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.
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.
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.
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.