Stiff Back | Causes and Treatment

Stiff Back; a common problem!

 

What is a Stiff Back?

Rigidity or tightness in the back is often termed ‘ stiff back’. Did you know? 80 %of the American population suffers from stiff back at some point in their life.

 

What causes a stiff back?

Several conditions can lead to a stiff back, here are some. It may be due to injured ligaments and muscles in your back or due to a lower back strain. Moreover, osteoarthritis may also cause a stiff back. People who sit with a curved posture are likely to experience back pain as a bent posture results in a curved spine ultimately putting more pressure on the whole spine.

 
  • Tight hip muscles can also result in a stiff back. As hip flexors or muscles support back movement. Tightness in these muscles results in stiffness in the spine. Adding on it may cause surrounding spinal tissues to get inflamed. Tight hamstrings(thigh muscles) can also result in back pain. Because when they get tight and hence shorter it affects the curvature of your spine.

 
  • A trauma, constant stress may also result in a stiff back. Lifting weights improperly at a wrong angle can cause severe back pain. An accident or serious fall can damage muscles or cause inflammation leading to a stiff back.

  • Herniated or ruptured discs: This is a flattening and bulging out or rupturing of the discs that sit between the vertebrae(Spinal discs).

  • Radiculopathy: This is inflammation, compression, or injury that affects a spinal nerve root.

  • Arthritis may also cause back pain as it affects joints throughout the body.


Conditions associated with Stiff back

  • A stiff back can also be caused by an underlying condition that the patient is unaware of. Such as ankylosing spondylitis; is a condition in which the segments of the spinal bone fuse together and the muscles around your spine become inflamed causing stiffness and pain in the lower back. This disease often affects joints and bones located in the spine.

 
  • Another disease known as lumbar osteoarthritis has also been linked with back pain. It is a type of arthritis in which the cartilage around your spinal joints becomes inflamed, ultimately leading to tension and rigidity in your back.

 
  • The area between the lower back( lumbar) and the top of the hips is known as the lumbosacral region. Tearing of muscles and tendons( attach muscle to bone) in this area results in a lumbosacral strain. Which can cause lower back muscles to become taut, causing stiffness in your back. Some of the major symptoms include redness and swelling in the affected area as well as the inability to move properly.


How to prevent a stiff back?

  • To prevent the pulling and straining of muscles, it is advised to stretch or warm up before indulging in any physical activity or sports

  • Sleeping on a mattress that cushions the spine should be used.

  • Regular exercise can also prevent a stiff back

  • Maintaining a good posture can solve major back problems.

  • Using back supports



 

Tips to sleep with a stiff back!

A Stiff back is often associated with adverse sleeping positions. Adding on, certain sleeping positions can aggravate your condition. However for someone already experiencing back pain; here are some tips that can help.

 
  • In today’s world, every individual sleeps according to the position they deem most comfortable. People who prefer sleeping on their sides should place a pillow between their legs. This will help to take the strain off your back.

 
  • The majority of the people either sleep on their back or their stomach. So changing sleeping positions can be a little tedious for them. However what they can do is:

 
  • Back sleepers can put a pillow under their knees, legs, and additionally lower back to help the normal bend of the spine and limit lumbar tension.

 
  • Stomach sleepers ought to put just a slender pillow under their head and spot a more steady cushion under their hips and midsection. This attempts to forestall the lower back from sinking into a U-shape that hauls the spine crooked.

 

Home therapies for a stiff back

Some home remedies include applying heat to the affected area of your back. Heat acts as a driving force and causes blood to flow in the muscles surrounding your back. Adding on, this helps to relax the muscles and relieves joint ache. If you are experiencing burning pain in your back you may as well apply ice which has the opposite effect to a heating bag as it works to numb the pain and constricts the blood vessels.

Things to avoid

Stiffness in your back may become worse if you cling towards bedrest. So it is advised to indulge yourself in slight activities such as a small stroll or yoga. Activities that involve bending or twisting your back at odd angles should be strictly avoided. Adding on, the spinal cord is very sensitive, therefore abrupt lifting of heavy objects should be refrained from.

Exercises to heal a stiff back

Light stretches and exercises must be carried out to release the tension in the lower back. Moreover, you should choose exercises that target the muscles in the hips, thighs, and core. As they play a major role in supporting your back movement.

Targeted yoga

Yoga has been found out to be very helpful in treating a stiff back. The most common poses include:

  • Bridge Pose

  • Cat/Cow

  • Cobra Pose.

  • Locust Pose

In conclusion, some yoga poses may work to improve your condition. Practicing yoga daily and with the correct form may help to ease the pain! Drinking adequate amounts of water and deep breathing are some other ways to relieve back pain along with prescribed medicines.

Tense moment!

Older aged people as well as middle-aged people report the condition of having a stiff back. Although in most cases with rest and some traditional therapies their problem is solved. However, in some cases, the condition may become severe. For example, if the stiffness in your back persists and increases in magnitude then it is best advised to visit a medical specialist. An appointment with a chiropractor can release the tension in your lower back

.Conclusion

A Stiff back can be caused by many reasons. However, if the issue is dealt sensitively with proper care one can overcome this problem. Finding the root cause should be one’s aim so that the issue can be resolved easily. Home therapies and the guided consultation of a doctor go hand in hand to fix a stiff back.



 

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