Why am I experiencing stiffness in my lower back? 5 common causes

Oct 17, 2017

Lower Back Pain & Stiffness

Why am I experiencing stiffness in my lower back? 5 common causes

Why am I experiencing stiffness in my lower back? 5 common causes

Sharp back pain, daily ache, sciatic shooting pain... sound familiar? Spinal stiffness has become an increasingly common issue daily with an alarming 80% of Australians estimated to experience back pain at some point in their adult life, with 10% of the population left to deal with a disability as a result.

Back pain can be frustrating and whilst there are various causes/reasons, and they differ from person to person – there are some more common scenarios that can cause the low back to stiffen up that everyone can be aware of.

Sleeping twisted

 Did you know we spend 6-8hours each night sleeping? That's approx ¼ of our day. If you are sleeping with a top leg bent over a straight leg OR one shoulder/arm hitched up under the pillow – this encourages twisting of the joints of the spine and muscles to tighten up unevenly. If done every night then this is certainly a recipe for lower back stiffness


non-supportive and uncomfortable footwear (such as heels and thongs) causes our muscles in our legs and hips to overwork - which then causes them to fatigue due to lack of support from the ground up. Fatigued muscles create more work for the lower back muscles and less support for the pelvis/lower back joints.

Too much sitting

 Research has shown that sitting down increases pressure in the lower back by up to 20%! So whether you are at your desk, in the car, studying or having lunch – remember - prolonged sitting restricts movement of the spinal joints, tightens up muscles and bears extra weight through our lower back discs.

Not a lot of movement

To function best our bodies need to be stimulated by movement. Our joints in our lower back move in 6 different ways – therefore it is recommended we keep them moving in all directions, as often as we can, to assist in joint mobility and fluid movement around the joints.

Not using those gluteals (Aka Buttocks muscles)

There’s one thing to over fatigue our muscles, but another to not even use them at all! Not using our muscles in our buttock when we sit, bend, run etc means that the lower back muscles will start to overcompensate and tighten up the lower back as they become overused.


For more information on how to assist your lower back - you can check in with a chiropractor to find out the source of your back pain. Here at The Chiro Tree we provide these assessments to help people move towards a healthier life so back pain can be a problem of the past. It is crucial to have a professional assess your spine as some underlying issues can cause irreversible damage if not treated correctly, so take advantage of this offer to improve your spine's health and overall feeling of vitality. With many Australians suffering unnecessarily with back pain, it’s time we took back control of our health and begin a path towards a pain-free life

Dr. Kate Adler is the owner and director of The Chiro Tree. She has over 9 years, international, Chiropractic clinical experience, and assists her clients with musculoskeletal issues, back pain, and restrictions, whilst improving daily living through Chiropractic care and Education.