Why do I get muscle spasms?
You may not think so when you’re experiencing them, however, muscle spasms actually serve a purpose. Your brain will initiate a muscle spasm after a muscle has been stretched or contracted too far. The purpose is to protect your muscle and bring it back to its normal length. Therefore, some muscle spasms can be good and are acting to protect an injured area. You should be concerned, however, if your back spasms are lasting for more than a few days or if muscle spasms are occurring regularly. Any time you have any doubts or concerns, you should schedule a visit with your chiropractor or physician.
It is very important when treating back spasms to understand exactly what is causing your back spasms. This is because there are so many different possibilities and so many distinct treatments. Some common causes of back spasms include:
If a disc is ‘out of place’ (herniated or bulging) it can press against nerves and cause extreme pain. As a result, back muscles will spasm to prevent movement in the area that is experiencing the pain. Chiropractors usually recommend using ice for the first 2-3 days and many suggest taking a natural muscle relaxant, such as Formula 303 to ease the spasm and reduce the associated pain. They will treat the disc injury with various techniques, but often use a flexion-distraction table to decompress the disc and reduce nerve root pressure. This will help alleviate the back spasm.
Working your muscles too hard can cause your back muscles to go into spasm. This often happens with frequent bending and lifting or lifting an object that is too heavy. This can even happen when lifting something not too heavy, but in an awkward position. This is your muscle’s way of protecting itself. If you determine that this is the cause of your back spasms you should consider a more gentle exercise routine or change how you lift when you lift. Most doctors recommend lifting by keeping your back as straight as possible and using your legs to get up. See the video below for detailed explanation.
Stress and all of its associated problems (sleep deprivation, poor nutrition, not enough exercise etc.) can cause imbalances in your brain and motor neurons which will lead to back spasms. Check out a great natural insomnia remedy called Sleep Already if you are having trouble sleeping. Click here for more information.
The treatment of back spasms is as varied as the causes. If you are experiencing muscle spasms in your back for the first time you may want to try stretching, applying ice initially if due to an injury (after 2-3 days use moist heat), improving your posture, reducing your stress, getting more magnesium and potassium in your diet and taking supplements that include natural muscle relaxers such as valerian or passionflower (as found in Formula 303). However, if your back spasms are very persistent you should talk to your physician or chiropractor.