Back and low back pain can strike without warning. It can come from bending over or lifting something and then you’re stuck, unable to move. However, muscle spasm in the low back is a common occurrence. Eight out of 10 adults will experience back spasms along with back pain during their lives.
The cause of back pain and spasm can come from:
- Sports injury
But a lot of times the root cause of the muscle spasm can come from a tiny injury to one of the structures in or around the lumbar spine.
If there have been one or more episodes of muscle spasm, more than likely it’s going to happen again.
The muscles in the low back all work together with the abdominal muscles.
If they weren’t there, then extension and lateral movement of the spine would be impossible.
The back muscles provide stability and keep the spine erect and balanced.
The balance can be compromised when spasms present along with an injured lumbar joint or disc.
These muscle spasms are involuntary and are contractions that happen spontaneously.
When the spasms occur out of the blue, the triggers are preceded by a series of small strains to the spine which develop over time.
Once the injury is active the inflammation sets in.
Then the nerves become overly sensitive which causes the muscle/s to contract and spasm.
Disc Disorders & Spasms
Degenerative disc disease or a herniated disc can cause episodes of low back pain.
A herniated or bulging disc can compress a spinal nerve root, which causes irritation and inflammation.
The body tries to control the affected area by tightening the surrounding muscles and that’s when the spasms happen.
Muscles can become too tight because of:
- Lack of exercise
- Too much exercise
- Structural imbalances
- Electrolyte loss
- Combination of all above
Conversely, there can be muscle groups that have become too weak.
Imbalances present themselves and chronic force is transmitted to the spine in a bad way.
Even a single off movement can trigger an injury to a:
- Spinal joint
And this results in spasms and back pain.
Muscle spasms in the low back can be very painful and debilitating over a short period.
When it starts:
- For the first 48 to 72 hours apply ice for 20 minutes and then every two hours while on your back.
- Always use an ice pack and never apply it directly to the skin.
- After 72 hours then apply moist heat, which can be done with a heating pad.
If this does not work, try soaking in the hot tub, with Epsom salt.
Heat increases blood flow to:
- The affected area
- Relaxes tight muscles
- Relaxes irritated nerves
Also elevating the legs takes the pressure off the spine and can help relieve pain.
Over-the-counter medications like Aspirin or ibuprofen can help reduce inflammation and pain.
Discuss with physician or healthcare provider regarding the dosing regimen most suitable.
There can also be a combination of therapies
- Physical therapy
- Foot Orthotics
A combination of treatments often generates better results than only one therapy.
Once the spasm has passed, and the inflammation has subsided focus on prevention:
- Stretch – Incorporate stretching exercises daily, muscles benefit from gentle stretching.
- Pilates or yoga can work wonders and always stretch before physical exercise.
- Get fit – no regular physical activity can lead to serious conditions and possibly chronic pain.
- Exercise benefits all, even some light walking around the neighborhood is enough. Just get moving!
- Playing a sport could be a way to keep active. Remember, in order for any exercise to work is that it is done regularly.
- Strength training is important, just as its name implies strength training builds muscle and reduces muscle imbalances.
It’s never too late to increase strength and flexibility.
Look at activities that you and your friends/family can enjoy and make doing them a regular thing.
A chiropractor is the ideal medical professional to consult with for any unexplained pain in the musculoskeletal system. They are highly qualified professionals that specialize in treating conditions like lower back pain and they are affordable. If you or a loved one have pain in the lower back, give us a call. We’re here to help!
Understanding *FOOT PRONATION* & How to Correct it | El Paso, TX (2019)
Understanding how excessive foot pronation can affect a patient’s overall health and wellness is essential to follow-up with treatment. Custom foot orthotics can help correct excess foot pronation or supination to help improve foot health issues. Excess foot pronation and/or supination can affect the natural alignment of the spine, ultimately affecting posture and mobility. The following video describes how excessive foot pronation and supination occur and how they can affect overall health and wellness. Dr. Alex Jimenez, a chiropractor in El Paso, TX, utilizes custom foot orthotics to help correct excessive foot pronation and supination.
Chiropractic treatment is dedicated to finding and correcting spinal misalignments. Many seek chiropractic care to alleviate pain and other health-related symptoms. One condition that is sought out constantly, is relief from lower back pain. Chiropractors are spinal specialists that are trained to not only alleviate pain but also find and help correct the cause of the problem.
The information herein on "Muscle Spasms Cause Back Pain But Are Not Primary Cause El Paso, TX." is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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