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Anyone who has experienced a back spasm knows that it is extremely discomforting, as they can weaken your muscles and affect your spines health negatively. Fortunately, you dont have to keep struggling with this condition.
If youre tired of ineffective treatments for back spasms, youve come to the right place. Keep reading this article to discover simple, trusted remedies for relief. Well help you understand the different causes of back spasms, home treatment methods, and how you can prevent it from occurring.
Can I Prevent Lower Back Pain
You cant prevent lower back pain that results from disease or structural problems in the spine. But you can avoid injuries that cause back pain.
To reduce your risk of a back injury, you should:
- Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight puts pressure on vertebrae and disks.
- Strengthen your abdominal muscles: Pilates and other exercise programs strengthen core muscles that support the spine.
- Lift the right way: To avoid injuries, lift with your legs . Hold heavy items close to your body. Try not to twist your torso while youre lifting.
Home Management And First Aid
If the pain is intense, does not improve with home management, or keeps coming back, it is necessary to see a doctor. However, some strategies that may help with lower back spasm in the meantime include:
- applying hot and cold packs alternately to the area 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for each pack. Hot packs are available for purchase online here, and cold packs here.
- massaging the area gently to loosen tense muscles
- stretching, walking, and other gentle exercises that do not strain the back
- taking over-the-counter pain medications, particularly nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen
- using relaxation techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing
It is not always possible to prevent lower back spasm, but good self-care can reduce the risk of chronic back problems.
People should follow the CDC recommendation and ensure they get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of high-intensity aerobic exercise each week. It is also advisable to do muscle-strengthening exercises on at least 2 days of the week.
Stress management, including meditation or deep breathing, can prevent unconscious tensing. People who spend extended periods sitting should stretch regularly and take hourly breaks. Practicing good posture can reduce the pain that comes with sitting for extended periods.
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Top Exercises For Upper And Lower Back Muscle Spasms
Back muscle spasms can wreak havoc on your world. They can cause you tremendous pain and suffering, as well as interfere with your daily life.
If theyre mild, they may cause you just enough discomfort to decrease your enjoyment in normally pleasurable activities.
And, if theyre strong and intense, they can keep you from performing at work or attending important family functions.
Therefore, the sooner you get them under control, the better. One way to do this is via exercise.
No, you dont have to go out and run a marathon or compete in a Strong Man competition to get relief. But, there are a few things you can do to ease your pain.
Think of these exercises not as just a way to resolve the back muscle spasms that youre having, but also as a way to prevent them in the future.
The stronger your core, the less likely it is that youll get spasms to begin with. Therefore, you can use the same workout for spasm prevention and treatment as they serve this dual effect.
One important thing to note is that if any of these exercises aggravate the pain and makes it more intense, stop it immediately.
You want to be extremely careful to not make the spasms worse and, although these are meant to alleviate the pain you feel, sometimes there is more going on with you than just spasms and it may require medical intervention to come up with an appropriate solution.
Preventing Lower Back Spasms In The Future
Lifestyle changes are the key to reducing your chances of suffering from lower back spasms in the future. Here are some of the most effective changes you can make:2,3,4,6
- Improve your posture by sitting and standing up straight.
- If youre overweight, lose weight to reduce stress on your spine and lower back.
- Engage in regular physical activity to strengthen your back and abdominal muscles.
- Avoid wearing high-heeled shoes for long periods.
- Dont spend too much time sitting or lying in bed as this can worsen back problems.
- When youre resting in bed, your upper body should be slightly inclined. Place a pillow under your knees to reduce stress on your lower back.
- Start an exercise program gradually and work your way up to a more intense workout. Always perform stretches and warm-up exercises before your workout.
- Practice yoga, tai-chi, meditation, or mindfulness to improve mobility and relieve stress and anxiety.
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Other Treatments For Lower Back Spasms
In the long-term, exercise is the best way to manage lower back spasms and prevent them from recurring. However, if youre looking for more immediate relief, one or more of the following treatments can help.
Rest plus ice/heat application: If you have severe back pain due to muscle spasms, a period of rest is advisable until your symptoms are better. Both ice and heat can help relieve the pain from lower back spasms. Ice and heat reduce muscle tension and inflammation. You may find that alternating between hot and cold packs is particularly helpful.5
Massage therapy: Pressure in the lower back area can soothe your symptoms by reducing tension in your muscles. Apply firm pressure in circular motions in the affected area for 30-60 seconds. The pressure should be firm, but not painful. Avoid massage if you can feel a pulse in the area.5 You can also use a foam roller to loosen up your lower back muscles and relieve tightness. However, be aware that using a foam roller incorrectly can lead to injuries. Its best to talk to a trainer or healthcare provider before using one.
