Back Spasms Causes
Causes of Back Spasms
There are many causes of back spasms, though fortunately when certain precautions are taken, they can be kept to a minimum. We can get these spasms anywhere form the base of the neck down to the lower back. Most people who experience these spasms have them in the lower back. Lower back spasm causes are usually due to excessive activity or stress placed on the muscles of the lower back. The most common situation is usually one of lifting something too heavy, or lifting incorrectly, which may result in a slight to severe injury to one of the back muscles. Even a slight stretching or microscopic tear of a muscle can result in a spasm.
Upper back spasm causes on the other hand tend to center around muscle inactivity rather than activity, especially if a muscle is being held in a somewhat unnatural position for a period of time. Most of us have experienced at one time or another a leg cramp when sitting in one position for a lengthy time, especially if the position is such that the leg is not allowed to periodically stretch out. We can experience abdominal spasms if, from a prone position, we suddenly attempt to rise and begin moving about. As far as the upper back is concerned, upper back spasm causes can range from hunching over one's personal computer keyboard, hunching forward to read what's on the monitor, and even cradling a phone between the ear and shoulder during a lengthy conversation.
Spasms Have A Useful Function - Spasms are sudden, abnormal contractions of muscles, something like a cramp, but generally not as severe or as long lasting. Upper back spasms as well as lower back spasms can be thought of being analogous to the canary in the coal mine. A silent canary signals possible trouble, while a back spasm signals that a muscle has either been injured, is being overworked, the usual situation, or is being stressed through abnormal usage. The phone on the shoulder is a classic example, as muscles in the upper back are being held in a position for which they are not intended. The same is true for hunching over a computer keyboard. Athletes pay particular attention to back spasms, an even more so if they start to become frequent. A spasm is a sign that something is not right with the muscles, even though the person may feel quite fine. Usually it's a case of a muscle either being overworked, or maintained in the wrong position for too long a time.
Even sitting and reading a book can bring on muscle spasms if the book isn't being held quite right or the head is tilted in a somewhat abnormal manner. It really doesn't take much.
Exercises Can Prevent The Problem - Many of the back spasm causes can be prevented simply through exercising, especially exercising one's back and abdominal or “core” muscles to make them stronger and more flexible. Overexertion may of course simply result in more back spasms, but if one selects a set of muscle strengthening and toning exercises and performs those exercises on a regular basis, the incidence of back problems will very likely be reduced. Most exercises of this type are performed slowly and accompanied by proper breathing practices. While some may be on the strenuous side at first, building a better back can by and large be a satisfying experience.
A muscle spasm in the back is seldom a reason to make a dash for the emergency room. The spasm serves as a warning probably 90% of the time, telling you to listen to your body, to monitor what you're doing, and above all, to back off a bit if the spasm starts to repeat itself. As irritating as a spasm may be, in a way it's a good friend to have as it may help you stay out of more serious trouble.