Continuing with our joint discomfort series, this time we are focusing on back stiffness. This type of joint discomfort, especially when it’s experienced in the lower back, neck, or elsewhere on the spinal cord, is very prevalent today.
Over 30 million Americans are dealing with lower back stiffness at any given moment. That is nearly 1 in 10 people. The neck is also an extension of the back, and there are a significant number of people who have neck stiffness. Approximately 15% of people suffer from this type of joint discomfort right now. Given how many people suffer from some sort of back stiffness, it’s essential to know about the causes of back stiffness, as well as exercises you can do to get rid of the discomfort.
Causes of Back Stiffness
Back stiffness is akin to headaches. There are numerous reasons why you may experience discomfort in that area. Most back stiffness only lasts a few days and can be caused by more benign reasons. If back stiffness lasts longer than a week, it becomes chronic, which means arthritis is the likely cause. When discomfort in the back is experienced, it usually occurs in the lower back.
There are a number of different types of arthritis that are lumped into a group and called spondylarthropathies, or spinal arthritis. While there are ten types of arthritis lumped into this group, only a small percentage of back stiffness cases are as a result of them.
Strains and Sprains
Everything from playing sports to sneezing can cause you to pull a muscle in your back, which ends up being a sprain. When you stretch or tear a ligament, it results in a sprain. The discomfort from these types of injuries is usually felt in one area of the back and goes away relatively quickly.
When you exert your muscles too much, it can lead them to start spasming, cramps can occur and you may even have difficulty moving. Believe it or not, but spasms are how your body protects itself. By making your muscles rigid, they cannot get damaged any further. However, it can really hurt.
Discs that are positioned in between the bones of your spine can slip out of place and even split open. These situations can lead to the nerves nearby to become irritated and send soreness shooting throughout your back.
When there is direct physical trauma to the spinal cord, such as in the case of a car accident, bones in the spine can fracture. Another more common way fractures occur is osteoporosis. Also known as compression fractures, these can cause excruciating discomfort.
Exercises for Back Stiffness
Now that you are familiar with some of the most common causes of back stiffness, it’s good to know how to get rid of it. The chances of your back stiffness being caused by one of the previously-mentioned scenarios are high, so you should find at least one of these exercises helpful.
Neck Bends and Rotation
If it’s neck stiffness you are having, neck bends and rotation will help. You will want to do the following:
- Stand up, facing forward. Tilt your head to one side, feeling a stretch. Hold this for 10 seconds.
- Begin rotating your head counterclockwise. Stop for 10 seconds.
- Finish rotating until you end up where you started.
- Repeat this counterclockwise.
- Repeat the entire sequences two or three times.
When it’s your lower back that’s hurting, trying some wall sits. Here is how you do them:
- Stand up with your back facing a wall, roughly a foot away.
- Slowly lean into it until you feel your back lies flat against the wall.
- Carefully slide downward and do so slowly. Your knees should just bend slightly. Hold this for 10 seconds.
- Slowly slide back up.
- Repeat this sequence about 10 times.
Bridge pose is especially helpful with back stiffness. You will make the muscles around your back stronger, which releases strain off your lower back. Here is how you do this exercise:
- Lay down your back, keeping your knees bent while making sure your heels touch the floor.
- Squeeze your glute muscles while lifting your hips until they are lined up with your shoulders, hips, and knees. Hold this for around six seconds.
- Carefully bring yourself back down to the floor, resting for approximately 10 seconds.
- Repeat this sequence around 10 times.
When you practice these three exercises, you should notice your back and neck stiffness going away, especially when you do them regularly. While doing any of these, if you ever get to a point where you feel discomfort, you should stop and identify how far you can stretch before it beings to hurt.
* As with any exercise, you should always consult your physician.
What Else You Can Do
Besides repeating the exercises mentioned above regularly, you can also take a joint supplement. Jointfuel360 is a popular joint supplement that is packed with all-natural ingredients that get rid of joint discomfort.
Don’t wait until joint discomfort sets in. You can implement strategies for health and wellness over the long term. An active lifestyle, combined with a healthy diet and quality health supplements is a great way to help you keep moving!
Joint Discomfort Series:
* These statements have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.