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How To Fix Tightness In Lower Back

When Do You See A Doctor

How to Fix A Tight Lower Back in 30 Seconds

Usually, youll see results within two to six weeks of performing regular exercises. You can see a doctor if your pain doesnt get better in a couple of weeks.

Also, see your doctor if, during the workouts, you have extreme discomfort, the pain spreads over your thighs, and you have any numbness, swelling, or serious pain.

Your doctor will determine if an underlying condition causes pain or tightness.

Muscle Tightness In Thighs And Hips

Weve talked before about how hamstring stretches can help alleviate back pain. Tight hamstrings are short hamstrings, and these muscles connect to your lower back. Tightness in your hamstrings can affect the curvature of your lower spine, disrupting the precise alignment of your spine with your pelvis.

Hamstrings may be tight as a result of physical activity, injury, or a failure to stretch before and after exercising. Luckily this problem can be easy to manage at home with some targeted stretching. If you need some help getting started, a physical therapist can help guide you through some basic movements.

Weak Hamstring Muscles And Your Lower Back

When your hamstrings are weak, it can lead to a misalignment of your pelvis such that it gets stuck in an anterior tilt. This happens a lot in people who sit on the job, discussed above.

Hamstring strength is quite helpful, for example, when you climb stairs or get into or out of a chair or car. One great exercise to help strengthen hamstrings is yoga’s bridge pose, but you can really approach this using a number of strategies.

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Low Back Tightness: Bent Over Cat Cow

Start with your hips against the wall. Make sure your feet are about shoulder width apart. Bend over and place your elbow on your knees. Starting with your back flat, arch it downwards, then curve it upwards in a controlled, slow motion. Imagine making the shape of a cat arching its back, and then moving into the shape of a cow with a hump in the lower back. Make sure to breathe out at the end range of each motion.

Great Stretching Exercises For Your Spine

Fix Tight Calves

Roughly 80% of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives, and for most of them the pain will resolve on its own within a few weeks. For millions of people, however, back pain becomes chronic. In fact, back pain is the second most frequently reported medical complaint.

Board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Thomas Jones II and our team at The Spine Institute of Southeast Texas understand the impact of back pain on daily life. Simple activities that most take for granted can be a struggle. It can interfere with many areas of your life, from work to social activities. Seeking medical evaluation is the first step to getting relief.

Treatment for chronic back pain depends on the cause. Dr. Jones formulates a treatment plan for you after a comprehensive evaluation. Your treatments may involve steroid injections, physical therapy, pain-relieving medication, or surgical approaches.

Common causes of back pain include:

Stretching exercises for back pain can help keep your spine healthy and provide relief. While these stretches are safe for most people, its important to discuss it with your doctor first.

Here are five pain-relieving stretching exercises for your back.

  • Back flexion
  • Cat-camel back stretch
  • Prone extension
  • Levator scapula stretch
  • Chin-to-chest stretch
  • Tips for stretching your spine

    To stretch your spine effectively and reduce the chances of injury, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

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    Stretch Your Hip Flexors

    Tight hip flexors cause your pelvis to tilt forward, tightening the muscles of your lower back. Stretch the hip flexors once or twice a day with a kneeling hip flexor stretch for relief.

    How To:

  • Get down on your right knee with your left knee bent in front of you at a 90-degree angle and your foot flat on the floor.
  • Place your hands on your hips and maintain an erect spine.
  • Keeping your hip points facing forward, begin to lean forward until you feel a stretch along the front of your right thigh.
  • Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, then switch sides.
  • Move : Seated Lower Back Rotational Stretch

    Image Credit:

  • Sit on a stool or backless chair.
  • Cross your right leg over your left.
  • Brace your left elbow against the outside of your right knee.
  • Twist your torso to the right gently.
  • Pause here for a few moments, then repeat on the opposite side.
  • Continue alternating for a minute.
  • Tip

    “As you rotate, if you feel a point that you get stuck, take a few deep breaths and on the exhale, try to rotate even further,” Becourtney says.

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    Less Sitting And More Breaks

    Sometimes prevention is the key and this can certainly apply to lower back pain. Many peoples lower back pain can be traced all the way to the amount of sitting they do each day. According to U.S. News, 86 percent of Americans sit for 13 hours a day. Thats a lot of sitting, and if by chance you are going to sit for that long, I urge you to take as many breaks as possible from it.

    Simple Stretches To Relieve Lower Back Pain

    8 Best Low Back Stretches | How to Fix a Tight Lower Back

    Lower back pain can be a debilitating and painful condition.

    Fortunately, staying physically active may be the most effective and cost-efficient way to soothe or prevent it.

    Here are 8 simple stretches to relieve lower back pain.

    3 ).

    Although its origin varies, changes in the lumbar, or lower back, structure due to musculoskeletal damage are considered to be the main cause .

