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Monday, May 2, 2011

Back Pain - causes and Management

 Spasms in the back can be characterized by intense pain or contractions in the back muscles which feels like palpable stiffness. The cause of these can take a long time to develop and are often experienced in the lower region of the back, or the lumbar region.
When spasms occur in the back region, there can be a number of causes and are often related to pain. Spasms in the back then occur to try and isolate the affected and painful muscle or muscles, which can result in even more pain.

Causes not related to actual muscle injury like herniated disks, and tumors or infections will also put pressure on the muscle and can result in back spasms. These can take a long time to show actual symptoms such as pain or spasms. This is because for example disk problems, develop over time, especially in the lower back. When the disks have worn down in the back, they begin to bulge which puts pressure on the nerves in the back ligaments. The problem is when disk bulges become herniated and affects both the sciatic and spinal nerves.
In the instance when sciatic nerves are involved, people who experience spasms in the back, may also be experiencing sciatica. This is a condition caused when the sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in the body, is compressed or put under pressure, resulting in sometimes extreme pain. When the nerves are pinched or triggered through a movement, a person can feel a sudden sharp pain or an ache in the back, which then results in spasms.

Back spasms can also be caused by actual muscle injury from sport or a sudden irregular movement, which can cause actual muscle damage, causing pain. Another cause could be oxygen deprivation or ischemia which results in back spasms, similar to cramps.
For lower back muscle spasms, physicians would examine your medical history as well as take x-rays or perform a physical examination. However if you are having trouble standing up straight, have lower back pain or pain in your leg (from your sciatic nerve), you could be experiencing back problems, resulting in spasms in the back

Spasms in the back can be treated in a number of ways, depending on the cause. Initially, to prevent swelling, it is suggested that an ice pack is applied to the painful area, especially if there is evidence of a muscle injury from sport or an irregular movement. This should also relieve spasms. It is also suggested that you should refrain from physical activity, by resting the muscles.
Anti-inflammatory medicine, muscle relaxants as well as strengthening and stretching exercises are also recommended for spasms in the back. This should flex the muscle so that it doesn’t tighten up too much, especially if you just walk up and down. For cases where back pain and spasms continue for longer than seven days, physical therapy and a consultation with a doctor is recommended.
When the cause of spasms in the back is a disk problem affecting the nerves, cortisone may be administered into the compressed nerve. Cortisone is a steroid hormone which is designed to work as an anti-inflammatory.

It is usually a long and slow process to rectify spasms in the back, one which involves getting to the root of the problem and correcting it. While often it cannot be prevented, strengthening your back muscles and doing exercises which target these muscles can be recommended to try and hold off back spasms occurring.
If your pain is persistent, you might want to consider visiting a chiropractor that will adjust your spine and nerve contractions to eliminate those sudden spasms for good.

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