How To Stretch Your Back Using A Foam Roller
This article was medically reviewed by Sarah Gehrke, RN, MS. Sarah Gehrke is a Registered Nurse and Licensed Massage Therapist in Texas. Sarah has over 10 years of experience teaching and practicing phlebotomy and intravenous therapy using physical, psychological, and emotional support. She received her Massage Therapist License from the Amarillo Massage Therapy Institute in 2008 and a M.S. in Nursing from the University of Phoenix in 2013.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 48,987 times.
Back pain or tension is a common problem for many people. Stress, anxiety, injury, and inactivity can all cause pain in your neck as well as upper and lower back.XResearch source You may also have back pain from sore or tight muscles. You can stretch out these areas by targeting your neck and upper and lower back with a foam roller, also known as myofascial release.
Roll Down/roll Up With A Forward Fold
What It Does: This movement is a great way to warm up your entire spine, lower back, hamstrings, calves, and ankles. Start your practice here to open the areas of the body youll be working in this sequence.
How to Do It: Start standing with your feet hip-width apart, arms at your side. Keep your shoulders relaxed, and maintain a forward gaze and neutral chin. Bring a soft bend into your knees to protect your lower back. Take a deep breath in. Exhale, bringing your chin to your chest, and start to roll down toward your toes, letting the weight of your head guide you. Keep your knees soft the entire time. Once you reach a comfortable depth, feel free to bend your knees as much as you need until you can tent your fingertips in front of your feet. Let your head be heavy, and allow your shoulders to stay relaxed. Exhale through your mouth. Stay here for a few deep breaths. This forward fold will open and strengthen the lower back, upper back, hamstrings, and quadriceps. Inhale and slowly unravel your spine back up to standing. While you unravel, allow your toes to stay light, ground down through the four corners of your feet, let your head stay heavy, feel your shoulders move back over your hips, and return your gaze forward, standing up nice and tall. Repeat this four more times.
Rest But Not Too Much
Dont rest too long. A little couch time wont hurt, but light activity speeds recovery, so avoid lying down for long periods of time.
Growing evidence shows there is little or no benefit to bed rest over staying active.
So use this rule of thumb: listen to your body.
Ultimately, your level of pain will determine your level of activity.
If a certain activity led to a pulled muscle dont repeat it for at least a week.
For example, if your back pain started after lifting something heavy, avoid lifting heavy objects for at least a week while your pulled back muscle heals.
Also, avoid sitting for too long. Long periods of sitting can tighten your muscles and cause lower back muscle pain and stiffness.
When you sit and stand, use good posture, avoiding slumping in your head and shoulders.
Recommended Reading: How To Relieve Back Pain From Standing All Day
Ques : How Do You Tell If Lower Back Pain Is Muscle Or Disc
Ans: The basic difference to locate whether your lower back pain is related to muscle or disc is that if it hurts both while bending forward and returning to the upright position, then it is disc pain.
Whereas, if it hurts more while returning to the upright position as compared to forward bending, then its muscle pain.
Other symptoms of disc pain are:
- Increased back pain with prolonged sitting and frequent bending.
- Increased back pain because of coughing, sneezing, and even laughing.
- Numbness or pin-needles like pain radiating into the affected area.
How Do I Start Feeling Better
Before youre able to see long-term results from a golf exercise program, there are some simple and safe movements and stretches you can do now to relieve lower back tightness.
The main focus should be on increasing mobility in the hips, shoulders, and thoracic spineas well as flexibility in the glutes, hamstrings, piriformis, psoas, rotator cuff, and pectoral muscles.
To help, please explore the foundational exercises below
You May Like: What May Cause Lower Back Pain
Rehydrate And Rebuild Your Nutrient Stores
Make sure that you are drinking enough fluids as dehydration and loss of electrolytes affect the length and success of your recovery. Low blood calcium, magnesium and potassium levels can affect some people who suffer from spasms.
These levels will fall drastically during intense exercise and can contribute to the problem of muscle contractions. If you allow these conditions to become chronic, you end up with muscle imbalances which will put your back at risk again.
A very good friend of mine told me about her chronic nightmares of spasms and pain. She tried everything only to finally resolve them by increasing her calcium, magnesium and potassium levels adequately with a supplement. It didnt take long for her to feel a lot better. She said it was like night and day. Its definitely worth a try if you havent considered it yet?
Best Lower Back Stretch #: Hamstring Stretch
After sitting all day, I think a good hamstring stretch held for 20-30 seconds for each leg can be great to relieve tension in the lower back. When the hamstrings are tight, they can pull on your hips, causing your glutes to not work as effectively and cause both your hips and low back to work harder when exercising or just doing everyday activities. Stretching the muscles below and at the hips, when seated for an extended period of time, usually will help to loosen up ones lower back. The hamstrings are a great place to start with the hip flexors usually coming in as a close second.
