Relieving Your Back Pain
When you are suffering from an ache or struggling to get lower back pain relief, it may seem difficult to take a proactive approach to the matter. However, alleviating such aches may be largely within your control. If you make some simple changes in habit and lifestyle, you might be pleasantly surprised by the results. At North Texas Medical Center, we take great pride in helping our community achieve better health. If you are suffering from backache, call us at , or contact us online today.
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.
Lifestyle Tips To Release Tight Hips
Does unlocking tight hips cause emotions to release? Psychology Today says yes. The body can store emotions long after were done experiencing them. So, know that its perfectly normal to be cranky or sad after a hip-opening yoga class.
Can tight muscles also be a sign of weakness? Typically, tight muscles are a sign that the muscle is getting more stressed than the looser muscles around it. This often means that its stronger relative to the others.
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Try Some Other Therapies
If you are looking for ways how to loosen tight lower back muscles, there are a few approaches you can take. First, you can try some other therapies in addition to or as an alternative to your daily exercise routine and/or physical therapy. This might include therapeutic massage, ice therapy, rolfing, and/or acupuncture. You may also find relief by using a foam roller or other self-massage tools on a daily basis.
Second, you can try to identify and correct the underlying causes of your back tightness. This might involve changes to your diet, posture, and/or lifestyle habits. Third, you can focus on stretching and strengthening the muscles that support your lower back. This can help to prevent future episodes of back tightness. Finally, remember that it is important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard. If you are in pain, stop what you are doing and seek medical advice.
How To Loosen A Tight Lower Back
If you have a tight lower back, it could be a result of a variety of possible things. When you spend time at school, work, or at home on the computer, your lower back becomes tight from sitting for long periods of time.
This can also happen after going to the gym and lifting weights or doing any other type of exercise that requires you to bend over. A tight lower back can cause pain in your back and even mess with your posture.
Because the lower back is made up of many soft tissues, it is susceptible to becoming tight and immobile. The following exercises are each designed to help lengthen your lower back in a way that will be beneficial for you.
How To Loosen Tight Lower Back Muscles
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Sitting Stretches For Lower Back Pain That You Can Do At Your Desk
Youre at your desk at work, and your lower back begins to send shooting pain all the way up to your neck. Youre practically cringing in pain, but you dont necessarily want to be that person at the office who just busts out a downward dog next to the water cooler. While I have definitely and shamelessly been that person, I know youre probably on the lookout for some low-key sitting stretches for lower back pain you can do at your desk without making it look like youre preparing for a Hamilton audition in your cubicle.
First of all, what exactly is going on in your back when youre sitting at your desk all day to make it ache like that? Joan Vernikos, a former NASA scientist and author of Designed to Move: The Science-Backed Program to Fight Sitting Disease and Enjoy Lifelong Health, told Thrillist that she discovered that prolonged sitting can lead to the same negative health effects on the body like muscle and bone degeneration and soreness that astronauts experience after being in microgravity:
Basically, being at work all day is kind of like being an astronaut. Neat, right? She added that, when you sit a lot, the muscles have weakened and the vertebrae start collapsing, squeezing the padding and nerves between the discs. This is a huge source of pain.
Vernikos recommendation? Dont stay in one position too long! Even if youre stuck at your desk, keep yourself moving around and stretching as much as possible. Here are a few movements to get you started.
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.
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Find Out Why Stretching Is So Important For People With Back Pain And Neck Pain And How To Stretch Correctly
During a bout of back pain, the last thing you might want to do is exercise. But for some people, itâs just what the doctor ordered. While we all know that regular exercise is important for our overall health, stretching is often an overlooked component of our routine. For people with back pain, stretching exercises are especially important because they can help reduce back pain and may even help prevent future episodes of pain or injury. Correct technique is essential. Read on to find out why stretching is so important for people with back pain and neck pain and how to stretch correctly.Stretching exercises are especially important because they can help reduce back pain and may even help prevent future episodes of pain or injury.Why Should I Stretch? The spine is a complex structure comprised of muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones. Itâs designed to move side-to-side and front to back, as well as carry the bulk of the bodyâs weight. Thatâs why itâs so important to keep all its parts in good working order.
Regular stretching exercises help keep muscles and ligaments flexible. They can also reduce stress on joints and improve the flow of blood and nutrients throughout the body. Without it, stiffness, limitation of movement, and pain can occur or increase.
Good Stretching To get the maximum benefit from stretching, proper technique is essential. Itâs also an important way to avoid injury. Keep the following stretching tips in mind:
Exercise Strengthens The Spine
The simplest way to strengthen your spine is to move regularly throughout the day, in whatever capacity works for you. This might mean increasing your daily steps, taking short walks during the workday or prioritizing a slightly longer walk in the morning or evening.
People who are physically active tend to have lower rates of back pain, and a recent meta-analysis of 25 studies found that the most effective way to prevent lower back pain from recurring was regular exercise, preferably combined with some form of physical education.
