Why is my back stiff when I get up from sitting?
When you sit for a long time, the following changes occur in your spine: Increased pressure within each spinal segment. Reduced strength in the muscles of your upper and lower back. Decreased nutrient supply to the spinal tissues.
Not only does sitting weaken your muscles, but it also shortens your hip flexors. As the hip flexors become tight, they cause pain and limit motion. Sitting improperly can cause pain in your head, neck, shoulders, and back.
Each vertebra is separated by a jelly-filled disc that serves as a cushion. These discs can become inflamed when standing for long periods of time. They can also experience wear and tear with age. Standing or walking for extended periods of time may aggravate this inflammation, resulting in pain.
The ligaments of the spinal canal and/or lumbar vertebrae or the weakening of spinal muscles can also cause axial back pain. If the lower back pain increases while seated, and typically improves after standing, it may indicate a herniated disc in the lumbar region (lower part of the spine).
Contact your health care provider for back pain that: Lasts longer than a few weeks. Is severe and doesn't improve with rest. Spreads down one or both legs, especially if the pain goes below the knee.
Another contributing factor is the change in ligaments, tendons and muscles that are relatively relaxed and flexible when we are young. These lose that flexibility with ageing and disuse. In fact, many of the age-related changes in muscles, bones and joints are the result of disuse.
Stress on your back from poor posture is the most common cause of back pain for people who stand at work all day. It creates increased pressure on your spine that makes lower back muscles tighten and then spasm, which causes pain.
If the pain you feel extends to your arms, forearms, and hands, the source may be your cervical spine. On the other hand, if you feel the pain radiating to your legs, it may be a problem with the lumbar spine.
Back pain is common. It's also often felt first thing in the morning, particularly upon moving from lying down to standing. This pain is usually the result of stiffness from long periods of rest or decreased blood flow from sleeping. After moving around, symptoms usually subside.
Your spinal disc is at the bottom of your back, so if you have pain in your lower back, you may assume it is a slipped disc. Furthermore, the feeling of pain will differ between the two. Muscle pain will feel like post-workout soreness, while disc pain will feel debilitating and tingly.
What are red flag signs for back pain?
Night pain and pain at rest are red flags that can indicate a serious cause. Be suspicious for infection or malignancy in patients presenting with low back pain who experience unexplained weight loss, night pain, or pain with rest.
- Acute back pain happens suddenly and usually lasts a few days to a few weeks.
- Subacute back pain can come on suddenly or over time and lasts 4 to 12 weeks.
- Chronic back pain may come on quickly or slowly and lasts longer than 12 weeks.
Most back pain will subside after a few days, but if you've been experiencing pain for over a week, then it's time to call a doctor. Your doctor will perform any examinations or tests required to help get to the bottom of your pain before it could become a bigger problem.
- Manage your weight. Excess body weight strains joints—particularly knees. ...
- Keep moving. Joints are meant to be used, but if we don't warm up before exercising and stretch often to avoid getting stiff, we'll be creaking like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz. ...
- Remember to pace yourself.
- keep your shoulders back and relaxed.
- pull in your abdomen.
- keep your feet about hip distance apart.
- balance your weight evenly on both feet.
One of the most common complaints with aging is osteoarthritis. It typically affects the hands, knees or hips. The onset of osteoarthritis is gradual and is usually experienced as a dull, achy pain, rather than sudden severe pains.
Lower back pain, when standing or walking, is often a symptom of muscle fatigue or poor posture. People can usually treat this pain at home with rest, OTC pain relievers, hot or cold therapy, and gentle stretching.
If your herniated disk is in your lower back, besides pain in your lower back, you'll typically feel pain in your buttocks, thigh and calf. You might have pain in part of the foot as well. For a herniated disk in your neck, you'll typically feel the most pain in your shoulder and arm.
Most commonly, bulging discs create pressure points on nearby nerves which create a variety of sensations. Evidence of a bulging disc may range from mild tingling and numbness to moderate or severe pain, depending on the severity. In most cases, when a bulging disc has reached this stage it is near or at herniation.
If you have pulled a muscle in your back, you will probably feel it as a sudden sharp pain when you lift, bend, or twist. The pain can range from mildly irritating to intense and debilitating depending on how badly the muscle is strained.
How do you get rid of back stiffness?
- Heat. Heat can increase blood flow to relax muscles and relieve joint ache. ...
- Ice. Ice can constrict blood vessels to numb pain and reduce inflammation.
- Activity. ...
- Pain medication. ...
- Relaxation techniques. ...
If the pain lasts four weeks or longer. If the pain keeps getting worse as time goes by. If you are experiencing other symptoms, such as fever, major weight loss or weight gain, loss of function or weakness in extremities, bladder problems, etc.
Don't forget the RICE method when it comes to pain: rest, ice, compression, and elevate. Rest the injured or sore body part, and then apply ice (an ice pack or pack of frozen vegetables or fruit) for 20 minutes on, then 20 minutes off. Add compression with a firm elastic bandage.
Stiffness and loss of flexibility in the spine, such as being unable to straighten your back or turn your neck. Swelling and tenderness over the affected vertebrae. Feeling of grinding when moving the spine. Pain, swelling and stiffness in other areas of the body (especially in inflammatory arthritis)
Often, back stiffness will resolve without treatment and is not caused by a serious underlying medical condition. However, in some cases, it is a good idea to get imaging.