John Levya, CSCS, CPT
Also Check: What Can Cause Pain In Lower Back Right Side
Stretching And Strengthening Exercises
Youll want to be very careful your first couple of days, but some light stretching can often reduce pain from a pulled muscle in your lower back by relieving tension. Include both strengthening and stretching exercises.
Try this easy stretch while lying in bed. Gently raise your knees from the bed to your chest, then put a slight pressure on your knees for a light stretch in your lower back.
This stretch can help relieve muscle spasms in your back faster than waiting for them to resolve on their own. The stretch should not add to your pain.
Remember to listen to your body.
Sometimes, back support compression braces can be useful during the healing process. This help keeps your spine stable and can help you from further irritating your lower back when you twist or bend throughout the day.
Compression can also assist in reducing swelling after an injury, so compression braces may be useful.
I dont recommend you wear a compression brace all day, though just for a few hours or when you know youll be most active.
Keeping it on for too long can keep you from healing fully, as you need to be able to strengthen those muscles in order to recover.
Key takeaway: To help your body recover more quickly and reduce pain from a pulled back muscle, alternate cold and heat therapy, use natural anti-inflammatories, get some rest and try gentle stretches.
What Can Cause A Tight Lower Back
Sports injuries, overtraining, and accidents can cause your back to feel tight. Even everyday activities such as sitting can cause tightness.
Often you develop tightness in the lower back to compensate for an issue in another part of the body. Tight hamstrings and gluteus muscles can also contribute to this tightness. Having poor posture or using incorrect form while lifting weights or having weak core muscles can also play a part.
There are several other factors that can lead to or complicate a tight lower back. These include:
- sprains and strains
Youll typically see improvements within two to six weeks of doing daily exercises. You should see a doctor if:
- your pain doesnt improve within a few weeks
- you have intense pain while doing the exercises
- the pain spreads to your legs
Also see a doctor if you experience any numbness, swelling, or severe pain. Your doctor can help to determine if any pain or tightness is being caused by an underlying condition.
There are many lifestyle changes you can practice to help prevent lower back pain. Here are a few guidelines and tips:
- Adopt a balanced, healthy diet.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
You May Like: What Helps Nerve Pain In Lower Back
Lying Static Leg Raise
The lying static leg raise helps with the lower back by placing more pressure on the back from a vertical standpoint. You will find this to be very comfortable and relieving. If youve had a tough day at work and your back is aching a bit, have yourself do the lying static leg raise for 15 to 20 minutes.
How Do You Relieve Lower Back Pain Fast
Remedies to Relieve Lower Back Pain Exercise to Loosen Muscles. Although it may seem counterintuitive to exercise when lower back pain is causing you grief, the right kind of movement can help eliminate the discomfort. Use Hot/Cold Treatments. Stretch More. Get Better Shoes. Reduce Your Stress. Get Better Sleep.
Also Check: How Much Advil For Back Pain
You May Need To See Your Doctor For These Potential Underlying Illnesses
Dont just treat a back spasm as temporary discomfort. It may not merely be muscular in nature as they are often a big warning sign.
There may be something more serious that you are not aware of. This may be what your body could be reacting to.
In cases where treatment does not help, it is possible that you may have a disc issue such and a bulge or herniated disc. It is important to know when you should see a doctor to diagnose any serious injury that may be an underlying cause.
- Herniated Disc
Takeaways About Pulled Back Muscles
Key takeaway #1: Pulled lower back muscles can be extremely painful, but rarely require medical intervention.
Key takeaway #2: Several lifestyle factors could put you at greater risk for developing a pulled muscle in your back.
Key takeaway #3: Prescription and over-the-counter medications can often do more harm than good when treating a pulled back muscle.
Key takeaway #4: You can speed up recovery and reduce pain with a few simple at-home remedies: cold and heat therapy, natural anti-inflammatories, rest and stretching.
Key takeaway #5: To reduce your risk of pulling a back muscle in the future, focus on cleaning up your diet, reducing stress levels and making sure your back is properly supported.
Editors note: This article has been reviewed by a member of our medical advisory board. The content provided is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult with your physician if you have any questions about your health.
Also Check: Does Tens Unit Help Back Pain
Stretching For Back Pain Relief
Regularly stretching the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support the spine is an important element of all back exercise programs. Stretches designed to alleviate neck and back pain are likely to be prescribed by a doctor, physical therapist, or spine specialist.
Benefits of stretching include:
- Reducing tension in muscles supporting the spine tension in these muscles can worsen pain from any number of back pain conditions
- Improving range of motion and overall mobility
- Reducing risk of disability caused by back pain
Pain that lasts longer than 3 months may require weeks or months of regular stretching to successfully reduce pain. Stretches may be included as part of a physical therapy program, and/or recommended to be done at home on a daily basis.
