully understand what happened and what we’re about to do.

The anatomy of your lower back

lower back anatomy

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Your lower back consists of 5 vertebrae, called your lumbar vertebrae or lumbar spine. The third lumbar vertebra locates at the same level as the top of your pelvic bones.

Muscles and ligaments cover these five vertebrae. Their function is the support and movement of your lower back.

We distinguish three different types of muscles in your back.

  • The global mobilizers
  • The global stabilizers
  • The local stabilizers

Every muscle type has its function.

The function of your global mobilizers is to move your body. These are the muscles you can see, and that makes you able to bend and extend your back.

The best known global mobilizer in your back is your erector spinae. It is the big muscle that lies next to your spine.

Your global stabilizers need to stabilize your body. The best known global stabilizers are your abdominal muscles, especially you’re transverse abdominal.

The purpose of your local stabilizers is to stabilize your back. These are the most important muscles to prevent back pain. These are also often the problem when you throw out your back.

The most important local stabilizer is your Multifidus muscle. It runs from one vertebra to the next. Therefore it’s very well capable of stabilizing your back.

But this is the problem:

When you don’t train your back correctly or use it in the wrong way, these muscles don’t work at all.

As stated by the Dynamic Chiropractic your local stabilizers work less efficient in the presence of pain or a pathology:

“Local stabilizers are single-joint muscles designed to reduce segmental translation, rather than to control range of motion. In normal function, they often demonstrate an anticipatory response to rapid multidirectional limb and trunk movement, preparing the spine for unexpected perturbations This anticipatory response, the early activation of these muscles prepares and stabilizes the spine in advance of sudden movement.”

However when there is pain present your local stabilizers lose their anticipatory response. Therefore when you try to pick something up, they are too late to stabilize your back. It increases the risk of low back pain.

Another factor that influences your local stabilizers is your global mobilizers. When your global mobilizers are too active or to tens, they inhibit the activity of your local stabilizers.

So when you only do deadlifts or Seated Rows but forget about your local stabilizers and core training, you’re risking low back pain.

What are the symptoms of throwing out your back?

Now you know what is causing you to throw your back out, you have to know what the symptoms of throwing your back out are. This way you can distinguish a simple throwing your back out from a herniated disk or an SI joint problem. That is because this treatment doesn’t work for these injuries and may cause additional harm instead.

When you throw your back out you’ll feel:


    • A sudden sting in your back
    • Immediate tightness of your back
    • Some radiation towards your gluteal region


You shouldn’t feel:


    • Radiating pain in your leg and foot
    • The tightness of your gluteal muscles
    • Pain in your gluteal area


When you sense radiating pain or even numbness in your leg, you’re more likely to have suffered from a herniated disk. Pain in your gluteal area indicates an SI joint problem.

These injuries require different treatment. Especially when you think you have a herniated disk, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.

So what causes these symptoms?

The first thing you’ll feel is the stinging pain in your back. Because of the lack of stability of your back, your vertebra moves a little bit because of the applied forces during lifting.

During this movement, it touches a connected vertebra at a place where cartilage doesn’t cover the bone anymore. It causes a bone to bone contact, which results in stinging pain.

This stinging pain triggers a reaction of your global mobilizers. They notice the strange movement and pain and stiffens. That is to prevent any further pain or problems. The pain activates a trigger point in the erector spinae. This trigger point is responsible for the radiating pain in your lower back and also for the stiffening of your back.

The stiffening of the muscles can be so active that it causes damage to the tissue. You can compare this with a sudden episode of cramp. It sometimes also causes pain for several days because of the damage it caused.

What is the quick fix treatment of throwing out your back?

Now you know what happens when you throw your back out and what is causing your symptoms, it’s time to do something about it.

The first thing you can do is apply ice to the painful spot for about 10-15 minutes. The ice will reduce the pain as it numbs the pain receptors.

You can also apply this anti-inflammatory creme to reduce the immediate pain in your back. It will also help you to do the exercises and recover quicker.

The second thing you’ll have to do is to reduce the tension of the trigger point. When you’re able to reduce the pressure of the trigger point, your pain decreases as well. You’ll also need to reduce the tension to be able to crack your back and get it flexible again.

That is how you reduce the tension of the trigger point:

Search with your finger for a little knot in the painful area in your back. It is the trigger point you need to find. Now apply pressure on it by squeezing it onto the bone. First, you’ll feel an increase in pain and radiation. When you hold the pressure onto it, you’ll slowly feel the pain and radiation fading away. You’ll also feel the tension fading away.

