What does it mean to feel stiff and tight? It means something different to each and every person.
However, everyone can agree that feeling stiff is not feeling well. Chiropractic is about determining the root of the problem and creating an action plan to solve it. A great place to look when chronic stiffness is involved is at the muscles- sedentary lifestyles are literally leaving our backs in knots at the end of the day, and where knots are, we usually find stiffness. These terms are not necessarily related to range of motion; that is, one can have a healthy range of motion but still experience stiffness.
Trigger points develop for a number of reasons both physical and psychological.
When we sit for long periods of time without moving muscles besides the fingers, certain muscles are constantly contracted (the upper trapezius, hip flexors) while others are not being used at all. In this case, prolonged muscle contraction creates tight balls of pain within the muscle that begin to cause stiffness, and develops a proclivity for resisting elongation. Therefore, when you go to move this muscle, you feel tight and unable to achieve regular range of motion.
Trigger point therapy is about getting into these knots and releasing them from a degree of tension so that the muscle no longer resists elongation. This allows you to focus on the stretching and strengthening of key regions that are under fire during days spent sitting.