Lower Back Muscle Spasms

HOW TO TREAT LOWER BACK MUSCLE SPASMS?

If your lower back muscle spasms do begin after an injury or an activity that stressed the muscles, try alternating ice and heat on your back. Ice will help reduce inflammation and heat may help improve blood flow.

Medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and muscle relaxants may help relieve symptoms while the muscles heal. Research supports that muscle relaxants provide significant pain relief in short-term muscle spasms.

Injections of anti-inflammatory medication (cortisone) may also help. But there are potential side effects with every medication. Ask your doctor about the risks and benefits of these injections.

Chiropractic care may help, but be sure to see a doctor to have your condition properly diagnosed first. Physical therapy to help strengthen your back and abdominal muscles is often recommended, as long as the muscles are healthy enough for exercise.

PREVENTING BACK MUSCLE SPASMS

  • Standing up straight and wearing low-heeled shoes will help provide stability and strength in your lower back.
  • Engaging in regular physical activity, such as strengthening exercises for your back and abdomen will also help keep you moving and feeling great.

If you aren’t currently physically active, talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise program. They may suggest certain exercises that will be easier on your back. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/back-pain/treatment/

Spinal decompression

SPINAL DECOMPRESSION

What is spinal decompression?

Spinal decompression is a revolutionary computer-aided technology that helps treat the symptoms of low back and neck pain from herniated, bulging, degenerated and slipped discs.

How does spinal decompression works?

Decompression is achieved by using a specific combination of force of pull, angle in a degree of pull and varying time in order to create a negative pressure inside the discs of the spinal cord. This reversal of pressure creates a vacuum inside the disc that helps to draw in bulging discs and extruded disc material back into place, taking pressure off pinched or irritated nerves.

What conditions qualify for spinal decompression?

Candidates for spinal decompression therapy include the following:

  • Diagnosis of a herniated, bulging or degenerated disc
  • Back pain that is persisting for more than three weeks
  • Recurrent pain from a failed back surgery that is more than six months old
  • Persistent pain from arthritis
  • Patient at least 18 years of age

Who doesn’t qualify for spinal decompression?

Candidates that may not qualify for spinal decompression therapy include the following:

  • Hardware in the spine such as screws and rods
  • Prior lumbar fusion less than six months old
  • Metastatic cancer (cancer that has spread to the bones)
  • Grade 3 and 4 spondylolisthesis (Grade 1 or Grade 2 spondylolisthesis are treatable)
  • Recent compression fracture of the lumbar spine
  • Pathologic aortic aneurysm
  • Pelvic or abdominal cancer
  • Disc space infections
  • Pregnancy

If you have a back problem, find out from your doctor if you would qualify for spinal decompression therapy. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/lumbar-decompression-surgery/why-its-done/

Cervical Fusion

HOME CARE AFTER NECK SURGERY (CERVICAL FUSION)

Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions for wearing a cervical collar or brace. The neck collar or brace is important because it supports and correctly positions your neck after surgery. Be sure to follow instructions for its care, use, and the length of time you must wear it.

Don’t drive until your healthcare provider says it’s OK. This will most likely be when you can move your neck from side to side freely and without pain. Never drive while you are taking opioid pain medicine.

Wait for 5 to 7 days after your surgery to start showering. Then shower as needed. You may be instructed to use a neck collar while you shower. If so, carefully remove it when you finish showering. Then keep your neck correctly positioned as you gently pat dry your skin, the incision, and the neck collar. Then put the neck collar back on. Don’t rub the incision, or apply creams or lotions on it.

Don’t soak in bathtubs, hot tubs, or swimming pools until instructed by your healthcare provider.

Keep appointments for X-rays. They will be taken often to check the status of the cervical fusion. https://www.hey.nhs.uk/patient-leaflet/care-of-your-neck-following-cervical-spine-surgery/

back pain, neck pain

THE RIGHT PILLOW FOR NECK PAIN

The right pillow is essential in keeping the neck in a supported position with neutral alignment during sleep. Without the right pillow support, the neck will be stressed and will lead to daytime neck pain or stiffness.

