Does your back sometimes lock up or go into a painful low back spasm for no reason at all?
What is a low back spasm?
Back spasms are very common, and they are completely debilitating when they occur. Often, they come unannounced with no explanation and it can take days or sometimes even weeks for the spasm to release off. Why is that? Well, there are a number of reasons why that occurs.
Often there may be some history, if you’ve had a trauma or had some kind of back injury even if it’s just something simple like a pulled muscle, then your brain is constantly monitoring that area and looking out to protect you from further reoccurrence.
What causes a low back spasm?
In our muscles and ligaments, we have stretch receptors and what they do is they send information constantly to the brain in terms of where the muscle is, what kind of tension or load it’s under and what position it’s in.
These little receptors are called Golgi Tendon Organs and they fire and send information to a particular part of the brain called the cerebellum, which is right at the back. When they are over stimulated often the brain responds with a protective guarding event. So, if it feels that the area is going to become injured or strained it will lock that area with a preventative spasm to stop you from doing more damage.
Now that locking mechanism is extremely painful and it’s painful because it’s there to stop you from doing harm to yourself. Often people’s backs go into spasm first thing in the morning because the relationship between the muscle and the brain in some respects becomes disconnected whilst we’re sleeping.
We leap out of bed in the morning, throw back the duvet and all of a sudden there’s a rush of stimulation from the Golgi tendon organs to the brain, the brain becomes overwhelmed and then preventively it locks everything up and throws the back into a protective spasm because it’s concerned that you’re going to do something that you shouldn’t.
How can I treat a low back spasm?
Now the secret to managing this mechanism is to educate the brain that there’s no danger and that everything is okay, and that can be done quite easily with some conservative stretching and some conservative exercise at home. And careful measures to ensure that the mechanism isn’t overstimulated.
The secret to effective treatment is always finding the cause of the pain, if you don’t know what condition you have how can you treat it effectively?
So, if you are suffering with a history of pain in the body or periodic episodes of spasm or locking up then go to our pain assessment feature and find out what’s causing your pain. You can complete a short online questionnaire, we’ll analyse your symptoms and the software intelligence will give you a likely cause.
You’ll be able to download a treatment guide which will tell you everything about your condition and how to manage the symptoms and pain effectively.