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Anyone know any tips or secrets to loosen the lower back?

10th June 2007

Question: I woke up this morning an my lower back is all in knots. Ive been trying to stretch it out for hours and nothing is really helping. I need to spend the next 3 days in a computer lab writing papers for finals week and there is no way I can do that with my back in its current state. Anyone know any tips or secrets to loosening the lower back? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Answer 1: Healing Back Pain by Dr. John E. Sarno. Get it. Feel better.

Answer 2: The heated patche are great. Soaking in a hot bath – as hot as you can stand it – is even better. Stretching exercises will help. 2 that work well are:

Get on all 4rs and wiggle your hind parts (ok wiggle may be the wrong word) basically rotate your hips left and right. It’s a tad embarrassing in front of others but it is a very good lower back exercise.

The other is to lie on your stomach and do a push-up making sure to keep your pelvis on the floor. It’s a stretch so go slow and don’t overdo it.

Answer 3: A chiropractor or acupuncture might help. If you have no time or money try “lying on a tennis ball” – put a tennis ball under you. and roll around on it. I think the deader the ball, the better. It is a great way to get the knots out. If it’s too much pressure on your back, you can use the tennis ball method against a wall

Answer 4: If you must be active, take some Advil. Per my dentist, who is also an M.D., it is the best OTC pain reliever for muscle pain. Another friend of mine, who has a Ph.D. in Pharmacy, says four Advils are roughly equal to one Vicodin. My wife has seen her down four at once for severe muscle pain, so we know that’s OK.

Any excercise that tightens the stomach and abdominal muscles is likely to help, but this may not be possible if you are really hurting.

I’ve also found that some lower back pain is psychological, often stress induced. Get rid of what’s bothering you and the pain may subside.

Answer 6: As others have mentioned, the Sarno book is good but I think you aren’t looking for reading material at the moment. Stress is one major cause of back pain. As it sounds like exam time, you are probably doing a lot of standing or sitting in one position for a long time to go along with your stress. Heating pads work great to loosen the lower back muscles and increase blood flow.

Also do plenty of stretching but focus on the hamstrings as they contribute alot to back tightness and are much easier to stretch well. The lower back is tough to stretch because of the limited range of motion one has. Good luck with the back pain and the finals.

Answer 7: Finals week stress is the worst. I used to hit the sauna and whirlpool on campus for study breaks – helped a lot. A low back stretch that I do is – lie on back, grab right knee and pull quad towards chest. Repeat left leg. Then touch each knee to the floor across your body, while extending your arm in the opposite direction (carefully). Another description here.

It’s common in Yoga which can also reduce stress and stretch out the back. Don’t take too much advil or stuff like that or your liver will be unhappy. You’re probably damaging your liver enough in college as it is.

One Response to “Anyone know any tips or secrets to loosen the lower back?”

  1. Matthew Loop Says:

    Great insightful tips 🙂 You can also get a home inversion system. I prefer the seated ones, as they are more specific to the low-back. That will help stretch the back and reverse some of the effects of gravity.