Problems in the Back Muscles
Chiropractors are concerned with optimizing the function of the entire body. Because the nerves leading to every part of the body emerge from the spinal cord, chiropractors are particularly concerned with the spinal column. But that doesn’t mean chiropractors only care about the back’s joints and nerve roots. Healthy muscles are also essential to keeping the spine aligned, and when they are having problems, chiropractors provide several safe, non-invasive solutions that cultivate lasting health.
How Back Spasms Work
A strain is an injury to a muscle or a tendon, which are the fibrous bands that link muscles to bones. A spasm, also called a cramp, is what we call it when a muscle contracts and is unable to relax when a person wants it to. It is often painful and may last for a few seconds or several minutes.
Muscles are complex systems that balance each other. Spasms have many potential causes, including both muscle fatigue and that the muscle might not be getting stretched enough. People are at increased risk for back spasms if they have weak core muscles, as that increases the burden on the spinal column, or weak hamstrings, which may tighten and pull on the lower back. Other risk factors include lack of blood flow or minerals and involuntary nerve discharges, which could be related to nerve impingements.
Chiropractic Pain Relief
It is not always possible to identify any single cause of back spasms, but there are several treatments that are helpful in most situations. Your chiropractor may want to take x-rays to determine whether there is damage to the bones before beginning treatment. However, we generally don’t recommend that people totally refrain from activity for long, or else their muscles may continue to weaken and tighten. If the cramp is related to an injury, it’s a good idea to apply ice for the first twenty-four to forty-eight hours, but not longer. Past that point, the goal shifts from preventing inflammation to reducing it.
Spinal adjustments help to ensure that the muscles aren’t being compressed or overstretched by displaced spinal joints. Traction can help herniated disc material move back into place, which both relieves pressure on nerves and stops the inflammatory reaction triggered by the disc injury.
Many chiropractic offices also provide services that are specialized for soft tissue relief. These may include therapeutic massages, which stretch muscles, and therapy to break up scar tissue adhesions. Another common physical modality is electric muscle stimulation, which forces muscles to contract and relax, aiding circulation.
The best thing you can do to prevent back spasms is to keep your muscles flexible. This will mean regular stretching and maintaining the strength of your core. You should also make sure you remain hydrated, especially during exercise, and that you’re replacing lost electrolytes. Maintaining good posture while driving and at your desk will reduce your risk of straining your back muscles, and following proper safety protocols when moving heavy objects will reduce the odds of an acute injury.