Medications: Medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen are available over-the-counter for pain relief. Your doctor may prescribe some muscle relaxants if your lower back spasms are severe.
Remember, you may need to try several treatments or combinations of treatments to get the best outcome. Lifestyle changes can increase the effectiveness of any treatment for lower back spasms.
How To Get Rid Of Back Spasms
A back spasm is a common muscle problem that one can experience when waking up and getting out of bed, lifting something heavy, or after a sudden or jerky movement. These types of spasms usually strike without warning.
The spasm occurs due to an abnormal contraction of the muscle that takes hold and does not relax. Factors that can contribute to such spasms include obesity, poor posture, structural imbalance in the body, dehydration, electrolyte loss and poor sleeping positions.
Occasionally, back spasms can be a sign of a spinal injury or other illness that require medical attention.
When it comes to common back spasms, treatment should start as soon as possible or the pain can become unbearable and severely affect your daily activities. In fact, muscle spasms are one of the most common causes of back pain.
Spasms in the back can be easily treated with home remedies and other popular techniques.
Note: If the pain is consistent and gets more severe with movement, consult your doctor immediately.
Here are the top 10 ways to get rid of back spasms.
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Causes Of Back Spasms
The most common cause is a muscle strain from overuse, twisting, or lifting. This type of spasm can be very painful but it only lasts for several minutes, until the muscles relax. After the spasm passes, you may still have other symptoms of back strain like:
- Stabbing or aching pain
- Pain that gets worse with bending, standing, or walking
- Recurrent back spasms
Other causes go deeper, like peeling the layers of an onion. Beneath a superficial back muscle strain may be a diseased disc or a pinched nerve. Nerves that leave the spinal cord can get irritated or damaged inside or outside the spine, explains King. Your spine is made up of small bones called vertebrae stacked one on top of the other. Between the bones are cushions called discs, nerves, and muscle attachments called ligaments. Disks can tear or slip out of place. A damaged disc can put pressure on nerves leaving the spinal cord. If you have any type of back pain that moves down your buttocks into your leg, called radicular pain, you should call your doctor, says King:
- Pain radiating into your leg or buttocks is a sign of nerve irritation.
- Pain that includes numbness and tingling may mean nerve injury.
- Pain that causes weakness or loss of bowel or bladder control means a severe injury and requires an emergency visit.
When To Start Exercising
When back pain is severe, remain up and around to the extent possible. Extended bed rest is not good during a bout of severe back pain, but neither is rushing into stretching and strengthening exercises, according to research.
“If you have an episode of low back pain and try to start exercising the next day, that turns out not to be that helpful,” Dr. Katz says. Instead, resume your normal activities as soon as possible, but avoid lifting heavy weight and engaging in physical activities that exert sudden stresses on your back, like jogging or shoveling snow.
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Drug Reactions Or Side
Many drugs can cause muscle disease,hypertonicity, nutrient imbalances or interfere with normal biochemicalprocesses that affect muscle function and health.
If you so choose orneed to take medicines expect side-effects.
Learn the side-effects ofyour medicines so that you can recognize them and not think they aredue to some other ailment and risk unnecessary testing, treatment,worry and cost.
There may be an alternative medicine without themuscle spasm side-effects or even nutrient agents, acupuncture orchiropractic care that can be utilized.
Why Is My Back Spasming
One minute you are sipping your coffee and the next moment you bend over to tie your shoe and BAM- a severe muscle spasm in your back sends you doubled over in pain, unable to stand up straight and maybe even heading to the Emergency Room. Unfortunately, a sudden onset of muscle spasm in the back is a common occurrence, but knowing what to do in the event of an episode will help you feel better and hopefully avoid a trip to the ER.
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What Are The Treatments For Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain usually gets better with rest, ice and over-the-counter pain relievers. After a few days of rest, you can start to get back to your normal activities. Staying active increases blood flow to the area and helps you heal.
Other treatments for lower back pain depend on the cause. They include:
- Medications: Your provider may recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or prescription drugs to relieve pain. Other medications relax muscles and prevent back spasms.
- Physical therapy : PT can strengthen muscles so they can support your spine. PT also improves flexibility and helps you avoid another injury.
- Hands-on manipulation: Several hands-on treatments can relax tight muscles, reduce pain and improve posture and alignment. Depending on the cause of pain, you may need osteopathic manipulation or chiropractic adjustments. Massage therapy can also help with back pain relief and restore function.
