A tight and sore lower back may be the result of an injury. Tight muscles in the hip and thigh, such as the quads and hip flexors, can pull on the hips and spine, resulting in a tight and sore lower back. Hot and cold therapy combined with simple stretches and mild exercises can help loosen up a tight and sore lower back. If you are experiencing back pain, consult your physician before starting an exercise program.
Apply an ice pack to your lower back for 20 minutes. The cold will reduce inflammation, which can contribute to the soreness.
Set a heating pad to medium. Apply it to your lower back for 20 minutes at a time. The heat will loosen the tight muscles.
Alternate between the ice pack and heating pad for one hour.
Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
Kneel on a towel to cushion your knees.
Step one foot forward while leaving the other knee on the towel. You should be in “proposal” position.
Tilt your pelvis back and shift your weight forward to lean more body weight on your forward leg. You should feel a stretch down the front of your kneeling leg. For a deeper stretch, pull your rear foot or ankle toward your buttock.
Hold the stretch for up to 30 seconds. Release and repeat on the other side.
Start on all fours with your knees under your hips and your hands under your shoulders. Keep the tops of your feet flat on the floor.
Drop your head toward the floor and pull your bellybutton toward your spine. Round your back as high as possible, like a frightened cat.
Keep your back rounded and sit back on your heels. Press your chest toward your thighs and rest your forehead on the floor, if possible. Keep your arms extended and your palms on the floor. You should feel a deeper stretch in your lower back.
Lift your head, tilt your chin toward the ceiling and press your chest forward to arch your back. Rock forward onto all fours with your chin and tailbone arched toward the ceiling. Your lower back should have a deep arch like a cow.
Repeat the cat and cow stretches five times.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Lift your feet so that your calves are parallel to the floor and your knees over your hips.
Stretch your arms out to the sides in a “T.” Let your knees fall to the floor on one side and turn your head in the opposite direction.
Lift your knees and let them fall to the other side. Turn your head in the opposite direction.
Continue rocking your knees left and right up to 10 times on each side.
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: Low Back Pain
- "Personal Trainer Manual"; American Council on Exercise; 2008