The Lowdown on Muscle Spasms

knotOne day you could innocently be bending over to load dishes into your dishwasher and be struck by a sharp pain in your back that makes it nearly impossible to get back up. This terrible pain is a muscle spasm, a terrible experience you are likely to not forget. How do seemingly innocent activities lead to such big back problems and pain? Here is the answer!

What Caused the Problem

Reaching into your dishwasher isn’t really what the problem was, it was overextending the muscles in your back that made the muscle spasm and eventually takes you down. See, a spasm is a way a muscle protects itself when it has been overextended. It stiffens to keep it from needing to stretch beyond capacity and then spasm so that it won’t be pushed beyond its limits. What makes it painful for so long after the incident is the fact that when your muscle spasms its blood supply gets cut off. This causes the muscle to contract even more and become “locked up”. This is why many people who experience muscle spasms in their backs fall to the floor and find it difficult to get back up – movement will not help to unlock the muscle and get it to stop spasming.

Often, repetitive movements or habits can make you more prone to muscle spasms. Poor posture and weak muscles in your back, hips and core are big contributors to the problem as well. If you muscles have been strained for a while from activities, posture, or muscle weakness then all it takes is one movement to trigger a painful muscle spasm.

What You Can Do

Obviously, seeing your chiropractor regularly can help to keep back spasms at bay because the adjustments performed by your chiropractor help to keep the muscles in your back, as well as your joints, more mobile and flexible. If you can’t get to your chiropractor right away when a muscle spasm hits, you should try some of these tips in the meantime:

  • Rest your back –This isn’t normally recommended for a back injury, but in the case of a muscle spasm you need to rest the impacted area.
  • Use heat/ice therapy –  Pair with gentle massage for pain relief.
  • Eat a banana –A lack of calcium or magnesium could be behind the muscle spasm, so getting those nutrients may just help and a banana is a perfect source!

When you see your chiropractor make sure to tell them about the incident and see what advice they can offer to help you never experience that terrible pain again!

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This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.