Remedies to Treat and Prevent Back Spasms

More than 3.1 million people in America suffer from some form of back pain. It is the leading cause of absence from work. Back spasms affect the lower portion of the back through muscle contractions. Whether you have injured your back or just irritated the nerves, muscles or ligaments, you will probably find yourself experiencing a muscle spasm as well as acute pain.

You may feel a knot in your lower back as the muscles tense up. Contractions of the back could happen immediately following an injury or they may show up days later.

What Causes Back Spasms?

There are a number of things that can cause back spasms including injuries that affect the ligaments, tendons, and muscles in the back. In some cases they are the result of a more serious medical issue. Lifting something that is very heavy is frequently behind spasms of the back.

There are a number of sports, such as golf and football that can result in lower back spasms because of the repetitive and sudden turns required of the back. If you already have a weak back and abdominal muscles, you are more apt to injure this area further.

Medical issues, such as a ruptured disk or arthritis, can be the cause of back spasms. Pressure on the nerve in the back can be from a bulging or ruptured disk. The effects of arthritis generate pressure in the spinal cord area leaving the legs and back in severe pain.

What Are Back Spasms Treatments?

1. Rest

While it is important to rest the back, particularly if it is from an injury to the back muscle, complete inactivity is not good either. Getting the right amount of rest will help your body heal, but doing too little will create stiffness and tightening of the back. It is suggested you walk slowly and gently for a few minutes at a time as many times a day as you can stand it.

2. Elevation

Maintaining an elevated position can help ease back spasms. You can:

  • Rest your legs on a pillow
  • ŸKeep your feet resting on a foot still while you are in a seated position
  • ŸPosition your knees above your hips
  • ŸLie on your side with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle

3. Relaxation

When you are in pain, it is hard to be relaxed. On the other hand, remaining in a tense frame of mind would just aggravate the situation further. Try to get your mind off of your back and incorporate one of the following relaxation techniques:

  • ŸReading
  • ŸHaving a conversation with a friend or someone you care about
  • ŸMeditating
  • Catching up on a TV show you have been wanting to watch

4. Pain Medications

Many people reach for an aspirin or ibuprofen when they have general aches and pains. When it comes to back spasms, you can start with either of those two or you can ask your doctor about NSAIDS – non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Your doctor can prescribe a higher dosage of these medications to help relieve the pain of lower back spasms a little faster and more effectively than regular over-the-counter medications. Muscle relaxants might help, but many people feel the drowsiness isn’t worth it.

5. Exercises

If you have lower back pain, you might want to try walking around with your back straight as you lift your knees up high. You can also raise your arms over your head to stretch your back muscles gently.

You might want to try lying on the floor and bend your knees keeping your feet flat. Take turns pulling each knee to your chest. Hold the knee for the count of 10, then release and return the leg to the floor. Work up to 5 to 10 repetitions twice or 3 times a day for each leg. Stop if your symptoms get worse.

6. Ice or Heat

Cold application will help to minimize swelling and provide relief from pain when the spasm first occurs. You can either wrap ice in a towel or use pack of frozen peas for about 12-15 minutes every 2 hours for the first day or two.

Muscle spasms are reduced with the application of heat as it dilates the blood vessels and brings an increased supply of oxygen to the area. You can apply heat with a heating pad as well as disposable heat wraps that you can get at the drug store. Usually heat should be applied after cold application.

7. Pressure

You can try using pressure as a form of back spasm treatment by lying down and putting your fingertips over the spasm. Press firmly to see if the spasm stops. Keep pressing down until you get some relief. Make sure you stand up and move slowly after applying pressure.

How to Prevent Lower Back Spasms

So you have incorporated all of the ideas here and you have successfully resolved your back spasms. What can you do to prevent another episode? Here are a few simple suggestions you may want to implement right away.

  • Stretch regularly: Not only should you stretch before beginning any physical workout program, stretching in general is good for the fibers in the muscles. Try to find a yoga class or Pilates DVD you can add to your daily routine.
  • Get yourself into shape: You don’t have to train for the Olympics, but you can incorporate a regular exercise routine into your life. Start slow by walking 20 to 30 minutes each day and increase it gradually.
  • Add strength training to your workout: Using weights to build muscle is important for strong bones, but it also helps to keep your muscles in balance. Make sure you add an abdominal workout to compensate for the back strengthening routine you partake in.
  • Use good lifting techniques to prevent further injuriesWhen you are ready to lift something, you should plant your feet on each side of the item you plan on lifting. Bend over at your waist and knees. Get a good grip and lift the object using your butt and thigh muscles. Keep your abdominal muscles tightened to support your back.
Current time: 05/19/2024 01:30:58 pm (America/New_York) Memory usage: 1406.33KB