A sudden, wrenching pain wraps around the muscles in your back, causing you to double over in pain and lose your breath. You feel the constricting pain throughout the muscle in your back, and you suddenly become very dizzy and disoriented. What is the pain and what causes it? You may have experienced a muscle back spasm. Muscle spasms can begin as simple strains and then evolve into larger spasms. These can be so severe that they often result in trips to the emergency room. If you regularly have bad posture at your daily desk job, a muscle spasm may surprise you when trying to complete a task as simple as doing laundry or reaching for a book. Alternately, a muscle spasm can surprise you as you struggle to reach a new yoga position or jump over the higher hurdle.
Muscle spasms are a result of inflamed muscles that are overstretched or torn. Typically, when the muscles in the lower back are over exerted or strained, they can tear. The tear and the surrounding area can become inflamed. This inflammation causes spasms, which leads to difficulty moving and severe pain. The spasms are the body’s signal to stop the body from further injuring the already endangered muscle.
How could you overstretch or tear your muscles?
This is easier to do than you think. You should be careful when lifting heavy objects, or when extending your exercise regimen. A muscle strain can occur when supporting a heavy object with your back, lifting and twisting the muscles in your back, or a sudden movement or fall. Often, the pain from a muscle strain remains localized and does not permeate throughout your body. The entire area will be sore to the touch.
How do you heal from a muscle back spasm?
The immediate solution is to apply cold or heat to the area to alleviate pain. Some patients may be prescribed over the counter medication to help with long lasting pain from muscle spasms. Generally, muscle strains will heal in a matter of a few days if the injured person gets enough rest and refrains from using the muscle in any demanding way. Muscle strains heal by allowing the blood source to supply the necessary nutrients back to the area, re-energizing the proteins and aiding the healing process. If the patient is in pain for weeks at a time and cannot use the muscle at all, the muscles may begin to atrophy and eventually be rendered unusable. This weakening of the muscles is negative for overall body health and encourages more spasms, tears, and injuries.
How do you avoid a muscle back spasm?
Most people who are active and exercise regularly with an awareness of their own limitations are not in danger of straining or tearing their muscles. Active people with well-conditioned muscles accustomed to some regular strain are less likely to encounter muscle back spasms. Emphasis on stretching and the strengthening of the back muscles will contribute to a healthy and flexible body.