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  Sunny Thakkar  Physical Therapist

Sunny Thakkar

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I started practicing in 2007 after graduating from the University of Gujarat. During those college class years...

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Hiral Chaudhari PT

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Hiral Chaudhari, a highly regarded Physical Therapy Specialist in Jersey City, New Jersey, graduated with honors in 2012. With over 11 years of diverse experience...

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Dr. Barjeta Balidemaj


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Ashish Sinha, PT, DPT, a board-certified physical therapist with over 12 years of specialization in orthopedic PT and sports rehab. Operating in both New Jersey and New York, Dr. Sinha is a Graston Technique certified clinician, adept in joint replacements, soft tissue repairs, and prehab techniques for successful post-op recovery. With certifications in kinesiotaping, he's well-versed in McKenzie and Maitland protocols, ensuring effective treatment for low back pain.

Trust in Dr. Sinha's comprehensive skills for your optimal rehabilitation journey.

  Sunny Thakkar  Physical Therapist

Dr. Leon Scrimmager MD


Dr. Leon Scrimmager has been hailed as one of New York and New Jersey’s Top Doctors and has a reputation for being one of the city’s most reputable physicians. Dr. Leon attended the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and continued education at Saint Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center.

Dr. Leon is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and is a professional member of the American Society of Addiciton medicine as well as the Manhattan Central Medical Society. Dr. Leon received the award for New York and New Jersey Top Doctors in 2007.

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Experience rapid rejuvenation as our specialist team harnesses the power of advanced healing tech to erase pain with ease. We dive deep into your world, assessing every piece of the puzzle—stress at work, life pressures, physical health, nutrition, genes, posture, and even emotional ties—crafting a tailor-made wellness blueprint that's as unique as you are. With our dedicated holistic touch, we don't just treat symptoms; we empower you to embrace a pain-free, harmonious life.

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How to Relieve Back Pain with Self-Traction

July 01, 20243 min read

Spinal Decompression for Back Pain Relief

Many people and patients have heard that spinal traction may help reduce their lower back pain and improve their spinal mobility, but they don’t have access to a traction machine, inversion table, or somewhere they can hang from safely. There are several exercises that help decompress the spine, but one I have found most helpful and comfortable is this one (see video below). This is a great exercise for anyone suffering from lower back pain, mid-back pain, forward or rounded posture, pelvic organ prolapse, and osteoporosis. It is especially useful for anyone who might be limited with their upper body strength or wrist issues since it is non-weight bearing through the arms and hands.

The goal of this exercise is to gently lengthen the spine, then add arm motion and rib cage motion to help improve the spinal mobility in that lengthened position. This can help gain even more mobility through the spine by adding small micro-movements to each joint. This version of the exercise specifically focuses on the thoracic spine, or mid-back, as that is where a lot of people are too rounded and compressed. This can result from sitting with the shoulders forward or looking down a lot, just to name a couple of examples. This is especially important for patients with back pain or pelvic organ prolapse because the thoracic curvature can create more downward pressure onto the lower spine and pelvic organs.

This exercise can be hard to master at first because it involves fine movements and breath control, but I find that once patients do it several times, it easily becomes a patient favorite. You will begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and your arms up to the sky. Next, you will try to walk your shoulders away from your hips to let your spine be as long and stretched out as it can be. Then you will add some arm motion and some rib motion as described in the video to improve the spine and rib mobility. Give it a try and see if it helps to reduce any back pain or pelvic pressure. Feel free to ask your physical therapist for other ways to decompress the spine and look out for our future post on spinal decompression for the lumbar spine.

Spinal Decompression Exercise Steps:

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent.

  2. Have your hands up toward the sky.

  3. Walk your shoulders away from your hips, like you are untucking your shirt.

  4. Bring your arms overhead then back to the sky 3-4 times. On the last repetition, let your hands rest overhead.

  5. Exhale to bring your ribs down, and shoulders away from your ears as the hands stay resting on the floor.

  6. Hold this position for 3-4 breaths.

  7. Return your hands to the sky while keeping the ribs down, then let the ribs relax once the hands have reached the sky.

  8. Repeat steps 2-6 for 3-4 rounds. Do this 1-2 times a day (afternoons are best, or before your workout).

Schedule an Appointment with NJRE

Discover the full benefits of spinal decompression exercises with personalized guidance from our expert physical therapists at New Jersey Rehab Experts. Whether you're dealing with lower back pain, mid-back discomfort, or other related conditions, our team is here to help you find relief and improve your mobility. Don't let pain hold you back—schedule an appointment with NJRE today and take the first step towards a healthier, pain-free life!

exercise to relieve back pain , new jersey pt , new jersey physical therapy , back pain , improve posture ,  improve posture exercise , njre , physical therapist , upper body strength

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