How can tight muscles result in back pain?

How Can Tight Muscles Result in Back Pain

Many people see strong, taut muscles as a good thing. And usually they are. However, that tautness that so many strive for can also be a source of pain, especially in your back. 

Back pain has a myriad of causes. That’s one reason why 25% of adults reported having lower back pain in the past three months. A common reason that so many people develop back pain is that they have tight back muscles. A physical therapist can help you learn how tight muscles can result in back pain, and they can help you find ways to address these tight muscles. 

How can tight muscles result in back pain exactly?

Your spine is supported by a huge array of muscles. Your back muscles also help you bend forward and backward. Often, these muscles hardly stop working at all, and that fact is one reason why they can become too tight. But how can tight muscles result in back pain? They can: 

  1. Develop trigger pointsTrigger points are hyperirritable spots that develop in muscles. On their own, they can be a source of significant pain, and it’s estimated that up to 85% of people with musculoskeletal pain have trigger points. 
  1. Pull your spine out of alignment — A tight spinal muscle can pull your spine out of its normal position. This can lead to several painful issues. One misalignment-related issue you might develop is a pinched or irritated nerve. For instance, sciatica occurs when one of the sciatic nerves is pinched or irritated. Herniated discs can also be caused by muscle-related spinal misalignment. 

Physical therapists can treat tight muscles that are causing back pain

Physical therapists are familiar with a variety of treatment methods. Many of these methods are commonly used to address back pain, including: 

  • Therapeutic exercisesThese exercises are designed to reduce pain and improve function. They do so by seeking to build up your muscle strength and flexibility. One study found that a core stabilization exercise program helped reduce chronic lower back pain by up to 78.6%. 
  • Manual therapy — Physical therapists can also use their hands to reduce muscle tension and pain. When they do, it is known as manual therapy. Soft tissue mobilization is a manual therapy method that’s often used to address back pain. It involves your physical therapist using their hands to apply pressure and friction to the targeted area. In turn, this can help break up trigger points and reduce muscle pain. 

Find out how you can address tight muscles that are causing back pain at Franklin Rehab

You don’t have to continue to live with tight muscles and the resulting back pain. Our Franklin Rehabilitation team is primed to help you address both of these things. One of our free screenings can help our physical therapists pinpoint the muscle(s) that are causing your pain. They can then create an individualized treatment plan designed to: 

  • Reduce muscle tension.
  • Slash pain. 
  • Improve flexibility. 
  • Decrease the risk of future muscle tension and pain. 

Contact our team today for more information about how we can help treat back pain or to schedule an initial appointment to begin treating your pain.