I reached a point in my chronic pain journey (2011-2014) that I dreaded reaching out for that ibuprofen or naproxen to get relief from lower back pain or those piriformis spasms. My body just stopped responding to medication. And it was making me feel worse.
I literally experienced most of their side effects…and that was when I knew I had to stop.
So throughout my journey, I’ve used a lot of tools and gadgets to get fast relief from back spasms. Some were a complete waste of money and others worked amazingly well that I still use them every now and then.
To be honest, most are free…
…and I decided to share the best 7 to help you fast relief from lower back pain, back, and piriformis spasms without any harmful side-effects.
I also made a video that shows you some of these tools – because I never recommend anything I haven’t used myself. These are actually tools I bought myself and have been using for years.
If you can’t watch the video, just scroll down for the full article.
7 Ways to Get Fast Relief From Lower Back Pain and piriformis Spasms.
Full disclosure: this post contains some affiliate links, I was not paid to promote any of these products. I only mention products I personally have used…and if you purchase using my affiliate link, I get a small commission. You won’t pay more. And thank you for supporting this blog!
If you’re going through a flare-up right now, or just recently started having chronic back pain spasms, it’s so important to get EXTRA sleep. The key word here is ‘extra’.
Most of us push through pain and injuries. Our backs are screaming but we’re not slowing down. In today’s society, everybody is stressed, in a rush and ‘busy’.
The nervous system controls all other systems in the body including the muscular-skeletal system…and when you’re so stressed (stuck in traffic, thinking about a deadline, bills, etc.) you’re body will channel that stress into either your digestive system or your muscular-skeletal system first.
Some people get stomach aches when stressed and others get neck or back pain.
Make self-care time a priority in your life. By self-care time I mean you’re in a relaxing environment away from all distractions and stimulants (Facebook, TV, bad news…)…
…And just sleep, meditate, read a book, or have a bath.
You can also schedule some time to walk at a park, be in nature, and breathe the fresh clean air. I can’t stress enough how important this is.
Mindfulness meditation has personally helped me relax my muscles naturally. Mindfulness meditation will help you stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system which will calm and relax your body.
The parasympathetic nervous system is referred to as the “Rest and digest” part of the autonomic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system, however, is responsible for the fight or flight stress response.
Mindfulness meditation is a great way to activate your parasympathetic nervous system so your body can have the opportunity to heal rest and regenerate. If you’re always in the fight or flight mode, your body is living in ‘survival’ mode and is using all the energy to try to get out of that stressful state.
I absolutely love my acupressure mat. Because again…it’s one of those tools that’ll stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and increase blood flow into those areas that need to heal.
If you have joint pain or lower back spasms, acupressure mats will give you instant relief from lower back pain, hip pain, and glute spasms. You do have to lie on it for at least 10 minutes to get to that deep relaxation state.
Here’s the link to the exact acupressure mat I’ve been using.
Please keep in mind that the acupressure mat won’t heal your pain forever. You still have to find the pain triggers to avoid getting pain in the first place. But if you get tension or have a back flare-up, it is a much better way to get relief without toxic drugs. It’ll also help you sleep better and feel so relaxed!
Release your PSOAS muscles
Almost every person has chronically tight hip flexors. We sit almost all day. The hip flexors already tend to shorten and tighten up by design…add sitting to that…and we end up with chronically tight muscles that, if not released, will create a lot of tension and instability around the hips.
I’m not a fan of too much stretching. So if you have lower back pain, I encourage you to actually release the opposite side of where you feel the pain. In this case the front of your hips.
Release your hip flexors and even your quads. You’ll notice that a lot of tension has built up there and once you’re done, you’ll definitely feel such a good relief in your lower back.
I like to use this massage ball to release the hip flexors because it’s easy to target the trigger points and work around those areas.
Releasing your hip flexors should be something to work on in addition to strengthening your glutes.
Add Stability to The Lumbar Spine.
Releasing your hip flexors should be something to work on in addition to strengthening your glutes and core.
The core and the glutes shut off the moment you sit down. And most people spend little to no time strengthening these muscles. Your core is designed to support and protect your lower back. Once you build a strong stable core, you’ll experience less tension and fewer flare-ups.
If you’re experiencing pain right now…I suggest you slow down with the stretching and just focus on releasing the PSOAS muscles, moving with proper form, and focusing most your efforts into stabilizing your lower back. I highly recommend you go and grab my deep core training. It’ll help you understand exactly how to build a strong deep core and give you the exact plan to follow for a week to achieve that.
Avoid ‘Stretchnitis’ – Stretching 10 times a day.
This is more of a ‘what not to do’ step. Please stop stretching all day long…it’s not going to heal you. Stretching should always be incorporated to balance out your strengthening routine and IF the muscle needs to be stretched. The quick relief you’re getting is due to the stretch reflex. That’s it.
(Physios are gonna hate me for this…but somebody’s gotta have to say it.)
Too much stretching and little to no strengthening, and you’re throwing your hips out of balance, over lengthening your muscles and creating weaker muscles. You need some tightness around your lumbar spine.
If you want to learn more about why stretching a lot isn’t going to help you heal. Here’s an article I wrote that talks in detail about that.
Switch to low-impact workouts
If you’re currently working out at home, or at a gym, keep all your workouts low impact.
If you love running…but each time you run you get a flare-up, how about switching to walking at a high pace on an incline?
I mean if you know that running is a pain trigger…why would you keep doing that?…
…And I totally understand that it’s hard to let go of something you love doing. I experienced that with lifting weights. But I always told myself that it was only temporary.
I gave my spine time to heal while still working out daily. Instead of regular back squats, I started doing sumo squats. Instead of one-legged deadlifts, I switched to regular deadlifts with dumbbells so I can just drop the weights easily if I need to.
When you switch to lower impact workouts, you’ll also be more consistent at the gym because you’re having fewer flare-ups.
I literally just thought of another thing that has helped me get amazing relief from muscle tension and spasms so I’m gonna add it as number 8.
One of the best ways to relax your muscles and get a good night sleep is to take a higher dose of magnesium…Aim for 350 mg to 500 mg to take before bed. Of course, please consult your doctor if you’ve never taken magnesium or have any serious health problems. Always check with your doctors before starting a new supplement.
Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant. If you have muscle spasms, it should be in your home all the time.
So these are my go-to tools to get fast relief from lower back and hip pain. Even though I’m not in pain anymore, I still use them to stay pain-free…
…I love lying on the acupressure mat after a long day of work…
…I release my hip flexors after my leg workouts…
…I meditate daily…
…I start my workouts with a full deep core activation routine, and…
…I take magnesium before bed every day.
Once you get short term relief, it’s important to also work on fixing the causes of chronic lower back pain so you can reach long-term relief (the goal)… start inside the Back Pain Bootcamp…