Why Do I Have Tight Muscles Elsewhere In My Body
Muscle tightness isnât just experienced in the legs. Sometimes it is felt in the back muscles. Other times it is in the upper body, such as in the arm or chest muscles.
Some of the causes may be the same. Lack of movement, overtraining, and accident or injury can all lead to tight muscles. The key is to get at the root cause so you can develop an effective plan to reduce the tension and pain.
If youâve tried stretches, massage, foam rolling, or other techniques and the muscles wonât relax, additional health professionals should be consulted. A physical therapist may be able to achieve some type of relief. If physical therapy doesnât work, a doctorâs visit may be necessary to get to the root cause. Once the cause is identified, a treatment plan can be created.
Itâs also possible that a movement dysfunction may be to blame. The ISSAâs Corrective Exercise certification course covers how this type of issue can lead to low back or knee pain. It also teaches you how to help clients overcome these issues with a corrective exercise regimen.
What Are The Symptoms Of Lumbar Strain
. Each person’s symptoms may be different. Symptoms may include:
- Sudden lower back pain
- Spasms in the lower back that result in more severe pain
- Lower back feels sore to the touch
Some of these symptoms may be caused by other health problems. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
Common Causes Of Stiff Back And How To Get Relief
80% of the population will experience a back problem at some point in their lives. Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the Global Burden of Disease 2010. Fortunately, most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic, meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture, or cancer. There are many who have pulled a back muscle in their lifetime by simply doing a daily activity. The back is a complicated structure of bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles. You can sprain ligaments, strain muscles, rupture discs, compress nerves, and irritate joints – all of which can lead to back pain. While sports injuries or accidents can cause back pain, sometimes the simplest of movements can have painful results. In addition, risk factors such as arthritis, poor posture, sleeping position, obesity, and psychological stress can cause or complicate back pain.
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Why Do I Wake Up Feeling Stiff
As we sleep, we have an increase if fluid in our discs. This fluid builds overnight and it results in little in height. You are taller in the morning than you are in the afternoon. This is due to gravity and movement which moves the fluid in and out of your discs. This is exactly what they are built to do. Donât believe me, do you feel looser after moving? Motion is lotion baby! The discs rely on this fluid to distribute force so you can remain flexible and strong. As we age, our discs arenât as fluid filled and they lose some elasticity. Just like the skin on your body. Very normal but this means you need to move to have the relief in the stiffness or tightness in your back. The lack of movement during the night means the disc canât move the nutrients in and out like it can when you move. This lack of movement, age, and some other factors results in morning stiffness and tightness.
What Is Causing My Muscle Tightness
If your muscle isnt shortened or hardened, what could be causing this sensation of tightness. Well, since we know that tightness is a subjective experience, we can consider it as being on the same spectrum as pain. In essence, the sensation of tightness is like a minor pain. As weve discussed in a previous post, pain is very complex and is influenced by many different factors. For example, two people with the same injury may have different amounts of pain due to factors such as stress, sleep, diet, mental health, and more. We can view tightness in the same way. While these other factors will play an important role in how much tightness you feel in your muscle, the tightness may also be related to a lack of movement. We often feel tightness after being in one position for a prolonged period of time. Our body loves movement, and when it doesnt move, it gets upset. Movement helps maintain blood flow to all parts of our body, and keeps our muscles, joints, and bones healthy. When we stay in one position for too long, it decreases blood flow to certain areas.
The experience of muscle tightness may be our body trying to tell us that the muscle is not getting enough blood flow, and we need to do something to change that . Again, this is why stretching or massaging may be helpful , but if we continue to stay in prolonged positions, the tightness may keep coming back.
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Stiff Lower Back: Causes And Treatments
Dr. Bhavik Sheth, PT, DPT, CSCS, SFMA
Dr. Bhavik Sheth, PT, DPT, CSCS, SFMA is a physical therapist and the co-founder of the Elite Movement Initiative, a physical therapy group. He earned his D
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Amid our busy, active lives, most adults experience a stiff lower back at some point. In fact, a 2017 study found that about one-quarter of US adults experienced lower back pain at least once in the last three months. Plus, low back pain is one of the most common reasons for a doctors visit in the US.
