Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: December 13, 2021
Spinal muscle tightness can range in severity from mildly annoying to a major pain, especially if that tightness contributes to a muscle tear or related injury. If you’re dealing with a tight back, you’ll want to be careful and deliberate in how you approach activity until the tightness subsides in order to avoid injuring the muscle or nearby structures. In today’s blog, we share some tips for getting rid of a tight back in a hurry.
How To Alleviate A Tight Back
Back tightness can be brought on by a number of different issues with your spine, so it’s important to look at your lifestyle and recent activity to try and pinpoint the root cause, because some treatments will be more successful than others based on the root cause of back tightness. In many cases, back tightness can usually be attributed to things like excessive pressure and use, poor posture for an extended period, dehydration and even mental and emotional stress. With that in mind, here are some of the ways to alleviate spinal muscle tightness based on your underlying cause.
- Stretching – Stretching is the most obvious answer, but that doesn’t mean it is always effective. If your back is tight from being in the same position for an extended period, like what you might experience at the office or after a long night’s sleep, take a couple minutes to slowly and gently stretch your back and your body. This will help muscles transition from an inactive to an active state and increase healthy blood flow to the area.
- Gentle Activity – If you’re still dealing with back stiffness after a couple minutes of stretching, try to get your back loose with gentle activity like walking or using an elliptical. These activities will get your heart pumping and send oxygenated blood to your muscle groups, which can help them function optimally. These activities aren’t very strenuous, so your odds of injuring your back while trying to alleviate stiffness is quite low.
- Heating Pads – A heating pad can be a great passive way to address back stiffness when you don’t want to be active. Heat will help to open up blood vessels to enhance blood flow to and from your spine, and as we mentioned in the previous points, healthy blood flow ensures that muscles can perform as expected.
- Hydrate – If your back tightness is likely caused by dehydration, make sure you replenish your liquids. When you’re dehydrated, muscles can’t move as smoothly, and this can lead to sensations of tightness or even cramping. Hydrate before and after a workout, and try to drink plenty of water throughout the day to avoid problems caused by dehydration.
- Meditation/Relaxation – Interestingly, mental and emotional stress can have implications for our physical health, including our muscles. Stress and tension in our bodies can cause muscles to tighten and lead to physical symptoms. Oftentimes it can be expressed in the form of tension headaches and upper back/neck tightness, which is why finding ways to destress your life can be helpful. Meditation and relaxation techniques can oftentimes be helpful when stress from the outside world is contributing to your back tightness.
- Speak With A Specialist – Finally, if these techniques are only mildly helping, or if your back tightness has become chronic, speak to a specialist like Dr. Sinicropi. He’ll be able to pinpoint the root cause of your spinal muscle tightness and work to provide tailored solutions for your needs. Whether it’s a physical therapy program or an exercise regimen paired with muscle relaxants, he’ll find a targeted solution for you.
For more information, or to talk to a specialist about your back tightness, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi today at (651) 430-3800.