Muscle spasms are painful. Some are so intense that they may land you in the emergency room. This is especially true for muscle spasms in the back. Typically, if you’re experiencing a back muscle spasm, your body is attempting to tell you something. It could be letting you know not to do a particular activity or move a certain way. It could also serve as a warning of a serious issue with your spine.
A Family Chiropractic Clinic can help you get to the bottom of what’s causing your muscle spasms. We can also treat the problem to help reduce the chances of reoccurrence. Our staff understands the importance of living a pain-free life and wants to help you accomplish your goals. Together we can get to the bottom of your back pain and treat the issue to improve your quality of life.
Understanding Back Muscle Spasms
When our back is seized by a seemingly inexplicable muscle spasm the first thing we want to do is find relief. However, finding immediately relief is just a short term solution. Follow up is required to ensure the spasm doesn’t return in the future.
Before you can treat the problem, you must first discover what it is. There are a number of causes for muscle spasms. You need to listen to what your back is trying to tell you. Most back muscle spasms occur due to:
- Muscles protecting themselves from strain after injury
- An underlying anatomical problem
- Degenerative disc disease
- Spinal stenosis
- Improper use
- Muscle fatigue
The muscles in your back react instinctively to pain and inflammation. This often results in a muscle spasm. While the spasm may subside the underlying condition must be treated to prevent the spasm from returning and worsening.
Getting Immediate Relief from Muscle Spasms
When you experience a muscle spasm it’s important to relax the muscle for immediate relief. This often requires:
- Heat therapy
- Cold therapy
- Muscle relaxants
- Lying down
- Anti-inflammatory medication
The solution is different for everyone. Find what works for you and your specific spasm. Not every option listed here is possible for each person. For example, muscle relaxants are prescription medications and not often readily available mid-spasm. They also don’t target specific muscles. Instead, they provide an overall relaxed feeling.
Many people are more likely to use cold therapy, which involves wrapping a cold pack or ice in a towel and placing it on the painful area of your back. This reduces inflammation in the area and helps relieve pain. The towel serves as a barrier protecting your skin from potential ice burn. Similarly, many use heat therapy by way of a heating pad. Additionally, some people choose to alternate between heat and cold therapies because that’s what works best for them.
Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication also provides a quick solution by reducing both the inflammation and the pain. These medications include ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin. Some people choose to use acetaminophen for the pain; however this won’t help with the inflammation.
It’s also important you reduce the stress on your back. Lying down on your back in bed at a slight incline, supporting your knees with a pillow is the most effective way to do this. You can also sit in a recliner with your knees bent and legs supported. If possible, walk as much as you can. Some people find they recover more quickly when alternating rest and several short walks. If you rest too long your back will stiffen. This inactivity could actually lead to more pain. Walking will reduce the pain and help expedite the healing process.
Treatment for your Back Muscle Spasm
Your chiropractor will help you determine the cause of your muscle spasm. If it is simply caused by an injury or muscle strain then time will help the muscle heal and get back to normal. This process can be sped up through physical therapy.
However, if they discover an issue with your spine or a spinal disc then further treatment is required. It’s also possible that the muscle spasm itself could pull your spine out of alignment. If left uncorrected, this could cause additional issues. This is why visiting a chiropractor after a back muscle spasm even is beneficial. They can help with underlying issues as well as treating any repercussions of the spasm itself.
If you have a lifestyle or job that causes regular stress on your back, then regular chiropractic adjustments can help prevent muscle spasms. They do this by aligning your spine to reduce pressure on nerves and the surrounding soft tissues. This helps you maintain mobility and flexibility. Being able to move properly reduces the likelihood you’ll move in a way which will cause undue strain.
You chiropractor may also recommend massage therapy or physical therapy. This will help relax the muscles which are more likely to spasm due to your lifestyle. They can also help reduce stress and inflammation. Your chiropractor may also offer you advice on:
- Exercise form
- Lifting techniques
- Proper back support
- And much more
Frequent back muscle spasms are not normal. If you experience them you should consult with your chiropractor sooner than later. It’s likely an indication of an underlying condition that needs attention.
The Right Chiropractor for You
If you don’t currently have a chiropractor then it’s a good idea to find one you like. Throughout our lives, our backs endure a lot. As we age, our spines, the discs that cushion our vertebrae, and our ligaments, tendons, and soft tissue tend to slowly break down. This increases our likelihood of developing a back injury. Keeping your spine healthy through regular chiropractic visits can help minimize the chance of injury and spasm.
A chiropractor should make you feel important, valued, and comfortable. The right chiropractor will listen to your concerns and help you on your path to a healthier spine. You don’t have to live in pain. Instead, get the high-quality life you deserve.