Whether it is a strained muscle, slipped or bulged disc, or a simple muscle spasm, numerous reasons can cause lower back pain. People often look to one of these causes to blame the pain on, but a common cause is typically overlooked. Tight hip muscles and joints commonly cause lower back pain.
If a muscle is tight or constricted in any way, there will be tension in the surrounding muscles. Too much tension can cause that specific muscle to pull on everything around it to help relieve its tension. When your hips are tight, the body naturally shifts forward and this puts pressure on your lower back. In order to help remedy this specific cause, here are a few things you can do.
#1: Spinal Twist
This stretch works to relieve pressure by opening up your hips and relaxing the back muscles. To do this, lay on your right side and bring your left knee up to a 90-degree angle. Using your right arm, hold your left knee down and slowly rotate towards the left as you exhale. Rotate as far as you can comfortably and you should feel a stretch in your lower back. Make sure that your left knee remains on the ground. Hold for about one minute. Return to the starting position and then repeat on the other side.
#2: Thoracic Bridge
Start on all fours with your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees directly beneath your hips. Slowly extend your right arm and left leg simultaneously and lift your chest towards the ceiling. You should also squeeze your buttocks and curve your hips towards the ceiling. Hold this for five deep breaths and then return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
#3: Pigeon Pose
Start on all fours just like you did in the previous pose. Slide your right knee forward and angle it out slightly; the outside of your right thigh should be on the ground. Extend your left leg back until it is straight, making sure to keep your hips square. Hold yourself up straight and remain in this pose for about 30 seconds. If you feel flexible enough, lay down on your right leg. Repeat this on the other side.
#4: Foam Roll The IT Band
You are going to need a firm foam roller in order for this to be effective. Foam rolling can be painful, but it works to relieve muscle tension. Place the foam roller on the ground and get down on all fours over the roller. Slowly lower yourself while twisting to the right side. You should let the outside of your bottom leg rest on the roller and you should support yourself with your hands. Slowly roll up and down the outside of your bottom leg to relieve tension in the IT band. After rolling for about two minutes, do the same thing on the other side. You can repeat this several times on each side.
#5: Glute Foam Roll
Sit on the foam roller and support yourself with your hands planted on the ground behind the roller. Place your left ankle on top of your right thigh as though you were stretching your buttocks. Lean to the left and roll the left buttocks (gluteus muscle). Don’t fall off the roller. You don’t have to move very far or fast. Resting on a sore spot can do wonders. Do this for a few minutes and then repeat on the other side.