- Injections: Your provider uses a needle to inject medication into the area thats causing pain. Steroid injections relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
- Surgery: Some injuries and conditions need surgical repair. There are several types of surgery for low back pain, including many minimally invasive techniques.
How Is Lumbar Strain Treated
Specific treatment for a lumbar strain will be discussed with you by your healthcare provider based on:
- Your age, overall health, and medical history
- Extent of the injury
- Your tolerance for specific medicines, procedures, and therapies
- Expectation for the course of the injury
- Your opinion or preference
- Ice packs and/or heat and compression applied to the back
- Stretching and strengthening exercises
- Education regarding the use and wearing of appropriate protective equipment
Medicines, such as anti-inflammatories and spinal injections, may also be used to relieve pain and inflammation.
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Relax And Stay Positive
Trying to relax is a crucial part of easing the pain as muscle tension caused by worrying about your condition may make things worse.
Read more about:
Although it can be difficult, it helps to stay positive and recognise that your pain should get better. People who manage to stay positive despite their pain tend to recover quicker.
Low Back Pain Fact Sheet
If you have had lower back pain, you are not alone. Back pain is one of most common reasons people see a doctor or miss days at work. Even school-age children can have back pain.
Back pain can range in intensity from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp or shooting pain. It can begin suddenly as a result of an accident or by lifting something heavy, or it can develop over time as we age. Getting too little exercise followed by a strenuous workout also can cause back pain.
There are two types of back pain:
- Acute, or short-term back pain lasts a few days to a few weeks. Most low back pain is acute. It tends to resolve on its own within a few days with self-care and there is no residual loss of function. In some cases a few months are required for the symptoms to disappear.
- Chronic back pain is defined as pain that continues for 12 weeks or longer, even after an initial injury or underlying cause of acute low back pain has been treated. About 20 percent of people affected by acute low back pain develop chronic low back pain with persistent symptoms at one year. Even if pain persists, it does not always mean there is a medically serious underlying cause or one that can be easily identified and treated. In some cases, treatment successfully relieves chronic low back pain, but in other cases pain continues despite medical and surgical treatment.
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Ii Take The Proper Dose Of Pain Medication
Be careful regarding the risks of relying on painkillers. It is a risk when it is your go to so thats why its not recommended until now and ONLY sometimes.
If the pain is severe and mobility is difficult, muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory or anti-spasmodic medication may be required. Use with caution and only if needed.
There will be times when a muscle relaxant may seem like the only effective method. Please use caution as these drugs along with other relaxants have their side effects.
Medication will only address the pain, not the source. By not treating the cause, your spasm is very likely to return.
Pain medication also has a numbing effect . The effect can mislead you to believe that your symptoms have been treated when in reality, you simply cannot feel them. Desensitization may allow you to prematurely return to the activity or lifestyle that may have caused your spasm.
I have heard a lot of people do this too often only to end up with both permanent soft tissue and bone injury. If you numb these areas with drugs, they cant warn you anymore.
When these nerves have become temporarily desensitized, you are more likely to re-injure yourself without your awareness.
Minimize your dosage
Avoid Rushing Into The 2 Most Common Mistakes For Treatment
MISTAKE #1. Do not to rush into basic strengthening exercises such as sit-ups, crunches or lower back extensions. This may help for some, but in most cases, these areas are already tight, short and strong. Tightness and overly strong muscle conditioning is usually the case with the lower back and hamstrings.
MISTAKE #2. Simply resting and returning to your daily whatever. Werent you doing this JUST BEFORE it happened? No, my friend. There needs to be a plan and you are here for actual solutions right?
Observe the degree of your pelvic tilt. The three common positions are neutral, anterior and posterior. An excessive angle can trigger another spasm.
Exercises such as sit-ups and crunches can help but should not be done first as they are considered as isolation type exercises. They do not condition the core muscle groups to protect you. If you are in need of some specific exercises, begin with these 10 exercises.
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When Is It A Medical Emergency
If you are having back spasms that are accompanied by a sudden loss of bowel or bladder function, this is a condition called cauda equina syndrome. It is a medical emergency and you should get to your healthcare provider or emergency department right away.
When visiting your healthcare provider
about your back spasms, they will likely perform various tests to determine the mechanical cause of your pain. These tests may include:
- A physical examination
- Computed tomography scan
- Electromyographical tests, especially if you have sciatica along with your back spasms
These tests are designed to give your healthcare provider an idea of your movements and the status of the bones, nerves, discs, and muscles of your low back. Then, an accurate diagnosis can be made as to what is causing your back spasms. The right treatment can then be initiated for your back spasms.