7 Movements To Help Relieve A Tight Lower Back

7 Movements To Help Relieve A Tight Lower Back

After the common cold and flu, low back pain is the top reason that people in the United States visit their healthcare provider. Pain in the lumbar spine, or lower back, is commonly accompanied by tight lower back muscles. If the low back is stiff, you may experience difficulty standing upright, sitting down, or changing positions. Low back stiffness can be caused by everything from injury and arthritis to nerve damage and sprain. It is up to you to stay on top of your pain to help maintain mobility and flexibility. 

Symptoms Of A Tight Low Back

A tight lower back can worsen over time, so you have to take action and take steps to ease tension when you feel it. The last thing you want is to let it reach a point where it is so tight that when you shake a bedsheet to make your bed, you collapse in pain. Tightness in the low back is usually accompanied by spasms, general pain, and occasional cramping. The pain usually feels like a dull ache and you may feel restricted when you twist or move. It’s also possible to feel tightness in the pelvis, hips, and legs. 

How To Improve Strength And Flexibility

Many simple stretches and movements can help improve both flexibility and strength. The goal is to lengthen and extend the spine to your comfort level. The last thing you want to do is worsen the pain or injury while trying to make it better. Stretching the hamstrings, doing core exercises, and engaging in hip mobility work can all benefit your spine. Consider the following stretches and movements to help relieve tension and improve flexibility in the low back. 

Knees To Chest

This stretch works to loosen muscles in the low back and increase flexibility, all while stabilizing the pelvis. To begin, lie flat on your back with both legs extended. Draw your right knee to your chest and interlace your fingers around your shin. Hold this position for five to 10 seconds, keeping your pelvis flat and square. Release your right leg and then repeat with the left leg. Release your left leg and then draw both knees to your chest and hold the position for 30 seconds. 

Pelvic Tilts

This exercise aims to strengthen the abdominals and lower back muscles, while simultaneously increasing pelvic flexibility. Lie flat on your back and bend your knees, planting your feet flat on the ground. You should be able to touch your heels with your fingertips. Engage your core so that the base of your spine presses into the floor and hold for five seconds. Relax and lift your butt off the ground slightly before returning to the ground. Continue alternating between these two positions for three sets of 10 reps. Make sure to take a minute to rest between each set. 

Child’s Pose

Besides corpse pose, child’s pose is one of the most relaxing yoga postures that can take pressure off the low back. It also works to lengthen, stretch, and align the spine. Begin on all fours in a tabletop position, stacking your shoulders over your wrists and hips over your knees. Widen your knees and bring your big toes together as you sit back onto your heels. Aim to bring your forehead to the mat and extend all the way through your fingertips. If necessary, place a bolster or pillow under your chest. Allow the body to relax and let go of any tension. Remain in this position for one minute. 

Reclining Single-Leg Stretch

A tight low back can cause tightness in the hamstrings, but stretching them can help realign the spine and reduce pain. Lie flat on your back with both legs extended. Lift up your right leg to extend it toward the ceiling, keeping a slight bend in the leg. You can bend your left leg and press your foot into the floor for support if necessary. Interlace your fingers behind your right hamstring or use a towel around the top of your right foot. Pull your leg toward you and stop once you feel a good stretch. Hold this position for 30 seconds before repeating on the left side. Complete two to three times per side. 

Hip Circles

This exercise aims to increase flexibility, release tension, and loosen the lower back and hip muscles. Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and place your hands on your hips. Start by swaying your hips from side to side. Start to rotate your hips in one direction and make big circles, completing at least 10 circles in one direction. Repeat in the opposite direction and then rest. You can complete another set or two if you wish. 

Legs Up The Wall

This yoga pose aims to relax the pelvis and low back. It also provides a great stretch for your hamstrings and aims to improve blood flow from the lower extremities back to the heart. Begin in a seated position with the right side of your body against a wall. Lie down on your back and swing your legs up the wall, placing your heels against the wall. Aim to scoot your butt as close to the wall as possible. Relax your arms in any comfortable position and focus on relaxing the low back to release tension. Remain in this position for two minutes. 

Cat Cow

Not only does this pose improve spinal flexibility, but it also stretches your hips and lower abdomen. Pay attention to your muscles during this movement, especially if you feel stiff or sore. Start in a tabletop position, with your hands on the ground beneath your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips. Start by rounding your back, dropping your head down and engaging your buttocks to tuck your tailbone toward your head. Hold this for a second before arching your back, extending your head back.



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