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Stiff lower back pain

What it might mean if you have stiff lower back pain

Stiff lower back pain can be related to any number of causes, but the common denominator is that it can be seriously debilitating to your quality of life and ability to accomplish everyday tasks. Because our backs both support our upper body and allow for basic movement and flexibility, they are put under a lot of strain, making lower back pain very common. In fact, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, more than 80% of the adult population experiences lower back pain at some point in their lives. 

If it lasts for more than a few days to a week, stiff lower back pain is something you should absolutely seek professional attention for. Persistent lower back pain can worsen over time without proper treatment, and being proactive in seeking care can have a positive impact on the long-term health of your spine. To help you work more closely with treatment professionals, we’re sharing the following overview to help you understand what stiff lower back pain could potentially mean. 

Causes of stiff lower back pain

Here are some of the primary causes that lead to the development of lower back pain stiffness: 

  • Muscle strains — We put a heavy load on the supporting muscles in the lower back. Whether from repetitive movements at work or overdoing things during a workout, pulling a muscle can make us feel stiff and painful in the lower back. 
  • Bulging and herniated discs — The discs that help to cushion our spines and allow for movement and flexibility can become worn out over time, leading to bulges and herniations that can disrupt the functioning of spinal nerves. In addition to local and radiating pain, some patients report a stiff lower back. 
  • Arthritis — The individual vertebrae in the spine are linked by joints that are just as prone to arthritis as the hips, knees and other areas. Spinal arthritis can frequently result in stiff lower back pain among other symptoms. 

For nearly any cause of lower back pain and stiffness, physical therapy can be a highly effective form of treatment. 

Reach out to the lower back pain experts at SOL Physical Therapy 

Our compassionate team of therapists can work with you one-on-one to identify the sources of your stiff lower back pain and develop an effective treatment plan. By using therapeutic exercise, manual therapy and other techniques designed to strengthen your lower back and build flexibility, you can return to the healthy and active lifestyle you’ve been missing out on. 

Start your treatment journey today by contacting us and scheduling your initial appointment.

About the author

Sports + Orthopedic Leaders Physical Therapy & Performance Training serves the communities of Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley, Walnut Creek, Orinda, San Francisco and beyond. SOLPT’s award winning team of Physical Therapists, Performance Coaches and movement experts has helped thousands reach their rehabilitation and performance goals to move beyond pain. We're committed to helping anyone of any fitness level move effectively and more powerfully for a lifetime. We offer rehabilitation and performance services to all populations, with specialties in Sports Rehabilitation, Active Release Techniques, and Manual Therapy Techniques plus Personal and Small Group Training, Sport Clinics and Wellness Services.