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What Are Treatments For Back Muscle Pain
The affected individual will be referred to an ortho-spine specialist who will formulate a detailed treatment plan for the patient. Referral to a physical therapist may also be done. The treatment for back pain depends totally on the causes of it but usually physical therapy optimized for symptomatic control is done to calm down the irritation and inflammation of the muscles of the back and get rid of the disabling Back Muscle Pain at the earliest possible time.
When To See A Doctor
People can often treat back pain with home remedies and some patience. However, a person should speak to a doctor about chronic or severe back pain.
A doctor may recommend physical therapy, medication, or other treatments. People who have existing health conditions or who take regular medications should speak to a doctor before trying any herbs or supplements.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration do not monitor supplements for purity or quality, so it is essential to research reputable companies first.
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What Is The Safest Muscle Relaxer
While all muscle relaxants have side effects, a good first-choice for back pain is cyclobenzaprine .
Cyclobenzaprine has the most evidence for muscle pain and it is not as addictive as other muscle relaxers such as carisoprodol .
Methocarbamol and Metaxalone may make you less sleepy than other muscle relaxants. But these muscle relaxants have less evidence than cyclobenzaprine. They also may be more expensive.
Side Effects Of Muscle Relaxants
The most common side effects of muscle relaxants are sleepiness and dizziness.
Because muscle relaxants make you sleepy, you may want to take an NSAID during the day and a muscle relaxant at night before bed.
Methocarbamol and Metaxalone may make you less sleepy than other muscle relaxants. Thus, methocarbamol and metaxalone can be taken during the day.
Below are a list of precautions before taking a muscle relaxant:
- Do NOT take a muscle relaxant while driving or working since it can make you sleepy.
- Do NOT take a muscle relaxant if you are over the age of 65 because it can make you dizzy and put you at risk of falling.
- Do NOT take carisoprodol if you have a substance abuse history because this muscle relaxant is more addictive than other ones.
- Do NOT take a muscle relaxant with alcohol since this combination can give you breathing problems.
- Do NOT take muscle relaxants with anti-anxiety/sleep medications called benzodiazepines such as alprazolam , lorazepam , etc. This combination can make it difficult to breathe.
- Do NOT take muscle relaxants with opioid pain medications such as oxycodone, morphine, hydrocodone, etc. This combination can make it difficult to breathe.
- Do NOT take muscle relaxants if you have kidney or liver disease.
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The Muscles Of The Upper Back And How They Work:
Trapezius a diamond shape muscle divided into three sections. They are not designed to be heavy lifters but are often used inappropriately when incorrect lifting technique is used
Rhomboids connect the shoulder blades to the spine
Erector spinae these long, superficial muscles run down the length of your spine like train tracks on either side of the vertebral column. The erector spinae are not designed for heavy lifting or stability and are intended to extend the spine only however they can go into spasm during episodes of back pain
Latissimus dorsi the large wing-shaped muscles of the back that are one of the prime movers in shoulder function. These are the muscles that you use in exercises like pull ups and lat pull downs
Rotator cuff this group of four muscles provide stability around the shoulder joint. The ligaments of the shoulders are quite weak and lax compared to other parts of the body. This means they rely on the muscle strength of the rotator cuff for stability
Deltoids the muscles that provide the cap on the top of the shoulder. They are important in lifting actions as they initiate the movement of the arm coming up
Pectorals these muscles sit across the front of the chest, however, have a large impact on the upper back. If the pecs are tight, they pull the shoulder joint forward resulting in hunched shoulders.
Serratus anterior wraps around the side of your rib cage on each side and acts to pull your shoulder blade forward
First A Few Quick Tips
Stretch your lower back with safety and care. Be especially gentle and cautious if you have any type of injury or health concern. Its best to talk with your doctor first before starting any new types of exercise.
You can do these stretches once or twice a day. But if the pain seems to get worse, or youre feeling very sore, take a day off from stretching.
Be mindful of your bodys limits and dont push your body to do too much. Listen to your body and do what feels best for you in each moment.
As you go through these stretches, take your time and pay close attention to your breathing. Use your breath as a guide to make sure you dont strain or overdo it. You should be able to breathe comfortably and smoothly throughout each pose or stretch.
