How to Treat Sore Lumbar Muscles

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A sore lower back can result from overwork, sleeping poorly, a sports injury, an auto accident or a household fall. It is important to properly treat sore back muscles to avoid more serious complications in the future. Pain medication will help, but rest and appropriate stretches are important to recovery as well.

  • Rest your back for at least 24 hours. If you have been working hard, you need to stay off your feet and rest your back for a full day. This will take the pressure off of the back and give it a chance to recover.

  • Ice your back to reduce pain and swelling. Lie on your stomach and put an ice pack on your back for 15 minutes of every waking hour while you are resting your back. This should keep your back from getting worse and allow you to relax without pain.

  • Start doing stretching exercises after 24 hours of rest. Stretching exercises will bring back range of motion and help provide stability. One of the best stretching exercises involves an exercise band. Wrap one end of the exercise band under your feet. Grasp the other end of the band with your hands. Stretch your arms over your head. Return to the starting position. Do this 10 times, take a 30-second break and repeat the set.

  • Do shoulder shrugs to build strength in your lower back. Take hold of 3-lb. dumbbells in each hand. Stand with the weights at your sides. Roll your shoulders up toward your ears, and then return them to the starting position. Do this 10 times, take a 30-second break and repeat the set.

  • Do a hamstring stretch to promote full range of motion activities. Lie down on the floor with your knees bent at a 45-degree angle. Take hold of your right hamstring, and pull it up toward your chest. You should be able to pull the leg at least 18 inches. Stop when you feel pressure. Return your leg to the starting position. Do this 10 times, and then do the same stretch with your left leg. Take a 30-second break and repeat the stretch with both legs.

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