Lower back pain ranges from acute to chronic, meaning it can last less than 4 weeks or sometimes up to 12 weeks. Chronic pain is often associated with arthritis and gradually becomes worse over time. Acute back pain lasts for a shorter period of time and is typically a result of strain or trauma to the area, which can cause the muscles in the back to seize up and spasm. In both cases, lower back tightness limits mobility and causes debilitating pain.
Throughout this article, we outline some of the most common causes of lower back stiffness and simple ways you can find relief. We also highlight some more serious symptoms associated with low back pain and suggest when it is best to seek medical attention.
What Can Be Done About It
Once properly assessed, muscle imbalances and postural dysfunctions are fairly easy to correct. Generally we focus on three main areas:
- Mobilising joints and releasing short, tight muscles and soft tissues
- Strengthening the longer, weaker muscles to correct the bodys alignment and movement control
- Identifying and changing the lifestyle and working factors that are contributing to the underlying problem
Get Loose How To Do Lumbar Stretches To Ease Lower Back Pain
Are you someone who suffers from lower back pain?If so, youre not alone. In fact, its estimated that in the US, 80% of adults experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. Lower back pain can wreak havoc on your life. Luckily, there are a lot of treatments out there that can help you alleviate your pain. One of the best treatments is lumbar stretching. What lumbar stretching should you do for lower back pain?Check out this guide to discover how to do lumbar stretches to ease lower back pain.
Why Do I Have Tight Muscles In My Legs And How Do I Ease It
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Youâre in the middle of your training session and your clientâs leg muscles tighten up. Or maybe theyâve skipped their workout altogether. The tightness in their legs was just too much. Getting to the root cause of your clientâs leg muscle tension is critical to getting them in the gym. Easing the tightness is the next step. Letâs start with some of the reasons people experience tight leg muscles.
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Back Muscle Endurance And Tension
A variety of muscle issues stem from a lack of muscular endurance. The lower back muscles are especially susceptible to these types of issues as they are often untrained or too weak. These muscles must be ready to contract and expand repeatedly throughout the day, especially given physically demanding jobs or recreational activities.
Spending a few minutes each day stretching these muscles and holding those positions can help strengthen the muscle fibers therein and help expand the endurance of these muscles over long periods of use.
Popular stretches for lower back muscles include:
- A popular move in yoga, this position stretches tight muscles throughout the lower back and can be especially helpful as soon as one climbs out of bed.
- With the knees to the floor and the buttocks resting on the feet, stretch the upper body forward and extend the arms as far ahead as possible. Hold this pose for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat in intervals of 5 for the most effect.
Pigeon Pose On Your Back
Alexis recommends this modified pigeon pose for loosening up tight lower back muscles. To perform, start on your back.
Bend your right knee and bring the leg to your chest. Grab onto your shin and pull the leg in towards you. Keep the left leg fully extended and flat on the ground. If thats too difficult, you can also bend the left knee and rest the right ankle on top of the opposite knee. According to Alexis, the modification should look like a seated figure four pose on your back.
To deepen the stretch, reach through your legs, grab hold of your left hamstring, and pull it toward you. The rule of thumb when youre stretching with deep stretches is to hold it for as long as you can, Alexis explains. If you feel something releasing, then maybe hold it a little longer.
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Tight Leg Musclesa Perpetuating Factor For Lower Back Pain
Tight leg muscles not only contribute to the onset of back pain but can be a powerful perpetuating factor.
When the long muscles of the legs the hamstrings, the adductors, the quadriceps, and the hip flexors are tight and short the result can be to fix the pelvis in place rather than allowing freedom of movement.
This can exert significant pressure on the lower back resulting in lower back pain.
For example, if your hamstrings are short and chronically tight, your pelvis can become fixed in a posterior rotation. This will tend to decrease the natural lordotic curve of your lumbar spine.
When you bend forward at the waist, your lower back will be forced to absorb the work of bending. Instead of the pivot of rotation being at your hip joints, it will move up to the 4th and 5th lumbar vertebra. This puts a heavy asymmetrical load on the lumbars.
The anterior portion of the intervertebral disc gets squashed, while the posterior portion gets overly stretched. Over time, the disc can become weakened, eventually resulting in herniation.
