He is expected to miss the next two or three games.
"Over the past three or four days, it's started to rear its head a little more than some general soreness that guys are dealing with," manager John Farrell said. "Throughout the course of [Monday's] game, it became apparent that he needed a little bit more of a breather."
David Ross, who has played sparingly since returning from a concussion in mid-August, started on Tuesday and will likely handle catching duties until Saltalamacchia returns. The Red Sox also have Ryan Lavarnway on the active roster.
Saltalamacchia is hitless in his last 14 at-bats spanning four games; Farrell noticed the back problems affecting his swing.
"A little bit, yeah," Farrell said. "And the transfer to some of his throws."
Saltalamacchia leads the team in doubles, with 35.