Acupuncture How To Loosen Up Lower Back Pain
This ancient Chinese healing method may bring relief for individuals with persistent low back pain. Gently placing slim, dry needles right into your skin at details factors may set off the release of endorphins, your bodys natural painkillers, or it may alter your mind chemistry so you have a higher pain tolerance. You should utilize it along with various other treatments.
Don’t Miss: Can Alcohol Cause Back Pain
The Right Approach Can Make All The Difference
If you suffer from a tight lower back in golf, remember that a few one-off stretches can actually hurt your golf game instead of help. The real solution to preventing and permanently relieving lower back stiffness is a comprehensive, golf-focused strength and mobility exercise program.
Want to learn more? Visit GOLFFOREVER.COM to build flexibility, mobility, strength and more confidence in your game than ever before.
Check out more videos and articles on our Fitness & Wellness section.
All GOLFFOREVER content and exercises are presented with the expressed understanding that you should visit a doctor to determine the cause of any pain you may be feeling and in some rare cases that can include cancer, fractures, infection and more. It should also be understood that you are strongly advised to first receive clearance from a physician before following any exercises or advice presented on this site, and that Morning Read and its partner, GOLFFOREVER, are not liable for any injuries that may occur.
Stretches To Ease Lower Back Pain
My back is killing me. These five words are said by co-workers, family, friends, almost every person we regularly come in contact with will say them sooner or later. In fact, a study performed at the University of North Carolina found that more than an overwhelming 80 percent of people will experience an episode of back pain at some point in their life. As people age, often the spine will experience degenerative changes. As these changes occur, there is less space between the vertebrae, which can increase back pain. When the spine is flexed, pressure is off-loaded. Because of this, a flexion based program is often used to help relieve symptoms of lower back pain. Here are four stretches for lower back pain that almost everyone can do.
Recommended Reading: Which Purple Mattress Is Best For Back Pain
If You Are Reading This You Probably Currently Have Have Dealt With In The Past Or Know Of Someone Close To You Who Has Experienced Chronic Low Back Pain
In fact, it is estimated that up to 80% of the population will experience low back pain at some point in their lifetime . If you have low back pain you may have even gone as far to get checked out by a doctor, only to find that you have no structural damage and are left with the advice to strengthen your core and stretch more. Despite doing this you may have had no relief from your symptoms or by chance they have become even worse.
Your Brain Onthis Is Your Brain On Yoga
As a yoga instructor, I have a few favorite stretches for the hips and theyre not just my favorites because they feel good theyre extremely functional and work the hip from all angles. Frangiamore is also a fan of these yoga poses. Stretches like the pigeon pose, warrior 1 and groin stretches all work to lengthen muscles that attach around the hip joint , which become shortened after prolonged sitting or resting, he says. Lengthening these muscles can decrease tension and excessive pull on the hips and lower back which can improve posture and decrease associated pain.
Ready to get loose? Give these three stretches a try.
Don’t Miss: What Type Of Doctor To See For Lower Back Pain
Remember To Take Savasana
Lie down on the ground and allow your legs to become heavy. Relax your feet and toes. Allow your lower back, mid back, upper back, shoulders, back of your neck, and head to rest heavy on the ground. Extend your arms away from the midline of your body and soften your hands and fingers. Close your eyes and relax the muscles in your face. Stay here for at least three minutes, letting all your hard work settle in. If this is uncomfortable, taking savasana with your knees bent and feet flat is another option and a great way to support your lower back and allow your pelvis to release into the floor.
Yoga Poses To Relieve Lower Back Pain
The lower back is a sensitive spot for many people. While there can be a ton of causes of lower back pain, a weak core and poor posture from sitting all day are two really common contributing factors to lower back aches and discomfort. It’s always important to figure out what’s causing pain so you can address it and prevent it from happening again. But in most situations, doing some gentle yoga can help relieve tightness and give your lower back some relief.
“Yoga is great for working on flexibility and core stability, correcting posture, and breathingall of which are necessary for a healthy back,”Sasha Cyrelson, P.T., D.P.T., O.C.S., clinical director at Professional Physical Therapy in Sicklerville, New Jersey, tells SELF. She adds that yoga is safe to do daily. It’s important, though, to make sure you’re in tune with your body and stop doing anything that makes your discomfort worse. “Never stretch into a position of pain. Pain is how our bodies tell us something is wrong. If it actually hurts, ease up on the stretch.”
If you have any history of lower back injuries, problems with your discs, or experience pain that lasts more than 72 hours without improving, Cyrelson suggests seeing a physical therapist before doing any exercises. If you have an issue that requires medical attention, it’s best to address it before it becomes worse.
Recommended Reading: Does A Firm Bed Help Back Pain