Back pain can stop you from doing all kinds of things. It can keep you from playing sports, doing well at work, and doing everyday things like buying groceries and mowing the lawn.
Back spasms are often a protection mechanism that helps to stabilize an area of the spine that has been injured. When a joint anywhere in the body is injured, the muscles surrounding that area will tighten to prevent the joint from being compressed or stretched. While back spasms are painful and restrict your movement, there are things you can do to minimize your down time. Here are some options for you to try that will minimize your pain and discomfort from muscle spasms:
- Rest is very important, but that doesn't mean that you should lay in bed for long periods of time. You just need to get a really good night's sleep and maybe lay down for a while to take the stress of your back once in a while during the day.
- Walking can help to loosen up tight muscles in the back. However, if you decide to do that, make sure you don't over do it. Keep your posture good and walk at a moderate pace. Limit the distance and time that you walk. Also make sure you are not making impact with the ground with too much force and walk as smoothly as possible.
- You could try to use an anti-inflammatory medication like Ibuprofen which could offer you some temporary relief. Muscle relaxants can also make us feel better, but they are really masking the real problem. You should get to the root of the problem and treat that instead.
- Periodically apply ice to the muscles that are in spasm for the first 48 to 72 hours that you feel pain. Apply the ice for about 15 to 20 minutes and remove it for around 45 minutes then reapply. Make sure you have a shirt or towel between your skin and the ice pack. Otherwise you could give yourself frostbite, and you don't want to make things worse. If you apply the ice too long, it can cause the area to get too cold and cause too much blood to flow into the area which could increase the inflammation. Ice can also help to reduce the use of pain killers because it will reduce the pain threshold.
- Heat can also be beneficial by drawing in nutrients and flushing toxins, but it can also draw more fluid into the inflamed area which is not a good thing. If you find that heat is helping you, make sure you limit the time to about 15 minutes and follow up with ice.
- Stretching the muscle fibers can help to relax and sooth the back spasm. You can use a variety of yoga poses or a foam roller and exercise ball.
Once you are feeling better, it is a very good idea to implement exercises into your workout routine that strengthen these back muscles. Doing the plank is one of the best things you can do to strengthen your core muscle group. Just make sure to start slow and don't expect to hold the position for more than 20 seconds at a time. Once you build up your strength, you can start to increase the time.
Thanks to Champion chiropractic in Edmonton for these tips http://championchiro.ca/
Here is a great video from Dr. James Doran explaining more