The key is to find a pillow that is the right height and firm for the person’s size, sleeping position, and personal preferences. A pillow that is too high or firm does not allow the neck to relax fully during sleep. On the other hand, a pillow that is too flat also puts strain on the neck. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Memory-Foam-Pillow-Sleeping-Gel-Infused/dp/B08N12M5QS/ref=sr_1_3_sspa?keywords=orthopedic+memory+foam+pillows+for+sleeping&qid=1638351723&sr=8-3-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyQ0RMS1g5SUlGNlJTJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMTE0NDc2MVFCT05MQ1dYVDczTyZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwOTA3MTg0MVVFOEYxT0RJNENVOSZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

Best Pillows for Sleeping Positions

Sleeping positions are a major factor in determining the best kind of pillow.

When sleeping on the back. A fairly low pillow is better in this position. Extra support can be provided by adding a small rolled towel or a small roll-shaped pillow positioned under the neck.

When sleeping on the side. A higher pillow is advised in this case, so the neck and head are aligned straight over the shoulders as they would be when standing with good posture. A rolled towel or roll-shaped pillow should be put under the neck and supplemented with a pillow for the head.

When sleeping on the stomach. This position is not recommended because it tends to make the back arch and the head turn, stressing the neck.

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sciatica

Why there is a burning sensation on the leg when you have sciatica? How to stop this sensation?

The burning sensation occurs when the direct pressure on the spinal cord compresses the sciatic nerve, as well as tight muscles from the buttocks and upper thigh. Typically, pain can be worse in the leg than in the back. Symptoms vary depending on how severe the pressure is, but the pain can be described as sharp, shooting, and even burning pain.

How to stop the sciatica nerve pain from burning and when to see the doctor?

Alternating heat and ice therapy can provide immediate relief of sciatic nerve pain. Ice can help reduce inflammation, while heat encourages blood flow to the painful area (which speeds healing). Heat and ice may also help ease painful muscle spasms that often accompany sciatica.

Over-the-counter (OTC) non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may help ease sciatica symptoms. NSAIDs bear the health risk, make sure to discuss their safety with your doctor first.

Whether you are working at your desk or relaxing at home, if you stay in the same position for too long, you might find that your sciatica pain spikes. Varying your posture every 20 minutes can help take pressure off your spine and reduce your sciatica symptoms.

Incorporate gentle stretching into your daily routine. Stretching is an excellent way to improve your spinal flexibility and range of motion while also building core and spinal strength. Plus, most stretches are simple enough to be done while watching the news.

If at-home therapies don’t help you, it may be time to see your personal doctor. If you experience any of the following, please see your doctor as soon as possible:

  • You have loss of bowel and/or bladder control
  • Your pain gets worse, even when using at-home therapies
  • You have severe pain in your low back and legs
  • Your pain doesn’t improve after 2 weeks
  • You experience nerve-related symptoms, such as weakness, numbness, tingling, or electric shock-like pain

Whatever the reason, some sciatica symptoms truly warrant medical attention. In rare cases, delaying medical care could lead to or cause permanent nerve damage. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/sciatica/

back pain

BEST NON-PHARMACEUTICAL PAIN RELIEF FOR BACK PAIN

(1) Cold and heat. These two methods are still the cornerstone of relieving pain for certain kinds of injuries.

(2) Physical therapy and occupational therapy. Physical therapists guide you through a series of exercises designed to preserve or improve your strength and mobility. Occupational therapists help you learn to perform a range of daily activities in a way that doesn’t aggravate your pain.

(3) Mind-body techniques. These techniques include meditation, mindfulness, and breathing exercises (among many others). They help you restore a sense of control over your body and turn down the “fight or flight” response, which can worsen chronic muscle tension and pain.

(4) Exercise. Examples can be gentle aerobic activities such as walking, swimming, or cycling.

(5) Music therapy. Listening to any kind of music can distract from pain or discomfort.

(6) Therapeutic massage. Massage can ease pain by working tension out of muscles and joints, relieving stress and anxiety, and possibly helping to distract you from pain.

(7) Yoga and tai chi. These two exercise practices incorporate breath control, meditation, and gentle movements to stretch and strengthen muscles. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/back-pain/treatment/

neck pain

THE RIGHT PILLOW FOR NECK PAIN

The right pillow is essential in keeping the neck in a supported position with neutral alignment during sleep. Without the right pillow support, the neck will be stressed and will lead to daytime neck pain or stiffness.

