Lower back pain and spasm is one of the most common reasons people see a healthcare professional. The good news is that lower back pain is often short lived, provided you seek the right treatment. Before we discuss the Number 1 Best Lower Back Spasm Remedy, let’s have a look at what lower back muscle spasms are and how they develop…
The muscles of your lower back are responsible for movement, postural control and support. They work alongside your bones and ligaments to allow these functions and keep you upright throughout the day. When these lower back muscles are sustained in an awkward position, experience an unexpected movement or are overexerted they can become irritated and go into spasm. Underlying anatomical problems or conditions, such as degenerative disc disease, herniated discs or facet joint osteoarthritis, may result in lower back pain and spasm due to the instinctive inflammation of the muscles surrounding the condition. In these cases, health professionals, such as soft tissue occupational therapists, will not only work to treat the acute pain and spasm but the underlying cause of your symptoms. Lower back muscle spasms can lead to loss of range of movement, severe pain and irritability, however, with this Number #1 Best Lower Back Spasm Remedy you will be back on your feet, pain free, in no time…
Introducing Soft Tissue Occupational Therapy
A visit to a Soft Tissue Occupational Therapist can assist in the treatment of lower back spasm. A soft tissue occupational therapist will conduct an assessment to determine the cause of the spasm and then provide hands-on neuromuscular techniques, such as trigger point therapy, myofascial release to improve functioning of the muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia. These neuromuscular techniques work to break down fibrous adhesions, releasing tight muscles and correcting improper muscle functioning and postures. Soft tissue occupational therapists will also work to develop and recommend stretching and strengthening regimes to assist in alleviating symptoms and prevent recurring and lower back spasm. An occupational therapist will look to explore lifestyle factors, such as sleep positioning or workplace ergonomics, which may be contributing to your lower back spasm and set up an individualized treatment plan that reduces your symptoms. The treatment provided by your soft tissue occupational therapist can be split up into 2 phases:
PHASE 1: Lower back pain relief and protection
Managing your lower back pain and spasm is the number one reason that you seek treatment for lower back pain. The good news is, it was actually the final symptom that you developed and it should be the first symptom to improve. Your soft tissue occupational therapist will use an wide range of treatment tools to help reduce your pain and muscle spasm. These may include heat, trigger point release, myofascial release, stretching and activity modification.
Heat therapy is often one of the simplest and least expensive forms of pain relief, and can often be one of the most effective. Heat therapy works by soothing stiff and injured muscles. The heat increases the circulation of the blood flow throughout the area, and enhances the delivery of nutrients to the muscles, aiding in repair, and reducing the symptoms of lower back spasm. You can use a heat pack to apply heat to the area.
Trigger Point Release
Trigger point therapy involves the application of firm pressure to a hyperirritable spot or taut band, known as a trigger point, to release tension in the muscle. By applying pressure to the trigger point, it decreases the blood flow to the area, decreasing the pressure felt. As the pressure is removed, blood flows back to the area and flushes any toxins released by the muscle. These points and can often refer pain to other parts of the body, lasting a few seconds.
Dry needling is a technique that can be used to reduce muscle restriction by releasing trigger points (tender points within muscle) with acupuncture needles. The therapist uses individually packed sterilised acupuncture needles and inserts the needle directly into the trigger point to produce a local response (like a twitch) of the muscle which then quickly dissipates and allows the muscle to relax.
Myofascial release is a very effective hands-on technique that breaks down myofascial restrictions and allows the spreading and stretching of fascia over the muscles to improve symmetry and restore body balance.
It may be tempting to simply lie down and wait for your lower back spasm and pain to relieve itself. When in reality that just won’t happen, gentle exercise and stretching is more likely to assist in relieving pain and can help speed up your recovery. A gentle, slow paced walk may decrease the pain associated with lower back spasm by encouraging circulation and blood flow to tissues, reducing muscle stiffness and spasm. Walking also stimulates the brain to release dopamine and serotonin, also known as our ‘happy’ neurotransmitters, helping to make you feel better physically and mentally. Gentle stretching may also assist in reducing pain and lower back spasm, however, it is best to use caution and consult your GP or Soft Tissue Occupational Therapist before you start a stretching regime for safety reasons and to prevent further inflammation or damage to the area.
Basic remedies such as activity modification can often be a useful strategy for treating lower back spasms, whilst reducing pain overall. Modifying your activities, or the way you do activities may lower pain and lower back spasms, whilst still allowing you to do the things you want to do. Modifying your activities so you avoid positions or tasks that require you to twist or put yourself in positions that may aggravate pain is beneficial in relieving your lower back spasm. For example, if sitting down for too long causes pain, setting a timer every 20 minutes to remind you to get up and move around may be a useful strategy for you to avoid pain, whilst still accomplishing your tasks throughout the day. Modifying your activities so that you avoid or at least minimize the chance of positions that worsen the lower back spasm may help prevent pain and allow for a better healing environment.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen may also help be helpful during the acute phase of pain and spasm.
PHASE 2: Restoring normal Range of Movement (ROM) and Strength
As your lower back spasm and pain eases, your lower back may feel better but you are actually at a higher chance for re-injury during this period when you don’t have pain but your muscles and ligaments are still weak. During this phase your soft tissue occupational therapist will focus on restoring your normal lumbar spine movement, muscle length and resting tension. They may refer you to an exercise physiologist, who can help to increase your muscle strength and endurance, proprioception and balance and spine stability. The exercise physiologist may commence you on a lower abdominal core stability program to facilitate your important muscles that dynamically control and stabilise your lower back and pelvis. They will then look to restore your full ROM and prevent reoccurrence. Depending on your chosen work, sport or activities of daily living, your soft tissue occupational therapist and exercise physiologist will aim to restore your lower back function to safely allow you to return to your desired activities. Everyone has different demands for their lower back that will determine what specific treatment goals you need to achieve.
At Infused Health our highly trained Soft Tissue Occupational Therapists and Exercise Physiologist will use a hands on approach to help treat your injuries, conditions or any concerns you may have. You can make an appointment today by calling 0401 876 623.