    Your musculoskeletal system is made up of bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissues that provide form, support, stability, and movement to your body.

    Other muscles that play an important role in maintaining the normal curvature of your spinal column are reported to be associated with lower back pain. These include the hip flexor and hamstring muscles .

    Minor lower back pain normally gets better on its own within a few days or weeks. It can be considered chronic when it persists for more than three months .

    In either case, staying physically active and regularly stretching can help reduce lower back pain or prevent it from returning .

    The remainder of this article provides eight stretches for lower back pain, all of which you can do in the comfort of your own home with minimal or no equipment.

    Summary Lower back pain is an incredibly common condition that can be relieved or prevented with regular exercise and stretching.

    The knee-to-chest stretch can help lengthen your lower back, relieving tension and pain.

    To perform the knee-to-chest stretch:

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    How Are Conditions That Cause Tight Back Muscles Diagnosed

    Almost every medical condition thought to cause tight back muscles, from blunt force trauma to fibromyalgia, can be diagnosed with a physical exam conducted by a medical professional. More serious conditions causing tight back muscles that involve neurological issues may need to be identified during specialized scans or examinations.

    For conditions related to the spinal cord and TLF, doctors may order an immunohistochemical analysis of spinal fluid. This tests the fluid for the presence of certain proteins that may be connected with excessive tightness in the sheath, as well as levels of myofibroblasts, small connective tissue cells that increase contractile force to help close wounds on the skin .

    Certain kinds of arthritis that cause muscle tightness can also be detected by the presence of nodules and rashes on the skin.


    Almost every condition that causes tight back muscles can be identified by a physical exam. Conditions involving the spinal cord and TLF may require an analysis of spinal fluid, while arthritis can sometimes be diagnosed by rashes and skin nodules.

    What Research Is Being Done

    The mission of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is to seek fundamental knowledge of the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease. NINDS is a component of the National Institutes of Health , the leading supporter of biomedical research in the world.

    As a primary supporter of research on pain and pain mechanisms, NINDS is a member of the NIH Pain Consortium, which was established to promote collaboration among the many NIH Institutes and Centers with research programs and activities addressing pain. On an even broader scale, NIH participates in the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee, a federal advisory committee that coordinates research across other U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agencies as well as the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

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    Spine Problems That Cause Back Stiffness

    Up until here weve discussed some basic stretches and postural changes you can make to help relieve and prevent back stiffness. But what if the condition is deeper than muscular? Below is a list of some other common causes of tightness in your lower back.

    • Herniated or ruptured discs: This is a flattening and bulging out or rupturing of the discs that sit between the vertebrae.
    • Sciatica: This is a form of radiculopathy that involves compression of the sciatic nerve running down the back.
    • Spinal stenosis: This is narrowing of the spinal column, which puts pressure on the nerves and spinal cord.
    • Spondylolisthesis: This occurs when the vertebrae of the lower back come out of place and pinch nearby nerves.
    • Arthritis: This is an inflammatory condition that affects joints throughout the body, including the back.

    If the pain and stiffness lasts more than 3 to 4 week it may be from these conditions. Its best to discuss long-term or debilitating pain with a doctor who may recommend physical therapy, pain management therapies, or minimally-invasive treatments. Your doctor will guide you through the diagnosis, imaging, and treatment of these conditions based on the root cause of your back stiffness.

    How Is Lower Back Pain Diagnosed

    Fix Your Low Back Stiffness With This Sequence

    Your provider will ask about your symptoms and do a physical exam. To check for broken bones or other damage, your provider may order imaging studies. These studies help your provider see clear pictures of your vertebrae, disks, muscles, ligaments and tendons.

    Your provider may order:

    • Spine X-ray, which uses radiation to produce images of bones.
    • MRI, which uses a magnet and radio waves to create pictures of bones, muscles, tendons and other soft tissues.
    • CT scan, which uses X-rays and a computer to create 3D images of bones and soft tissues.
    • Electromyography to test nerves and muscles and check for neuropathy , which can cause tingling or numbness in your legs.

      Depending on the cause of pain, your provider may also order blood tests or urine tests. Blood tests can detect genetic markers for some conditions that cause back pain . Urine tests check for kidney stones, which cause pain in the flank .

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    Exercises Or Stretches For Back Pain

    Knee to Chest: Start by lying on the back with the knees bent upward. With both hands, pull one knee up into your chest. Hold this stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Return the leg slowly to the floor and repeat with the opposite leg. Hold for the appropriate time and then return this leg to the floor. Finally, grasp both knees and gently pull both legs into the chest simultaneously. This is a lower back stretch.

    Single Knee and Double Knee To Chest Exercise

    Hamstring Stretch Seated: Sit on the edge of a chair with your leg that your stretching straight out. Your other leg should be bent. Keep your back straight and lean forward until you feel the stretch in the back of your thigh. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.

