Your back feels tight, and your first instinct is to stretch it… bad news is this is almost allays going to result in an even tighter back. Often your tight lower back is caused by something else completely different. If you have an issue or injury such as a bulging disc, it is a little bit of a different case. For simple tight backs however, there are often other underlying weaknesses, tightness or imbalances going on.
To immediately relieve some of your lower back tightness, try these things.
- Stretch your hip flexors. These babies attach onto your lower spine, and when they are tight they tilt your pelvis anteriorly and put a lot of pressure through your lower back. Do some long and strong hip flexor stretches to see if this helps, some myofascial release with the tennis ball wouldn’t hurt either.
- Stretch and foam roll/ tennis ball your glutes. Especially your glute med and TFL. Your glute med is the outer most gluteal muscle, and your TFL is basically the muscle on your side just below your pelvis. These areas are often tight, and when they are tight they cause you to do different movements than normal, and you get a bit more pressure on your back.
- Use a heat pack on your lower back. With some of the pressure immediately relieved from these stretches, a heat pack can help to calm the muscles down and further the benefits of the work you have just done.
Keep in mind that a strong core surrounding your back is usually the best way to keep from having lower back problems. There are a lot more things you can do over time to help reduce and correct your back problems, but if you need a ten minute solution these are your best bets. Stay flexible and stay strong and you usually can avoid most problems, these couple of tips should help to instantly relieve some of the pain whilst you are at home. See bulging disc treatment for some more specific exercises and advice to serious back injuries.