Whether your lower back gets tight and stiff in the morning, after napping, or after sitting – here you’ll find the best home treatments for lower back stiffness – naturally.
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First, here’s something you may have not been aware of:
Low back stiffness has a lot to do with your blood circulation.
If your back is stiff mostly after sleeping, it’s because your blood circulation is at its lowest when you sleep.
So, what can you do about it?
Here are 6 common causes for lumbar tightness, and their natural and simple solutions:
6 Common Causes (& Fixes) for Lower Back Stiffness
If you’re tired of waking up in pain and walking around like a human ruler, you’ll have to dig deep and find the root cause of your pain.
👉 If it only happens in the morning – here’s how to prevent morning back pain!
Here are a few possible causes for your back problems:
1. Too much or Too Little Physical Activity
If you sit most of the day, it weakens the core muscles that support your spine. A spine that is not properly supported is easily susceptible to injuries, such as strains, pinched nerves, bulging discs, and lumbar herniated discs.
Exercising on a daily basis (especially walking while swinging your arms) is a great way to get your blood flowing and your blood circulation increased (this is what a hot shower does and why it relieves your pain).
Release those feel-good endorphins, and help clear nasty toxins from your body.
Swimming is also very beneficial for lower back pain.
Here’s a good video showing 5 effective morning stretches for back stiffness:
If your lower back is stiff after working out (probably due to “muscle fever”), here are the best ways to prevent back pain after working out.
2. Bad Posture
If your job requires that you bend over your desk with a bad posture, this may cause lower back pain.
Also, sitting most of the day makes your core muscles “sleepy” (among other problems).
When the core muscles do not support the spine properly, damage to the discs in your spine can easily occur. This damage is known as a disc bulge, or worse – disc herniation.
Your body goes into a state of panic and tightens all the muscles in your lower back so you won’t be able to move and cause more damage.
The obvious solution is to strengthen your core muscles through core exercises.
Be aware, core exercises are not just random stretches.
Stretches are probably not a good idea because they fight the body’s defense mechanism (which is why your back is stiff). Instead, a better idea is to do stabilizing core exercises, as demonstrated HERE.
If you sit a lot during the day, another great preventative method is replacing your office chair with a balance ball chair.
3. Bad Mattress
A poor mattress supports poor sleeping postures and can cause strained muscles, which are forced to attempt to realign your spine when they’re supposed to be relaxing.
When your spine is not aligned through the night, minor back injuries and inflammation can worsen to major disc and nerve problems.
There is no one mattress that is the perfect fit for all. Personal preference in this matter goes a long way.
The best mattress for you would likely be the mattress that offers the most support to the strained area while being comfortable enough to get a good night’s sleep.
For lower back stiffness, a medium-firm mattress is usually recommended.
If you can’t buy a new mattress right now, you can get the next best thing – a 3-inch memory foam top, like this one.
4. Sleep Posture
Do you sleep on your stomach?
I hope you don’t. But if you do, it’s a hard habit to quit.
The wrong sleeping posture can lock your body in a bad position for hours, causing reduced blood flow to the local muscles, and a buildup of lactic acid, causing back stiffness.
Try to sleep either on your side or on your back — as stomach sleeping causes unnecessary stress on the low back and spine.
And I highly recommend that you consider a high quality body pillow. It can be a lifesaver for people “stuck” with bad sleep postures and there’s a good reason why pregnant women love them so much.
5. Overweight/Poor Diet
Being overweight causes you to carry unnecessary pounds, which puts strain on your joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
A poor diet is usually high in simple carbohydrates which causes weak muscles, bad posture, and lethargy.
Most of us know by now all about healthy eating.
You don’t have to start an official diet or even count calories. Just do your best to eat less junk and eat real, healthy food.
Replace your snacks with healthy snacks and have as many fruits and vegetables as you can.
I also recommend considering infrared therapy, which is a proven, natural, and effective way to burn calories while detoxing your entire body – effortlessly.
6. Cold/Damp environment
Living or working in a cold or damp environment causes your low back muscles to stiffen because the cold or dampness affects the blood flow throughout the body.
If your bedroom is drafty, seal the windows or door. If it is cold, try an infrared space heater or use extra blankets to prevent that cold or dampness from stiffening your body.
The same goes for any room you spend a lot of time in.
More Easy Ways to Relieve Lumbar Stiffness
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, is that the first step of healing is natural pain relief.
And while most people reach for muscle relaxants like Motrin and pain relievers like Aleve to get them going, you don’t need to.
1. Hot Shower – a hot shower serves as a means to induce sweating, promote blood circulation and release muscle spasms. Simply stand under the hot water and… relax.
2. Massage – You can either try to massage the stiff area yourself or ask someone else to do that for you. If there’s no one around (or they’re all suddenly busy), a trigger-point foam roller is an excellent solution.
You lay flat on the foam roller and move back and forth while the little trigger points massage and relax your lower back in just minutes. I highly recommend the Grid Foam Roller for this purpose.
3. Infrared Heating Pad – an infrared heating pad is in my opinion superior to the regular electric heating pad because the infrared rays penetrate deeper into your tissues and promote the healing of the area, not just relieve the pain (very effectively btw).
If you haven’t heard about this natural pain relief method, it’s time to find out.
4. Damage Control Exercises – after a hot shower, do some gentle knee bends. As far as you can go without falling. This exercise works almost 90% of the skeletal muscles.
Find a counter or a chair for support, then exhale and squat as low as you can, then inhale and stand up again. Try to do 10 of these.
To your health and happiness,