Many people experience discomfort due to chronic stiffness of the muscles in the lower back and/or neck and upper back. It is not normal for muscles to be continuously tense. This article will discuss why muscles experience a state of tension and how relief from this type of muscle pain can be achieved.
As a practicing chiropractor for over 35 years, I have heard many patients describe neck, upper back, or lower back pain in terms of constant tightness, tightness, stiffness, or spasms in the muscles. Let’s look at muscle function in terms of what is normal and abnormal.
We all know that muscles are attached to bones. When muscles contract, they move our bones through a certain range of motion. We also know that when we overuse our muscles, they can ache and experience some degree of spasm. The spasm can be mild or it can be severe. Usually, this type of muscle stiffness eases up over several days as the body heals itself. I tell patients that if their muscles are sore and tight after overuse, it will probably subside and resolve within 24 to 72 hours. This is normal muscle healing.
Others, however, describe muscles that are in some degree of tension and stiffness all the time. It can get worse, sometimes and then the lesson, but it never goes away. This is a sign that something is wrong and needs to be checked.
I remember a patient who was a professional baseball pitcher who had come to see me. He had just become a member of the team in the city where I live. His complaint was that he had continual tension and tension in his upper back muscles. This was interfering with his ability to cast normally. I asked him what he had done previously to help with the problem. He said the coaches on his team gave him massages and helped him with a stretching routine. He said that he gave her temporary relief but that he did not completely solve the problem. When I examined him, I found that he did indeed have spasms in the muscles of the spine in his neck and upper back. However, the reason this was happening was because he had a deeper problem. My examination revealed that he had misalignments in the bones of the spine in his neck and upper back. His muscles were tense and in spasm because they were trying to stabilize the deeper spinal misalignment so he wouldn’t hurt himself more.
The muscles were chronically tight and spasming because they were trying to protect the deeper spinal misalignments. I said that while we don’t like our muscles to be tight and sore, we have to respect that they are protecting us from allowing the condition to worsen.
I treated him using chiropractic spinal adjustments to correct misalignments in the bones of the spine in his neck and upper back. After her first treatment, she immediately felt the muscle tension loosen and relax. He said, “Wow, they never did that to me in the coach’s room!” I responded by letting you know that chiropractors are the leading healthcare providers when it comes to correcting spinal misalignment through chiropractic adjustment and manipulation. It took several more treatments for his muscles to completely relax and he could throw normally again.
Most people who go to a chiropractor find that having a chiropractic adjustment is a pleasant experience because it helps release tension from the muscles. The number of visits a patient will need to get pain relief from their tight muscles will depend on how long they have had the condition and how severe it is.
In short, tight and sore muscles should heal after a few days of rest. This is completely normal. However, if the muscles are tight, stiff, or in spasm causing chronic pain, it is most likely due to a deeper spinal misalignment. If this is the case, it would be wise to seek gentle and safe chiropractic care to relieve muscle pain.