The key is to find a pillow that is the right height and firm for the person’s size, sleeping position, and personal preferences. A pillow that is too high or firm does not allow the neck to relax fully during sleep. On the other hand, a pillow that is too flat also puts strain on the neck.

Best Pillows for Sleeping Positions

Sleeping positions are a major factor in determining the best kind of pillow.

When sleeping on the back. A fairly low pillow is better in this position. Extra support can be provided by adding a small rolled towel or a small roll-shaped pillow positioned under the neck.

When sleeping on the back, it is best to place a pillow under the knees to minimize strain on the lower back as well.

When sleeping on the side. A higher pillow is advised in this case, so the neck and head are aligned straight over the shoulders as they would be when standing with good posture. A rolled towel or roll-shaped pillow should be put under the neck and supplemented with a pillow for the head.

When sleeping on the stomach. This position is not recommended because it tends to make the back arch and the head turn, stressing the neck. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/neck-pain-and-stiff-neck/

back pain

RISK FACTORS OF BACK PAIN

Anyone can develop back pain, even children & teens. The factors below might increase the risk of developing back pain:

  • Age

Back pain is more common as you get older.

  • Lack of exercise

Weak, unused muscles in your back and abdomen might lead to back pain.

  • Excess weight

Excess body weight puts extra stress on the back.

  • Diseases

Some types of arthritis and cancer can contribute to back pain.

  • Improper lifting

Using the back instead of the legs can lead to back pain.

  • Psychological conditions

People prone to depression and anxiety appear to have a greater risk of back pain.

  • Smoking

Smokers have an increased risk of back pain. This may occur because smoking prompts more coughing which can lead to a herniated disc. Smoking can also decrease blood flow to the spine and increase the risk of osteoporosis.

back pain

THREE TYPES OF BACK PAIN

(1) Non-specific lower back pain
(2) Sciatica
(3) More serious spinal problems (Red Flags)

NON-SPECIFIC LOWER BACK PAIN

This is the most common type of back pain. It is not always possible to diagnose the exact cause of pain in most people which is why the term non-specific low back pain is used.

SCIATICA

Sciatica most commonly occurs when a herniated disc, bone spur on the spine or narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis) compresses part of the nerve. This causes inflammation, pain and often some numbness in the affected leg.

SERIOUS SPINAL PROBLEMS (RED FLAGS)

Red flags require urgent medical attention. If you have some of these signs or symptoms listed below, it is important that you alert your GP or another medical professional immediately:

  • Loss of power in both legs
  • Fever or feeling unwell together with back pain
  • History of trauma to the back
  • Numbness/tingling around genitals or buttocks area
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Difficulty passing urine or having no sensation to pass urine https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/back-pain/
back pain, depression & chronic back pain

DEPRESSION AND CHRONIC BACK PAIN

Depression is more commonly seen in people with chronic back pain problems than in people with pain that is of an acute, short-term nature. Chronic back pain is commonly defined as pain that continues for 12 months or longer, even after an initial injury or underlying cause of acute low back pain has been treated.

HOW DOES DEPRESSION DEVELOP IN CASES OF CHRONIC BACK PAIN?

This can be understood by looking at the following symptoms often experienced by people with chronic back pain or other spine-related pain.

  • The pain often makes it difficult to sleep, leading to fatigue and irritability during the day.
  • Then, during the day, because people with back pain have difficulty with movements, they often move slowly and carefully, spending most of their time at home away from others. This leads to social isolation and a lack of enjoyable activities.
  • Due to the inability to work, there may also be financial difficulties that begin to impact the entire family.
  • Beyond the pain itself, there may be gastrointestinal distress caused by anti-inflammatory medication and a general feeling of mental dullness from the pain medications.
  • The pain is distracting, leading to memory and concentration difficulties.

The symptoms above accompanying chronic back pain or neck pain may lead to feelings of despair, hopelessness and other symptoms of major depression or clinical depression.

Chronic back pain can lead to a diminished ability to engage in a variety of activities such as work, recreational pursuits, and interaction with family members and friends. This situation leads to a downward physical and emotional spiral.

Talking to your doctor is always a good start. You can also search for a depression specialist in your area. https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/talking-therapies-medicine-treatments/talking-therapies-and-counselling/cognitive-behavioural-therapy-cbt/overview/