A simple program of stretches for the hamstrings and the other long leg muscles performed at night before going to bed, and then again in the morning upon waking, can go a long way to relieving lower back pain in many individuals.
In addition, a simple set of stretches for the lower back, done in combination with stretches for the legs, can prove even more effective.
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Stretches To Reduce Tightness In Your Hamstring
What do you do if the tightness is in the hamstrings instead?
One hamstring stretch that helps reduce pain and stiffness is a lying hamstring stretch. This movement involves lying on your back and lifting the leg with the tight muscle in the air as much as you can. Also keep the extended leg as straight as you can. Use a resistance band or even the wall if you need help getting your leg to fully extend.
You can also do a sitting hamstring stretch. It is the same principle as the lying stretch except you do it in a sitting position. Slowly bend forward at the hip and reach for your feet. If it is too uncomfortable having both legs outstretched, bend one knee and place that foot against the inner thigh of your other leg.
A standing hamstring stretch is a great stretch for runners because you can do it right before you hit the track or trail. To do it, stand with one heel rested against the ground, your toes pointed toward the sky. Place your hands on that legâs knee and bend forward at the hip. You should feel it in your hamstring muscle.
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Lower Back Stretch: Plan B
If you’re not comfortable with the other low-back stretch or feel it isn’t effective, try this variation using an inflatable exercise ball or stability ball.
Feel free to make slight adjustments to your position on the ball to encourage the stretch â just make sure not to roll off it.
Improper Posture Or Body Mechanics
Bad habits can stress your spine and strain the soft tissue surrounding it. And over time, this repeated stress can break down the structural components of the spine.
While posture or body mechanics are part of every movement you make , your work environment can have a big impact.
If your job requires regular lifting or repetitive movement, proper mechanics are your best defense against chronic back pain.
For office workers, when you sit at your desk for long stretches without stretching, it can cause your hip flexors to tighten. Over time, this can cause hips and hamstrings to weaken, leading to lower back pain.
If you notice yourself hunching over your keyboard several times per day, you may be developing kyphosis. This excessive curving of the spine is often associated with chronic back pain.
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Muscle Tightness In Thighs And Hips
Weve talked before about how hamstring stretches can help alleviate back pain. Tight hamstrings are short hamstrings, and these muscles connect to your lower back. Tightness in your hamstrings can affect the curvature of your lower spine, disrupting the precise alignment of your spine with your pelvis.
Hamstrings may be tight as a result of physical activity, injury, or a failure to stretch before and after exercising. Luckily this problem can be easy to manage at home with some targeted stretching. If you need some help getting started, a physical therapist can help guide you through some basic movements.
Why Are My Back Muscles Always So Tight
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You Have Always Had Reflexive Chronic Muscle Tightness
Were talking about a muscle that likely has never, ever in its existence been able to properly relax.
I can recall as a five-year-old child not liking stretching. A swim coach getting frustrated with me because of how inflexible I was trying to force me to touch my toes. The result was crying. The point is that I had this problem for as long as I can remember. As I grew up, it got worse. Calling it muscles stiffness in my legs was a huge understatement. Eventually, I had to deal with low back pain and tightness that I couldnt ever fully get rid of.
My patients have also described having had their muscle tension most of their lives. The importance of this is that many people have never known any difference. They have never experienced the feeling of a relaxed muscle so they may not know there is a problem.
Go See A Chiropractor
As explained under the Improper Motion in the Spinal Joints heading, joints that arent moving properly can be predisposed to degeneration. When this happens, inflammation, swelling, and degeneration can occur, and will be exacerbated by prolonged hours of stillness . Going to see a chiropractor will help restore appropriate motion in the joints that arent moving well, which will help decrease inflammation and premature degeneration of the spine!
Stretches For The Middle Back
Back pain, especially short-term pain, is one of the most common medical complaints in the United States. A variety of lifestyle factors, medical conditions, and injuries can lead to pain in the middle back.
Symptoms of mid back pain can include:
- short, sharp pains
- muscle tightness or stiffness
- a reduced range of motion
is here to help you releive your back pain. Visit one of our DFW clinics today to see a therapist and develop a personalised therapy solution for your pain or injury.
The following four stretches are easy to do at home or in the office, and they can help relieve mid back pain, loosen tight muscles, and improve mobility.
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