Tag Archives: back spasms

What to do when you get a back spasm

Ever been caught with a back spasm? Here’s tips on how to deal with the pain.

  1. Stop and rest. Carefully move to a bed or flat surface to remain immobile. Your spasm is a warning sign from your body that you must not continue to move. Stop the activity that triggered it.
  2. Relax the muscles. Try and relax your muscles with slow, controlled breathing. The muscles are trying to keep you from moving. This is to protect your body from injury. As you try to relax, do not allow the muscle to contract more. Instead, try to extend it with gentle bending and extending movements opposite to the contraction. Take it slow and gentle.
  3. Stretch slowly and carefully. Extend the muscle that has the spasm. Do not overstretch it. Move slowly and gradually. By increasing the length of your muscle, you decrease the amount of pain in that muscle. Alternative periods of stretching with rest.
  4. Treat the area. Gentle massage can help soothe the pain and allow the muscle to release. Do not aggravate the muscle or be too forceful. If the pain is still severe, an anti-inflammatory or anti-spasmodic medication may be used. Apply a cold pack to the area 48-72 hours after the spasm. Protect the skin from ice burn with a thin towel. After 72 hours, apply moist heat like a wet towel or warm shower. Make sure you are drinking enough fluids to prevent dehydration.
  5. Targeted exercise. When you can resume normal activity, follow a low back pain exercise routine designed for the back and to prevent the spasm. Prevention is key to long term healing and recovery.

What Does a Back Muscle Spasm Mean?

Ever experienced a muscle spasm in your back? For some, they can be so painful that you feel like you should head to the emergency room.

What are back spasms? Muscle spasms occur for two reasons:

  1. As a result of muscles trying to protect themselves from a muscle sprain or strain or…
  2. In response to an underlying condition

Sometimes a muscle will seize up if it senses it is about to be torn as a result of a sudden movement as a form or protection. With some rest and recovery, you should be back to your old self in about 1-2 weeks.

If after 1-2 weeks, your back spasm doesn’t get better, you may have an underlying problem that needs to be addressed. Some of those issues include:

  • pain from a herniated disc
  • facet joint osteoarthritis

For these cases, the muscle is reacting to the pain from the disc or joint disfunction.

How can you treat a muscle spasm? The goal is to get the muscle to relax. You can do that by the following:

  • massage therapy
  • hot and cold therapy
  • muscle relaxants

If the muscle spasm is a result of an injury, it will take a while for the muscle to heal. If it is a result of an underlying issues, these treatments will help treat the muscle spasm pain, but will not fix the issue long-term.

Jeff Gordon ignores back pain and finishes 7th in NASCAR’s longest race

It wasn’t easy, but Jeff Gordon gritted out a seventh-place finish in NASCAR’s longest race after back spasms that forced him out of the car for the majority of Saturday’s practice. Gordon wasn’t even sure if he would be running the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“It was tough,” Gordon said. “I was aching in there. There was one time when I got on the brakes into (turn) 1, and it triggered something. I didn’t know what was going to happen after that, but it settled down. Luckily, I started getting off the brake.”

Finishing 7th maintained Gordon a position atop the Sprint Cup standings. He enters the race at Dover International Speedway as the four-time series champion with an 11-point advantage over second-place Matt Kenseth.

As for Gordon’s concern on his back: “Having some rest and being able to take it easy and do my normal therapy,” he said, “I should be fine by Dover.”

Source: SB Nation via http://www.sbnation.com/nascar/2014/5/26/5752152/nascar-sprint-cup-2014-points-standings-jeff-gordon-back-injury