Muscle Spasms in the lower back, also known as lumbar muscle spasms occur when the muscles in the lower back region tend to contract involuntarily as a result of some injury or trauma to the lumbar muscles. In this condition, the muscles in the back get strained and stiffen due to overexertion. Lower back muscle spasms are usually abrupt and can prolong for a few seconds to several hours. These spasms in the back are characterized by a sharp, piercing pain which may radiate to other regions in the back. Sometimes the pain is so extreme that the area becomes numb.
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The most common symptoms are severe pain and tension in the lower back muscles. There may be frequent twitching of muscles, along with pain, which may radiate towards the abdomen. The back muscles also tend to become stiff and pain worsens making movements restricted. A slight swelling can be also noticed in the affected area. Back pain may be categorized based on their duration – acute and chronic. Acute back pain normally lasts for a couple of days or sometimes a week, after which it may reduce, with the help of medication and proper rest. However, in some cases, pain may be persistent, increasing now and then, resulting in chronic pain It can be tough to identify the exact cause of this condition. Let’s now take a look at causes and ways for treating muscle spasms.
Causes of Lower Back Muscle Spasms: Quick and sudden movements of the lumbar (lower back) muscles may cause muscle cramps and spasms. The affected muscles then become inflamed and overstretched, which may also lead to the weakening of the muscle fibers. Overstraining of the muscles while doing physical exercises or any household activities which involve a lot of bending and stretching are some causative factors for muscle spasms. An incorrect position while sitting, sleeping or standing and jerky movements can result in muscle cramps which may be painful.
A deficiency of nutrients and an imbalance of electrolytes in the body due to a deficiency of potassium in the body can lead to muscle spasms. If the muscles are not ‘conditioned’ and lubricated as a result of dehydration can cause spasms in the lower back muscles. In some cases, spasms or cramps can be a result of side effects or overdose of certain drugs and medications. In case of women, menstruation and pregnancy are some causative factors for this condition. Some other causes of muscles spasms in lower back include an injury to the spinal cord, inflammation of the nerves, trauma, muscle fatigue, etc.
All these can turn into an agonizing back pain for most individuals. Treating Muscle Spasms in Lower Back The basic methods for treating lower back spasms is ample rest and application of warm compresses to the affected area. Applying ice packs is an effective method for back pain relief and it also reduces the swelling and inflammation of the muscles. There are also certain over the counter medications that will help relieve the muscle spasms and subside the pain. If you don’t find relief in spite of these methods of treatment, visit a doctor, who may advise you to undergo a few tests like back X-ray, to diagnose the exact location of the injury.
He may then prescribe some painkillers, muscle relaxants, steroid injections and Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) to ease out the pain. He may also suggest a few lower back muscle spasm exercises to strengthen the muscles and restore their flexibility. There are also a few back exercises to stretch the muscles and provide relief. But these exercises must be done only under the supervision of an expert. Apart from these methods of treatment, you can also undergo aromatherapy, acupressure and massage therapy to get relief from the pain associated with muscle spasms in the back. Muscle spasms in the back can be a very discomforting condition and cause a lot of the pain. If the back pain persists for more than a week, it is advisable to consult a doctor. Take care!
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