A back spasm is a condition where the muscles of the lower back contract or become tense.
The intensity of the condition varies from infrequent spasm which cause mild pain or discomfort to chronic spams which cause severe back pain to the point where the patient becomes unable to move.
It can affect the muscle mass in any spinal muscle groups, including those in the lumbar spine, thoracic spine, cervical spine, as well as the erector spinae, psoas muscles and paravertebral muscles.
Symptoms of Lower Back Spasms
There may be many symptoms of back spasms, including:
- Back may feel tense or stiff
- Difficulty moving
- It may feel uncomfortable to bend or pick something up
- Sudden severe pain is felt in the lower back
- Weakness in the muscles of the back and hips
- Intermittent cramping sensations
Classification of Lumbar Muscle Spasm
Back spasms can be divided into the following two categories:
1) Acute Lumbar Muscle Spasms
Patients with acute spasms report that the spasm is sudden in onset and happens mostly while changing position suddenly, i.e. standing from sitting or lying or lifting something.
2) Chronic Lumbar Muscle Spasms
This type of spasm happens more regularly and, in most cases, the underlying cause is not known. Sometimes it happens after a back injury, due to muscle atrophy or muscle strain, or due to other spinal disorders.
Five Tips to Manage Lower Back Spasms
The following modalities may help relieve pain that comes with spasms of paraspinal muscles in patients:
When firm pressure is applied to the affected muscle, it reduces the tension in the muscles and relaxes the back.
2) Heat or Ice Application
Both hot and cold fomentation application is helpful for this condition. Heat improves blood circulation towards the affected muscles and thus pain is reduced. A cold pad reduces the inflammation and in turn pain is relieved.
3) Over-the-Counter Medication
OTC pain-relieving medication may be helpful temporarily in relieving back pain, but it does not provide immediate relief and only slows down the spasm within 50-60 minutes.
We always advise you to please consult your health provider before taking any medicine.
4) Water and Electrolytes
Dehydration is also an underlying cause of muscle spasms. It can also worsen existing spasms.
5) Use a Foam Roller
A foam roller can be used to reduce muscle tension or tightness which may be felt after exercise.
Three Stretches for Lumbar Muscle Spasms
Stretching activities relax the tense muscles and are helpful in reducing the occurrence muscle spasms. Some stretches that you might want to try including yoga stretches such as the child’s pose, the cat-cow pose, as well as hip lifts.
However, although stretches might be helpful, an even better option is to engage in spinal decompression therapy to target the source of your lower back muscle spasms.
An Advanced Treatment for Lumbar Paraspinal Muscle Spasms
How does spinal decompression therapy help with muscle spasms?
Spinal decompression is a treatment modality that focuses on restoring the natural space between your vertebrae, helping realign any spinal structures that have moved out of their original space. On top of this, a spinal decompression device like the Backrack massages your back muscles, providing double the benefits.
Pain and spinal degeneration may come as a result of compression of the spine, a process where the vertebrae (bones that make up the spinal column) become squashed and press themselves against other parts of the spine, including nerve roots, and sometimes even muscles.
Reversing this process through decompression and returning your back to its original shape and form can help not only treat back spasms and pain, but also prevent them in the future.
Because spinal compression is to blame for a large number of back pain cases, meaning it is the root cause of such problems, it can be safely said that by decompressing the spine you can avoid back issues in the future by engaging in this type of therapy.