Repeat this as often as possible during the day.

Now that the tension and pain in your back reduces, you have to do the following exercises to restore the mobility and stability of your back.

Research shows that doing back exercises you can prevent back pain in the future.

The easiest way to do these exercises is on a yoga mat. You have to do these exercises on a firm surface, so your bed is not the right place.

The best thing is to do them several times a day.

They don’t only solve throwing out your back but will also help you relief the typical lower back pain that I’m sure you’re regularly experiencing.

Your floor is often too hard and uncomfortable.

The solution: A yoga mat.

That’s why I would recommend buying a yoga mat to do the following exercises on to prevent throwing out your back ever again and solve your back pain altogether.

Perform these exercises several times a day.

Exercise 1: Increasing the mobility of your back

The first thing you’ll have to do, now the muscles in your back are a little bit more relaxed, is to restore the mobility of your back. When the movement in your back is limited, there will be more stress on the muscles in your back. It will overuse the muscles in your back again, aggravating the pain.

With the following exercise, you’ll increase the mobility of your back. It allows you to move more freely and increase your activity again. Try to perform this exercise several times a day.

The exercise goes like this:


    • Lay down on your back on a firm surface
    • Bend both knees and place your arms in a 90 degrees angle
    • Now rotate your knees to one side
    • Rotate as far as you can but keep both shoulders on the ground
    • Hold this for 10 seconds
    • Repeat this five times for both sides


You can also find the exercise on the video below.

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Exercise 2: Increase the stability of your back

The second exercise that you’ll have to do is designed to increase the stability of your back.

This exercise addresses the anticipatory response of your local stabilizers explicitly as we mentioned before. When you can restore the anticipatory reaction of your local stabilizers, the risk of throwing your back out again reduces significantly.

Perform this exercise as often as possible during the day. It’s also vital that you keep training your local stabilizers when you’re not in pain anymore. Like with all muscles, the strength and anticipatory response decrease again when you stop exercising. It will increase the risk of throwing out your back again.

We’ll use the following exercise for this:


    • Lay down on your back on a firm surface with your knees bend
    • Cross your arms over your chest
    • Lift your pelvis and hold this for 10 seconds
    • Repeat this ten times


It is the basic version of the exercise. As you will get better you can increase the difficulty in 2 ways:


    • Hold it for 15 seconds
    • Extend one leg


You can see how to perform the exercise in the video below.

When you find these exercises a little simple, or they get to easy I have another suggestion for you here:

By using this exercise ball, you can increase the difficulty level of your exercises.

The exercises are a little more difficult than the one in the video.

exercise ball

And when you’re able to perform the exercise shown in the picture below, I will guaranty you that you won’t throw out your back ever again.

That’s a promise!!

It will even help you cure most of your regular back pain.

So to me, it’s a no-brainer that everyone with back pain needs to have an exercise ball at home.

Because this exercise ball comes with a complete exercise guide, you will now have a dozen lower back stability exercises to choose.

And at the same time, you’re supporting this website to stay for free.

lower back stability exercise

Exercise 3: Increase the strength of your back

The purpose of the last activity is to increase the power of your lattisimus dorsi. It will stimulate the healing process after you threw out your back. The exercise goes as follows:


    • Lay down facing the floor.
    • Now lift your chest, arms, and head of the ground.
    • Repeat this ten times.
    • Make sure you keep your feet on the ground.


You can see how to perform this exercise in the picture below:

back strengthening exercises

Try to repeat this exercise 3 times. When this is too easy, you can increase the repetitions to 15 or 20. Perform this exercise 2 times a day.

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Also, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more video’s.

Some more tips
There are some other things you’ll have to think about when you threw out your back.

Standing up after a long period of sitting the chance of re-injuring is more significant than when you’re moving. To decrease the risk, you can flex your abdominal muscles.

When you flex your abdominal muscles, the inter-abdominal pressure increases, this extra inter-abdominal pressure increases the stability of your back temporarily. It is because it offers more support to your back. You can also use this when you have to pick something up or carry something heavy.

Throwing your back out is a common problem which can be very limiting. Luckily there is a quick fix method that will decrease your pain fast and significantly. Now you know how to do that yourself.

However, if you have any questions feel free to contact us at [email protected], and we’ll try to improve this page with the answer to your question.

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