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What Should I Know About Back Pain
Back pain is a very common problem and will affect many of us at some point during our lives.
The good news is that in most cases it isnt a serious problem, and it might just be caused by a simple strain to a muscle or ligament.
As far as possible, its best to continue with your normal everyday activities as soon as you can and to keep moving.
Being active and exercising wont make your back pain worse, even if you have a bit of pain and discomfort at first. Staying active will help you get better. Taking painkillers can help you do this.
Precautions When Taking Tylenol
Acetaminophen can cause liver damage with high, frequent, or long-term dosing. Do not take acetaminophen if you:
Have a history of liver disease
Drink more than three alcoholic beverages per day
Are allergic to acetaminophen or any other of the ingredients listed
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, ask your doctor before using acetaminophen
Are taking any other medication containing acetaminophen. This may cause permanent liver damage
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What Are Some Upper Back Pain Risk Factors
Say you havent seen the doctor yet about your upper back pain, but youre pretty sure its not an acute injury. After all, you havent taken up a new sport. Maybe you barely have time to exercise, much less overdo it.
Believe it or not, that actually increases your risk of back injury. When youre physically active, the muscles in your belly and backyour corehelp support your spine. If youre sedentary, you might have weak muscles that contribute to upper back pain.
Lack of exercise is one of several factors that can increase your risk of upper back pain. Others include:
Excess weight. Since your spine supports the weight in your torso, excess weight could stress your back. Belly fat, in particular, is a problem: If you carry a lot of weight in your midsection, it can strain the soft tissues in your back. Conversely, weight loss can reduce pain though research suggests it may be even more effective as part of a holistic strategy that includes pain management strategies.
Belly fat can contribute to upper back pain, but weight loss can help relieve it.
Psychological conditions. Experts arent sure why, but you might be more likely to have back pain if you have depression and anxiety. In fact, some research suggests that people who have depression have worse back pain than people without depression.
Forward Head And Neck
If youre wondering what muscles cause neck pain, these are some of the culprits. Forward head posture and shoulders rounded forward are common signs of this set of muscle imbalances.
For every inch your head moves forward out of alignment from your shoulders, your neck effectively carries an additional ten pounds of weight. Forward head and neck postural dysfunction is a frequent cause of neck and upper back pain, not to mention headaches, shoulder pain and more.
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Pain Relief For Lower Back Pain With Sciatica
Sciatica is when you have pain in your lower back, buttocks and down one or both legs. If you have sciatica and the above treatments havent controlled the pain, your doctor may prescribe a medicine for treating what is called neuropathic pain. This is pain that is thought to be caused by nerve damage or by your nerves becoming more sensitive to pain.
These medicines include amitriptyline, duloxetine, gabapentin and pregabalin. If youre not able to take tablets, your doctor may suggest using a cream called capsaicin instead.
Youll have a follow-up appointment with your doctor to see how well your medicine is working and to talk about any problems or side-effects. It can take a little while to find the dose that works for you.
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.
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Types Of Heating Pads
Electrical Heating Pad – Heating pads that plug into the wall are simple to operate and fast to heat. Most have more than one setting, so you can choose the amount of heat you want and switch easily from one setting to another.
Many also have a safety auto shut-off feature so that you dont get burned if you fall asleep. A few allow you to use it for moist heat.
Cordless Heating Pad – A cordless pad means you can move around, use it when an outlet isnt available and take it to use while traveling. For the ones you strap on or wear, you can use them while exercising to aid in muscle relaxation or just while engaged in everyday activities.
Microwave Heating Pad – With a microwave heating pad, you dont need to have an outlet nearby and you can walk around with it. The beads or grains inside retain the heat for a limited period of time so you dont have to worry about burns.
There are no wires so you can lie on the pads without causing damage to the pad. Many provide moist heat, and some can also be used as cold packs if you refrigerate or freeze them.
Heating Pad with Massager Heat – These can be used for the heat to relax muscles and relieve pain, and by adding massage, you get better results. A massaging pad will gently vibrate to stimulate muscles. With various heat and massage settings, you can customize your therapy to fit your needs.
