Back stiffness is usually a result of tightening of the muscles in the back as a result of soft tissue injuries such as muscle strain. The presence of skeletal problems on the spine may also cause stiffness because any disruption in the normal anatomic position of the spine (such as in scoliosis or kyphosis) may cause the muscles and ligaments to tighten leading to back stiffness. Back stiffness usually cause back pain, weakness and numbness on the lower extremities. When altered sensations are experienced, this may be due to a more serious condition in the spine or nerves that need to be seen by a physician immediately.
There are various ways to deal with back stiffness and most of them are usually non-invasive that you can actually do at home. Nevertheless, it is still best to consult your health care provider for prompt diagnosis and treatment. The following may be the ways you can deal with back stiffness to reduce pain and discomforts:
The most common cause of back stiffness is over fatigue to the muscles that makes them contracted all the time. This is especially true for people who undertake occupations that employ lifting, sitting for prolonged periods and others. To prevent further injury and stiffness, a full day rest may be just what you need to allow your muscles to relax.
- Apply Cold and Warm Compress
Following any acute injury to the back, icing helps reduce swelling that further contributes to back pain. After 48 hours, you can start applying warm compress over your back to promote muscle relaxation. Warm compress should never be placed in less than 48 hours of injury because it will promote vasodilatation that further aggravates swelling. Warm compress should be placed for 30 minutes three times a day. You can also have hot showers or heating pads to provide heat on the back.
- Perform Stretching
Stretching is sometimes what your muscles need to become more flexible and reduce stiffness. Stretching lengthens the muscle, which helps them become relaxed and flexible for certain body movements. Even those who have light activities need to stretch too to prevent injuries.
- Have a Back Massage
Massage is a great way to deal with back stiffness. Massage usually breaks muscle tension knots that make your back stiffer. Getting a massage every week is also best to maintain back health and avoid build-up of tension.
- Practice Good Posture
Good posture always prevents stiffness at the back because it prevents the tightening of the muscles. Make sure to maintain a good posture all the time. If you are working for long hours sitting, it’s best to get an ergonomic chair with adequate back support.
- Get a Chiropractic Care
Another reasons for back stiffness is the presence of spinal subluxations or nerve irritation in the spine. Chiropractic care, like that offered by Dr. Mohr, your local Wesley Chapel chiropractor, will involve spinal adjustments to relieve nerve pressure that will help relieve back pain.
- Stay active
After resting for a day, it is best to stay active and get a good amount of exercise to allow the muscles to become more flexible. It is best to have aerobics and cardio exercises and avoid weight training for the meantime.
Back stiffness may be mild for some, but it cannot be denied that it produces significant discomfort and affectation of daily functioning because the back is essential for body movements. Employing these managements may help relieve body stiffness to promote optimum level of functioning.