Back pain can be felt anywhere from your neck to your hips, but there are some things which you can do to relieve any pain you’re experiencing.

It’s important to try to stay as active as you can and continue with your day-to-day activities. Try some simple exercises such as swimming, walking, yoga, and Pilates at first.

Back pain usually gets better on its own without the need to seek medical advice. However, it’s important to see your GP if the pain stops you doing your day-to-day activities, it doesn’t improve over a few weeks, it gets worse or it affects your mental wellbeing.

Below are a few simple back exercises and stretches to try from home. You can see a full video demonstration and tutorial for each by heading to My Fire Fighters Charity, registering and searching for ‘Back in business’.

Please note: When undertaking exercise or wellness activities of any kind, please also ensure that you do so in an appropriate and safe environment, taking all necessary measures to ensure your personal safety and that of those around you. We recommend consulting with your doctor before beginning any new exercise programme.

Cobra stretch

  1. Lie on your stomach with your arms in a ‘push up’ position.
  2. Keep your pelvis in neutral, then slowly push up with your arms so you lift your chest up off the floor until you’re resting on your elbows (or as far as you can go comfortably). Hold for a few deep breaths then lower the upper body back down to the floor by controlling through your arms. Repeat 5 times.

Mermaid (side stretch)

  1. Stand with feet hip distance apart.
  2. Slide the left hand down the left leg as you slide the right hand up the side of the body and then overhead, reaching towards the ceiling with your uppermost arm. Reach as far as you feel comfortable.
  3. Return to start position and repeat 5 times on each side.

Pelvic Tilt (lying)

  1. Lie on your back on a mat with your knees bent and feet flat, with your arms across your chest or resting on the mat.
  2. Gently roll your pelvis so that your lower back flattens into the mat. Then roll your pelvis so that you feel your lower back arching away from the mat. Repeat 10 times.

Hip Abduction/External Rotation

  1. Lie on your back on a mat with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, arms by your side as shown
  2. Slowly drop 1 knee out to the side as shown
  3. Stop when your feel any twisting or rotating in your back and return to the start position
  4. Keep the start position throughout the movement. Repeat 5 times on each side.

To watch a video demonstration of each of these exercises, head to My Fire Fighters Charity and search for ‘Back in business’. You can register via

If you feel you’d benefit from our support, call our Support Line on 0800 389 8820. We’re experiencing longer than normal wait times to offer Physiotherapy support at the moment, but will be in touch as soon as possible.