Tight Back Muscles

Many people have back muscles that feel tight and contracted. Tight back muscles can signal that there are underlying problems going on in your body. One of the most flexible parts of your body is your muscles. Muscles are not normally tight, so when they are you know that something is wrong. Having tight back muscles could be caused by several things. The main factors that cause back muscles to be tight are strain, trauma and stress.

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Each person has a physical limitation that should be taken seriously. Many people go beyond their natural capabilities based on their level of fitness and physical stature. It is important to know what your limits are. You might think you can handle lifting heavy objects, but in reality, you are doing a disservice to your muscles. Muscle strain can happen when you over exert your muscles. This can be done through exercise, moving things, picking up your child or even having sexual intercourse. To avoid muscle tightness, you should develop an exercise plan that you can manage. Try to incorporate muscle strengthening exercises that will help you to manage activities that are beyond your current capability.


Trauma is something that most people don’t anticipate. The surprise of trauma is often what makes it so harmful to the body, simply because you can’t prepare for it. When you are involved in a slip and fall accident or a car crash, your body is jolted in a direction that is unnatural. This movement usually is prompted by a considerable amount of force and power. This abrupt application of power can cause your muscle to tighten and contract. The pain stemming from an injury or trauma can also happen when you are taking part in physical activities like sports. Certain sports require and encourage physical contact with another person. This can be dangerous and damaging to your muscles and bones. You should limit the amount of physical activity you do that requires forceful contact with others.


Your body responds to stress in different ways. Physical stress can make your muscles tighten. If you overexert your muscles this puts added pressure on them to perform. Mental and emotional stress can have the same effect. Emotional stress is sometimes displayed in physical ways. If you are having trouble in your family or social life, this can translate into muscle tightness in your back. The way that you handle stress can increase the amount of physical pain you have.


To alleviate muscle tightness in the back you have a few options. First, try to rest the area. By relaxing the muscles and leaving them to soften and stretch on their own, you can save yourself from having to use more involved methods. If this doesn’t work for you, you should get a back massage from a health care professional that will make sure to target the right areas. To relieve stress, try to handle whatever situation that is making you worry. Talk to people and let them know what you are feeling or create a plan that will potentially solve your problem.

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Filed Under: Back Pain
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Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS, MFT

Jesse is the co-founder and visionary CEO of The Healthy Back Institute®, the world-leading source of natural back pain solutions. His mission as a former back pain sufferer is to help others live pain free without surgery and pharmaceuticals.

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