Have you recently started to experience pain in either your upper or lower back? And you can’t quite pinpoint the exact cause of this sudden pain?
Perhaps your back pain is being caused by stiff and tight muscles. If your back muscles become stiff, even completing everyday simple tasks can become incredibly difficult and painful.
Stiffness throughout your back is the result of increased tension in your back muscles. It can occur in both your upper and lower back regions. Generally, muscle stiffness results from one of a few different common causes.
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at what those causes are while also providing you with some quick tips to find relief from back pain caused by stiff and tight muscles.
The Most Common Causes of Stiff and Tight Back Muscles: How Can Stiff and Tight Muscles Result In Back Pain?
Your back muscles can become stiff and tight as a result of recent trauma. If you’ve recently been in a car accident, taken a fall, or any other sort of incident that could have caused you to injure yourself, muscle tension is a common result.
Another of the most common causes of back trauma is from an improper lifting technique, where individuals use their backs to lift heavy loads instead of using their legs. It’s perhaps the most frequent cause of missed time from the workplace.
Your back muscles can definitely tense up as a result of overuse or repetitive motions. This can happen even due to extremely common tasks, such as wearing a heavy backpack every day or helping a friend or relative move.
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If the aggravating motion is repeated over and over, it can eventually cause inflammation in the affected area, which in turn leads to swelling, redness, and severe back pain.
Tight Hamstrings Can Cause Tight Back Muscles
Believe it or not, but if your hamstring muscles have become stiff and tight, it can have a direct impact on your back muscles as well. It’s indeed true — tightness in your hamstrings can place an increasing amount of stress on your lumbar spine, even forcing it into a forward bent position in some cases.
There is such a strong link between your hamstrings and back pain and stretches targeting your hamstring muscles are commonly recommended for individuals with sciatica or generalized lower back pain.
Poor Posture When Sitting Down
Errors in posture is one of the most leading causes of nearly all varieties of back pain. It also plays a major contributing factor when it comes to your muscles becoming stiff and tight. In the modern information era, the vast majority of people spend over eight hours per day sitting down — and in a lot of cases, sitting down with poor posture.
When you sit down with poor posture, it can have quite a few negative side effects for your back. These negative effects include placing stress on your lumbar spine, strain on your lower back muscles, and over the long term, changes in the anatomical structure of your spine.
How to Relieve Stiff and Tight Muscles
Often times, muscle tightness and stiffness can be treated from home with proper rest, massage treatment, and the use of hot and cold therapy.
Hot therapy generally works better for muscle tightness, while ice therapy is ideal for any swelling or inflammation. Whether you are using hot or cold therapy, it’s important to keep it applied to the affected area for no more than 20 minutes.
Aside from hot or cold therapy, stretching is another ideal way to help alleviate the symptoms of muscle tightness, and even help to prevent it from occurring in the first place. It also helps to keep your muscles loose and flexible.
The three main muscle groups that you should focus on stretching out, especially if you’re dealing with back pain, are as follows:
As mentioned above, there is a huge link between your hamstrings being tight and lower back pain. Stretches that focus on your hamstrings and thighs, like quad stretches, can be helpful for easing back pain.
Obviously if you are experiencing back pain, it can help immensely to stretch out your back muscles, particularly in your lumbar region.
Stretches that focus on your neck or cervical spine area can be very helpful if your back pain is localized in your upper back region. Exercises like neck rolls performed while sitting in a chair can help you find relief.
Additionally, massage therapy is an excellent method of relieving muscle tightness. A good, trained massage therapist will be able to help work out the stiffness in your muscles. Many people find that they feel a huge decrease in pain after a deep tissue massage.
Other than relieving stiff muscles, it can be helpful to know a few different ways to prevent your muscles from becoming tight in the first place. Here’s a few tips and tricks to prevent muscle stiffness:
- Focus on practicing good posture
- Take regular breaks to stand and stretch if you spend a lot time sitting down throughout the day
- Eat a healthy diet, including drinking plenty of water to ensure that you stay properly hydrated
Generally, if your back pain is the result of muscle tightness or stiffness, it’s fairly simple to treat from home. By applying the principles in this article, you should be able to notice an immediate improvement in your back pain symptoms.
If, on the other hand, that after applying these strategies, you are still experiencing back pain or muscle tightness, then we recommend the following program: Back Pain Relief For Life. It’s a proven all-natural program that provides permanent back pain relief.
It takes less than a half hour per day, using a few simple movements that you can do from the comfort of your own home. Be sure to give it a look if you are dealing with any lingering back pain!