Back spasms are painful and if untreated can cause bouts of discomfort. In extreme cases, they can affect your ability to move or carry out day to day tasks. Back spasm is a widespread phenomenon, with statistics indicating that up to eighty percent of the American population is continuously susceptible to back pain.
Even then, it is easy to treat a back spasm more so if you detect the condition in its early stages. The only time you could go for elaborate surgical procedures is when the muscle contractions emanate from the spine.
Causes of Lower Back Spasms
A lot of factors can cause back spasm. The most common include;
- Injured muscles, ligaments, tendon in the back
- Lifting heavy objects
- Taking part in extreme activities thus exposing your lower back to injury
- Participating in sporting activities that require you turn your back continuously and suddenly such as golf or football.
While anyone can be a victim of a back spasm, you’re at a higher risk if you;
- Have relatively weak abdominal muscles (in essence, this means that your back support may not be adequate)
- Have weak or stiff back muscles
- Are diagnosed with conditions such as arthritis, putting excess pressure on your spinal cord. As a result, you experience pain in your lower back and legs.
- Have a ruptured or bulging disk in your spine.
- Have a ruptured disc in the spine
Diagnosing Back Spasms
As stated, seeking treatment early enough is paramount when it comes to treating a back spasm. At the treatment center, your doctor will carry out specific procedures to determine the extent of damage and recommend the best mode of treatment. He or she may;
Order an X-ray – This is the easiest way to determine if you indeed have a back spasm. An X-ray will ascertain if you have a bone fracture or arthritis.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or Computerized Tomography – These will reveal what an X-ray cannot pick out. Both procedures will help determine if you have problems such as a ruptured disk or short of supply of blood in your lower back area.
Other than that, the doctor may ask you a couple of question to help diagnose your condition correctly. He or she will want to know;
- What’s the frequency of your back pain?
- How painful are the episodes?
- When did you start to experience pain?
- What do you do to reduce the pain?
It is worth noting that you should give your doctor any relevant information that you may deem helpful. You may, for instance, tell him or her if your line of work involves lifting heavy objects or if you have suffered back injury in the past.
Treating Lower Back Spasms
If your doctor determines that you have a lower back spasm, he or she will go ahead to recommend treatment in the form of;
Medications – These include muscle relaxants and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to help ease the pain and intensity of other symptoms. Before your doctor recommends any medicine, however, he or she will discuss the possible side effects and whether you’re allergic to particular compounds.
Chiropractic Care – At times, you may not need to take medications or injections to treat back spasm. Your doctor may place you under the care of a chiropractor to help strengthen your muscles.
You can as well try out procedures at home to relieve pain especially if the condition is not severe. These include;
- Stretching to release tension in the muscles
- Placing ice or a heating pad on your back to ease the inflammation and increase blood flow
- Raising legs to reduce pressure on the spine
Preventing Back Spasms
The effects of back spasms can reduce your quality of life. It, therefore, makes perfect sense to nib back spasms in the bud before they occur. Here’s what you should do;
Try and Maintain a Healthy Weight – The first thing is to ensure that you’re not exposing your spine to unnecessary stress. Be sure to shed off some pounds.
Wear the Correct Shoes – The type of shoes that you wear determines your standing posture. Whenever possible wear low heeled shoes to not only help you stand straight but also provide the stability you need to stay firmly rooted on the ground.
Embark on a Regular Exercise Regimen – Focus on exercises that will help strengthen your back and abdominal muscles.
Avoid staying idle for long – move around instead on lying on the couch all day.
You don’t have to be part of the statistics that suffer from back spasms. It is the small tweaks in your lifestyle that make the difference. Nonetheless, if you become a victim, get in touch with a doctor as soon as possible – the earlier you seek treatment, the better.