Exercise doesnt cure everybody, but on average, its an effective intervention, said Mark Hancock, a professor of physiotherapy at Macquarie University and one of the authors of the study. There is no single type of exercise that has been shown to be effective, he said. If you are doing a variety of exercises, then you are likely getting all the things you need, he said, adding, Its just like your diet.
Physical activity also strengthens the bones and cartilage of the spine, protecting against age-related degeneration, and increases blood flow to cartilage discs in the spine that dont receive a lot of blood supply, Dr. Shah said.
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Hip Mobility Exercises To Loosen Tight Hips
If you spend a large part of your day seated at a desk, you may experience tight hips.
The human body is designed to transfer movement from one joint to the next, so when you have joints that are limited by mobility, stability, or strength, you open yourself up to a higher risk of injury, says Cody Braun, Openfit fitness expert.
These hip mobility exercises can help you increase your hip mobility, loosen tight muscles, lessen your risk for injury, and even reduce pain caused by long periods of sitting.
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.
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So You Feel Like Turning Japanese
Like the 80s English band, The Vapors, you might feel like turning Japanese, but of course you cant. You might not be able to move to Japan or even buy sushi where you live. But you could have your own amazing miniature Japanese doll house! This one is sold as a kit from Billy, a Japanese dollhouse company.
How To Do The Straight
Lumbar spine and hamstring stretching can relieve and prevent lower back pain, so it’s the kind of practice that can help ease any flare-ups. Now, every morning, I do a straight-leg hamstring stretch with a slight modification.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Place your right foot about 18 inches in front of the other. Keep your toes and feet pointing forwards and distanced at a comfortable width.
2. Lean forward at the hips and reach your arms out in front of you. Make sure you don’t round your lower back.
3. Hold for about 20 to 30 seconds.
4. For the second part of this stretch, push your hips forward as you extend backwards, arching the lower back and keeping your hands at your sides.
5. Hold that position, stretching the hip flexor of the trailing leg, for 20 to 30 seconds.
6. Repeat both parts of the stretch on the other side with your left leg in front.
Emily Scott, a physical therapist, recommends this stretch for people with sitting jobs. “Technology has made us very sedentary,” she says. “Sitting makes up most of our days now, and our hip flexors are taking most of the toll.”
So get ahead of the pain: Do the straight-leg hamstring stretch before you even sit down at your desk.
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The Standing Hip Shift Exercise
This movement is rarely taught, yet we often perform a variation of it every day during our everyday routine .
If it hurts, dressing and putting on your socks is not easy to do first thing in the day. You have developed significant stiffness in your hips so that it remains with you overnight. Although you may become more flexible towards the end of the day, your weaker hip muscles continue to make you prone to becoming very stiff.
The exercise targets weaker, tighter and often neglected lumbar region, hip and leg muscles. It is to be done with upright support and requires practice as balance, and hip shifting is encouraged.
Point the toes of your elevated foot toward your body to add a calf stretch element to this back stretch, Becourtney says.
Exercises For Lower Back Muscle Strain
A complete back exercise program consists of stretching and strengthening the low back, abdominal, and lower body muscles, and also includes regular aerobic conditioning. Specific exercises should be prescribed based on individual needs. The program that works best will largely depend on factors such as fitness level, specific back pain diagnosis, and personal preferences.
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Take Care Of Your Back With Regular Exercise
Painful lower back spasms can make it difficult for you to work and relax. If you keep pushing through the pain, you are putting yourself at risk of further injury and delaying recovery. Rather, you should give your lower back a short period of rest. Pay attention to the activities that worsen your symptoms and avoid them for some time. But remember, long periods of inactivity can lead to stiff muscles and lower back spasms.
Its important to start a gentle stretching program to loosen up your tight lower back muscles. Stretching exercises promote blood flow to the area, which helps speed up the healing process. Once your symptoms are under control, you can start performing strengthening exercises for your lower back. Doing these exercises regularly will improve flexibility, mobility, and stability in your lower back. The exercises will strengthen your back muscles. A whole-body exercise program can help you lose weight. These are all important contributing factors to lower back spasms.
Muscle Tension And Pain
Muscle tissue is made of cells that can contract and expand in order to produce movement throughout the body. The cells which make up muscle tissue are typically long and slender, leading them to be known as muscle fibers. These muscle fibers are well supplied with blood vessels which keep them oxygenated and healthy.
Along with the network which supplies blood and oxygen to these tissues, they are also connected to and controlled by the nervous system which sends electrical impulses to produce contractions when we need to move.
In a similar sense, nerves found within the muscles send diagnostic signals to the brain which give it an idea of the condition these muscles are in. When these nerves sense any sign of damage or tension, they send impulses to the brain which create a pain response within the specific area.
If the muscles are dehydrated, overused, or suffer an acute injury, they tense up to prevent damage to these underlying structures. This is the reason tense muscles create pain.
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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.