If you ever wake up in the morning with an achy back, a foam roller can help immensely. If the pain is at it’s worst in the morning and gradually improves throughout the day, particularly with stretching and movement, it’s likely either a ligament or a muscle strain. Fortunately, these are usually minor injuries and can be prevented with foam rolling, stretching, core strength and proper nutrition.
5 Tips for Reducing Back Pain Severity and Frequency
Foam Roll & Stretch your Hamstrings
Using a foam roller on your hamstrings prior to, and after exercising in conjunction with stretching, will improve your hamstring mobility. What’s that got to do with lower back pain? Our hamstring muscles connect to our hips which are connected to our pelvis. As we’ve moved from standing up all day long to sitting in desks our hips have gotten tighter, and so have our hamstrings. The lower back is often trying to overcompensate for the lack of mobility in these areas which leads to, you guessed it, lower back pain.
Speaking of hips…
The same goes for the hip flexor muscles; aim to foam roll your hips prior to and post workout (I know, there isn’t always time – so aim for a ten minute foam rolling session twice a week). I’ve had a chronic hip flexor injury since I was 16, up until recently it was very problematic. I credit foam rolling and consistent stretching with resolving the nagging hip issue.
Improving your core strength can go a long way. As we grow older and try to remain healthy, we often turn to endurance sports to achieve both health and a sense of competitiveness. While biking, running and swimming are great ways to keep our cardiovascular health strong, they don’t do much for us in terms of core strength. Incorporating side and front planks into your workouts two or three times a week, can go a long way.
I’m a firm believer diet is related to 80% of 90% of all of our problems, whether that be chronic pain, diabetes, disease or just our overall moods. Ensuring you’re drinking enough water can help reduce and prevent lower back pain. The discs between your vertebrae are composed of two parts; an inner and outer component. The inner component is made up primarily of water, and without proper hydration, it can’t provide the shock absorption that it is designed to.
Roll that Lower Back Pain Away
The final tip to reduce that lower back pain is the most obvious – use a foam roller and stretch your lower back. But be extremely careful with this. I’d recommend rolling out the sides of your lower back and never rolling out directly on your spine.
To do this, lie on your right side with your forearm resting on the ground, with your knees slightly bent and your feet on the ground. Slowly roll from the top of your hip bone to your rib cage. This should take twenty to thirty seconds per pass. Switch sides and repeat. Like Amanda does below: