Nobody likes to get muscle spasms, period. It can be downright painful, sometimes even inducing nausea. You might have injured yourself some time back and wondering why suddenly you have pain in your back – it is all tensed up. Not only your back suffers, but you can also experience muscle pain in your neck, in your hips, legs; anywhere.
Spasms usually do stem from your muscles but sometimes they can be as a result of other things too, like disc herniation. Then the muscles try their hardest to become stabilized in the affected area to try and prevent you from moving in a certain way to cause even more damage. Dr. Jeffry Katz is an associate professor at the Harvard Medical School and also a co-director of a spinal center.
He says in his book called Heal Your Aching Back; that the automatic tightening we feel in the back, spine, neck, etc. is a reflex that we can’t control consciously, and sometimes we are not even aware of this; it is only when we start feeling the related pain. Unfortunately, muscle spasms in the back and other places on the body can also be as a result of stress in our lives; work stress, physical stress, emotional stress, etc.
Do you need help?
It is a known factor that stretching is the best medication for back muscle spasms. Even though muscle spasms aren’t serious, contractions clamp down on the blood vessels through which a lot of substances pass in the body, such as oxygen, nutrients, and waste disposal. These become limited because the contractions are clamping down on the blood vessels. Finally, acidity builds up in the muscles and we know how that can hurt. And to relieve it, the muscle needs to be relaxed. Apart from stretching, hot baths, massage and hot packs also do the trick because those blood vessels then become dilated and speed up the tissue repair. Look at these great muscle relaxers.
If you don’t want to go the natural route in dealing with back muscle spasms, there are the conventional medications which are designed to interrupt blood vessel contractions of the muscles which cause spasms. You can see your doctor for this. Ultrasounds might help, anesthetic injections or visits to the physiotherapists where electrical stimulation to fatigue the muscles are given, enabling the muscles to relax.
As far as natural goes, don’t forget to try essential oils too. You apply them to your skin and they are excellent for inflammation with positive effects because they also help with blood circulation.
What about supplements
Sure, Epsom salts and magnesium are wonderful for muscle spasms. In fact, a deficiency of magnesium in the body shows up as muscle pain, leg cramps, and fibromyalgia. Just letting your feet soak in an Epsom salts bath, you increase the internal magnesium levels, so essential for your muscles to work properly. Remember, too that exercise helps because it keeps the muscle loose and reduces all that inflammation. Here are some more:
- Glucosamine and Chondroitin, both of which occur naturally in the body, around the joints and cartilage
- Vitamin D – excellent for back pain, and a deficiency is known to make it worse.
- Devil’s Claw, known to be excellent for reducing flare-ups of chronic lower back pain.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids helps a great deal for inflammation which causes back pain.
- Turmeric – highly inflammatory.
Some swear by alternative treatments such as acupuncture, chiropractic, physiotherapy, and yoga
Acupuncture has a large body of research which shows great effectiveness for back pain. It has a great ability to release spasms and to relieve muscular tension. It works on normalizing the points within the body, to allow for balance. Physiotherapy helps to reduce inflammation and to reduce pain and Chiropractic works to determine the cause of the pain which can include x-rays or MRI. Always just make sure you visit licensed professionals!
Finally, eat plenty of real foods that contain calcium, such as canned fish, particularly pink salmon and sardines Eat plenty of the dark, green veggies, seeds, and nuts as well as fortified tofu. Some yogurt with a banana supplies you with calcium, potassium, and magnesium to help with muscle cramps.
Just remember to keep calm, and back off ill-treating your back.