Stiff Back – Cause & Relief

Stiffness and pain could occur in the upper back or lower back caused by tension in the muscle tissue. Due to the shortening of muscles, the range of motion is restricted and pain is felt from the muscle spasms and contracture. However, not all back pain and stiffness are caused by tensed muscles. More severe cases could have root problems in the joints, spinal discs and nerves that may require surgery. For mild to moderate stiff back problems, non-surgical methods are sufficient to relief the symptoms.

Causes

Tensed muscles could be caused by trauma, overuse or poor posture. Sharp trauma from a bad fall or an accident can result in an acute muscle strain, as experienced with pain, inflammation and muscle spasms.

An overuse injury is caused by repetitive stresses over time, very often due to sports-related activities. The back is strained from the pressure of the strenuous training or often carrying heavy items, leading to muscle fatigue.

Poor posture is a common but often overlooked cause of stiff back and neck pain. Hunching of shoulders and leaning toward the computer lead to an imbalance strain of muscles. Some muscles are overworked to compensate for muscles not used to support the position. With long periods of time, the constant stress results in pain and stiffness.

Relief

If it is a muscular issue, there are some exercises and tips you can practice every day to relief the symptoms and avoid further strain. Severe cases should however, avoid the exercises unless advised by a doctor or therapist.

The Cobra Stretch:

This basic yoga pose helps to stretch and elongate tensed back muscles. Lie face down and place your palms beneath your shoulders. Keep toes inverted flat and pointing straight, with your stomach tucked in to support your lower back. Then lift your upper body off the floor with your arms and tilt your head back.

Shoulder Rotation:

When doing the shoulder rotation, keep your elbows straight in perpendicular to your body and bring them back aligned to your shoulders. At all times, straighten your back and do the exercise slowly.

Take Short Breaks Regularly:

We tend to sit for the most part of the day and with the sedentary, the muscles stiffen up from the lack of movement. Get up and take a short walk or simply just stretch every 1 to 2 hours of sitting. Make sure that you maintain the correct sitting posture, with your back straight, legs on the floor and head aligned with your shoulders.

Stiff Neck – Cause And Relief!

Have you ever woke up to a stiff neck before? That uncomfortable and tight feeling that makes movement almost impossible and causing you a lot of discomfort throughout the entire day. Stiff neck are frequently experienced by many and it will usually go away by itself after a few days. You may rest assure that stiff neck is not an indication of any serious problems with your neck. So what are some of the causes of stiff neck and what measures can you take to relief it?

Causes:

Injury

Injuries are one of the most common reasons that one will experience stiff neck. A sudden jerking movement at the neck region can injure the muscles and ligaments, causing injury and subsequent pain and stiffness. Injuries can be caused by sports, accidental falls or even a car accident.

Stress

Our body response to stress is the natural tensing of our muscles. If you did not suffer any injuries recently and is experiencing stiff neck, it could be an indication that you are under tremendous stress. It’s time to take things easy and relax.

Muscle spasm

Muscle spasm are due to the signalling of certain messages from our nerves to the muscles which will result in them involuntary contracting, causing stiff neck.

Improper sleeping posture

Improper sleeping posture is probably the most common reason for stiff neck. Our body is in a relaxed state when we are asleep and an improper sleeping posture can cause the pulling of the neck muscles without us being aware of it. Only when we finally wake up do we realise it and it is often too late.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that targets the joints, especially those in the neck. It will result in neck pain and stiffness.

Meningitis

Meningitis is a very serious inflection of the fluid that surrounds our brain and spinal cord and if you suffer from neck pain and stiffness and they are not caused by the factors listed above, you should consult a doctor immediately as a stiff neck is a common symptom of meningitis.

Treatment:

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and paracetamol can help to relief the pain associated with neck stiffness.

Ice or Heat pack

Using either an ice pack or a heat pack can help to relief the pain. Ice pack will help to bring down the swelling and reduce inflammation while a heat pack will help to expand the muscles, allowing them to relax and reduce the stiffness, bringing relief to you.

Proper neck support pillow

A proper neck support pillow is slightly more expensive compared to normal ones but they ensure that your neck is properly rested and aligned when you sleep, reducing the chances of you suffering from stiff neck due to improper posture.

Above are some of the common causes of neck pain and stiffness and some ways that can help to relief them. Neck pain and stiffness will cause us a lot of discomfort and make us look funny in front of others so take care of it.