What Are The Warning Signs Of A Serious Problem
Very rarely back pain or pain that travels down the leg is a sign of a serious problem.
If you have any of the following symptoms, you should seek urgent medical attention:
- difficulty controlling or passing urine
- loss of control of your bowels
- numbness around your back passage or your genitals
- serious weakness in your legs so you find standing really difficult
- severe and ongoing back pain that gets worse over several weeks.
The above symptoms could potentially be linked to a rare but serious condition that needs urgent medical attention.
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Anatomy Of The Upper Back Muscles
The neck consists of seven cervical vertebrae, the building blocks of the spine. Each block is separated by a disc that sits in between and each vertebra has a facet joint on either side. The seventh cervical vertebra, referred to as C7, meets the first of 12 thoracic vertebrae T1 at the base of the neck, a point known as the cervicothoracic junction. This can be a common source of pain as the spinal curves transition from lordotic to kyphotic An increased kyphotic thoracic curve can result in you developing a prominent hunchback posture.
Each level of vertebra has a pair of nerve roots, one coming from each side of the spine. These nerve roots trail down to supply their corresponding portion on the arm. This is how referred pain can occur, if a nerve root is irritated or inflamed at the spine, symptoms can be felt in the corresponding region e.g. in the forearm or fingers. For instance, if you injure C7, you may feel pain in your index and middle fingers.
The shoulder blades, known as scapula, are responsible for the stability of the shoulder and forearm movement. They rotate, retract and protract and their movement patterning and stability can greatly affect your posture and arm function. If the muscles surrounding the shoulder blades arent functioning properly, you can end up with scapula winging where the shoulder blades stick out.
Stretching For A Back Muscle Spasm
Ultimately, the best thing you can do for a back muscle spasm is stretch, says Dr. Loren Fishmen, a physical medicine, and rehabilitation specialist in New York.
Though generally not serious, back muscle spasms often baffle doctors and family members, he says. This is because even though they likely produce little movement or support, muscles in spasm are hard at work as such, they require oxygen and nutrient delivery as well as waste disposal.
But contraction clamps down on blood vessels through which these substances pass, limiting the exchanges that can occur. Instead, acid builds up in your muscle which can hurtand makes for more spasm. It’s a vicious cycle until you can relax the muscle, he says.
Other ways to release the muscle, according to Fishman, include hot baths, gentle massage, and hot packs. The idea, he says, is to dilate the blood vessels and speed tissue repair.
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How Is Back Muscle Pain Diagnosed
It is quite tough to notice a difference between a back muscle pain or a back pain caused due to ligament injuries as both have similar group of symptoms. Usually, the method of diagnosing the cause for both Back Muscle Pain and Ligament injuries are pretty much the same. Both of these conditions are commonly referred to as Back Strain or Musculoligamentous Strains. Since x-ray is not an optimal diagnostic tool to identify this condition, hence MRI is usually done to diagnose this condition, as it gives a clear picture of the internal structures of the back and it is easy to identify the problem area via the MRI scan.
Pulled Muscle In Lower Back Exercises
There are several exercises you can perform to help your lower back heal. Not only will they help the muscle spasms you may be having, they make your back stronger so its not as likely to become injured again.
Here are a few easy stretching exercises. Take them slowly and move gradually into each position. If any of these make your back pain worse, stop and see a doctor.
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Ways To Treat Chronic Back Pain Without Surgery
Back pain is considered chronic if it lasts three months or longer. It cancome and go, often bringing temporary relief, followed by frustration.Dealing with chronic back pain can be especially trying if you dont knowthe cause.
Find Relief Through Ice And Heat
Break out that bag of frozen peas for the first 48 hours after the pain sets in, and put it to use for 20 minutes a session, several sessions per day. After those two days are behind you, switch to 20-minute intervals with a heating pad.
Localized cooling shuts down capillaries and reduces blood flow to the area, which helps ease the swelling, says Lisa DeStefano, DO, an associate professor at Michigan State Universitys College of Osteopathic Medicine in East Lansing. Cold also thwarts your nerves ability to conduct pain signals. Heat, on the other hand, loosens tight muscles and increases circulation, bringing extra oxygen to the rescue.
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