Back spasms can be caused by a direct problem with the muscle such as overuse, muscle strain, accident, sports injury, fatigue, or because of an indirect underlying condition such as arthritis, disc herniation, or dehydration among others. Usually, a spasm is a reaction to something else painful in the back such as a pinched nerve, joint inflammation, or even a fracture. A proper assessment should be done to understand the possible causes before simply getting a massage or taking muscle relaxants.
What is a back spasm?
A back spasm is simply a spasm that occurs in one or more muscles of the back. Postural muscles or the muscles that hold us in an upright position when standing or sitting seem to be more commonly affected and can make it difficult to perform even basic activities such as standing up straight, sitting, walking and bending and getting out of bed.
What causes a back spasm?
Back spasms can be caused by a direct problem with the muscle such as overuse, muscle strain, accident, sports injury, fatigue or because of an indirect underlying condition such as arthritis, disc herniation or dehydration among others.
What does a back spasm feel like?
Pain caused by a back spasm is usually very intense. Many people describe the pain as sharp or pinching pain and are often described as a pinched nerve because of the high intensity. The pain is made worse with activation of the involved muscle(s). If the involved muscle(s) are postural muscles, almost any activity other than lying flat on the back with bent knees can result in moderate to severe pain depending on how aggressive the spasm is.
How is it treated?
The treatment of a back spasm will partially be determined by the cause of the spasm. However back spasms are effectively treated with conservative care involving one or a combination of the following techniques: stretching, massage, spinal adjustments, muscle activation, mobilization exercises, active release and dry needling.
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