    Seated Hamstring Stretch

    Cat Stretch: Start on your hands and knees. Sag your back and belly toward the floor. Then slowly arch your back, tugging the abdomen toward the ceiling. Return to original position and then repeat.

    Cat Stretch For Back Pain

    All JOI Physicians, Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists now offer Telemedicine services for virtual visits from the convenience of your home.

    • To schedule an appointment for physical or occupational therapy, call 904-858-7045 or call any of the 12 area JOI Rehab Centers.

    If you are interested in scheduling an appointment with an Orthopaedic Spine Specialist, please call 904-JOI-2000, schedule online or click below.

    Stretches For The Middle Back

    Back pain, especially short-term pain, is one of the most common medical complaints in the United States. A variety of lifestyle factors, medical conditions, and injuries can lead to pain in the middle back.

    Symptoms of mid back pain can include:

    • short, sharp pains
    • muscle tightness or stiffness
    • a reduced range of motion

    is here to help you releive your back pain. Visit one of our DFW clinics today to see a therapist and develop a personalised therapy solution for your pain or injury.

    The following four stretches are easy to do at home or in the office, and they can help relieve mid back pain, loosen tight muscles, and improve mobility.

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    Condition Your Hip Muscles To Relieve Your Lower Back Pain

    Hip muscles are those located on or near the pelvis and butt, and they cross over the hip joint. In this way, they power the movement of the thigh, relative to the hip, or conversely, the pelvis relative to the thigh. Because the pelvis is located below the low back, and because the spine is wedged between the two hip bones in back, these muscles, when they work, provide support for your low back. When they get too tight, and especially when some are tighter than others, it can create pain or chronic discomfort. It’s a similar story for weakness in hip muscles.

    Increase Your Magnesium Intake

    How To Fix Chronic Low Back Pain || Simple Lower Back Stretches

    Magnesium induces muscle relaxation. You will find a lot of magnesium-rich fruits and vegetables.

    Bananas are a great magnesium source, such as peanuts, spinach, almonds, and brown rice. Alternatively, you should take magnesium supplements to increase your magnesium intake, helping relax tight muscles.

    Before taking any supplement, make sure to speak to your doctor.

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    How To Fix Tight Hamstring And Back Pain Psoas Health

    The second key to focus on is your psoas because of what happens when it is tight. The psoas connects to the hip and the back. When it is tight it pulls your lower back forward causing a large curve in your back then you should have. A tight psoas also causes the hip to rotate anteriorly. When the hip is rotated this way, it adds more stress to the hamstring.

    As you can see if you want to know how to fix tight hamstrings and back pain, you have to make sure that the psoas is healthy. Nothing else works until you get the psoas lengthened and operated correctly. You can massage your hamstrings, you can massage your back and get all of the aggressive treatment you want on them, and they will not have a long-term effect until you get this right.

    Here are some things you can do to stretch your hips and psoas:

    Causes Of A Tight Lower Back

    Sports injuries, overtraining, and accidents can make your back feel tight. Even day-to-day tasks such as sitting can cause tightness.

    You also experience tightness in the lower back to compensate for a problem in another part of the body. Strong hamstrings and gluteal muscles can also contribute to this tightness.

    Having poor posture or improper shape when lifting weights or having weak core muscles may also play a role.

    Many other factors may lead to or complicate a tight lower back. These include the following sprains and strains, prolonged sitting times, ruptured disks, and obesity.

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    Easy Stretches To Release Lower Back And Hip Pain

    If you are suffering from lower back or hip pain, you are not alone. More than 26 million Americans, between the ages of 20 and 64, experience back pain and, very often, lower back and hip pain are related.

    In our current age of technology, many of us find ourselves sitting in front of the computer for most of the day. All of this sitting can cause tightness in the hamstrings, shoulders, and hip flexors, as well as a weakening of the core .

    Our deepest hip flexor, the Psoas, is directly connected to our lumbar spine. So if our hip flexors get tight, they will begin to tug uncomfortably at the lower spine, thus causing stiffness and achiness in the lower back and uncomfortable hip pain.

    Suffering from a sore neck, back and shoulders? Get our mobility guide to ease pain and soreness.

    Fortunately, regularly stretching can help reverse some of this tightness. Here are 9 easy stretches that can be done just about anywhere to relieve lower back and hip pain.

    Low Back Tightness: Dont Overlook Your Overall Health

    How to Fix a Tight Low Back (3 simple movements)

    Before you scroll down to read more, make sure youre taking advantage of the low hanging fruit. Below are questions that you should be asking yourself because they dont require any special talents, but they can go a long way for your back health.

    • How is your sleep going?
    • Are you managing stress well?
    • Are you taking care of your body and eating well?
    • Are you doing too much too soon physical activity-wise?

    Simple reflection can go a really long well. It may not resolve your back issues immediately, but it can help guide you in the right direction on your journey!

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