Back Pain - Muscle Spasms
Let me start off by first saying that in no way shape or form have I had any medical training. I am not a Doctor, Nurse or any type of research scientist. But I am human, and I can put two and two together. I pay attention to what is going on around me and others I meet.
I have believed for many years now that the back pain that some suffer is from a virus, yes I said it a virus. Now before you jump to the end and yell at me, let me explain.
A Virus is something that lives within our bodies, something the we never quite fully get rid of, is always living right there under the surface. It attacks in certain areas, for instance a cold sore, it attacks the same place, the lips. A cold is a virus, the ‘Rhinovirus’ it attacks the same place all the time, in the head and chest area with varying degrees of severity.
In layman’s terms, who is to say we can’t get a ‘cold’ in our back? I don’t think the possibility has even been entertained by medical professionals. I have been waiting for scientists to announce that a lot of the back problems that face Americans (and others) is a Virus that lives with in our bodies and causes flare ups.
Do I have evidence to back up my theory? You betcha!
I think it's 'catchy'
Many years ago when I was newly married, my husband was outside swinging an axe, shopping lumber for my Dad’s wood pile. Out of the blue he went to his knees, his back had ‘gone out’. He was in severe pain and found it difficult to move. I got him inside and resting. We talked about it, he said hat he had been having back problems for years. He’d get over it in a few days. At the time he was just 29.
Over the years from time to time he would be working around, walking, reaching just moving in general when he would go to his knees. The pain being so severe he couldn’t move. It would last anywhere from 3 to 10 days and sometimes a bit longer.
Once he was tearing down a building in damp air, he went to his knees and couldn’t get up, an ambulance was called. The Doctors and Nurses were amazed, because he was thin they could actually ‘see’ his back spasming. They took the X-rays and MRI’s and stated at that time he had ‘Degenerative Disk Disease’. Surgery was discussed and quickly nixed. My husband didn’t want any part of that at all, he’d heard too many horror stories.
Shortly after this incidence I began to suffer from back spasm’s. The first one I got caused me to be in bed for a few days. The pain was intense, making it difficult to even use the bathroom. At times even causing me to get ‘stuck’ in places screaming for help.
For a while we each would have a back spasm within several weeks of once another. One year, after he and I each had our spasm’s and they were over and done with, we were in an office talking to a professional person regarding a different matter entirely. The Lady was having a back spasm, she was just about in tears with the pain. It was then that I brought out my theory.
Kind of like a cold
I felt that what is going on is like a virus, if you have it, it lives in your body and when conditions are right it will attack. Having a back ache is kind of like a toothache, once it hits you can’t do anything or concentrate until it goes away or at least subsides a little bit.
Think of when you are getting ready to get a cold. You can feel the symptoms coming on, the sneezing, a thickness in your head etc. When you are getting ready to have a back spasm, you can feel it coming on. Sometimes you take care in your movements, particularly if you have had them in the past, you try not to move in a certain way so it doesn’t hit.
He Opts for therapy
The last ‘serious’ back spasm my husband had was on a dock at work, he went again to his knees and was rushed to the hospital. They did the MRI and said again he needed surgery. Again he refused. They showed him on the films where the disks were going bone to bone in the lower back. He opted for therapy. This time he went 3 times a week for therapy and was shown how to exercise properly to help his back muscles.
He still has his back spasms from time to time and yes, he can feel them coming on. He takes it easy and doesn’t do anything too strenuous to trigger it. He now suffers from Sciatic nerve pain. It runs across his lower back into his butt cheek and down his leg into his calf muscle. Does it hurt? Yes it does, without a doubt. He does lower back exercises to ease the pain.
Our back spasms now have timed themselves so we have them together, so rather one then the other, we have them around the same time. His was from cleaning up the back yard the other day, and mine came two days later as I was cleaning out the closet. I did get the warning signs, though they were subtle.
It has hit yet again
It has been a long time since I have suffered back spasms, so I had forgotten the warning signs. Turning the wrong way in the closet brought them on. So now for the next few days I will have spasms, that come and go with their intensity, never really leaving but definitely able to get worse if I move wrong. Certainly it makes it difficult to catch my breath when I am in the throes of it.
The spasms are in varying degrees of intensity as well as in the places they settle. Usually when mine hit they are in my lower back, just above my buttock area. This time it is in the middle of the back to the left side. My husbands are usually in the lower back area. I have talked to several people over the years who suffer from this from time to time. They just call it ’back problems’.
Most people go to the Doctor when these hit, I’m not much for taking medicine so I stay at home and suffer through it. My husband has had prescriptions of all kinds to help, they really don’t do a lot other than make him oblivious to his surroundings.
So other than going to the ER and getting all doped up what can you do? If you can live through the pain without calling an ambulance, here are a few tips.
10 Tips to help you through it!
1. When the spasm is in a ‘relaxed’ mode (the best that can be said during this time) lay flat on your back on a hard surface, such as the floor. Make sure you are not alone, you may need help getting up. With your knees together, slowly bring them as close to your chest as possible and hold this position.
2. Gently try to ‘touch’ the floor with your right knee (keep those knees together) then your left knee. Going back and forth. You want to try to stretch those muscles out a bit.
3. Pull one knee at a time to your chest using your hands and hold for 10 seconds, repeat with the other knee. Keep doing this for several minutes, this will stretch those muscles and pull them out a bit to help relax them.
4. Sitting up, curl into a ‘C’ position grasping your knees and hold.
5. Pregnancy exercises, that is the exercises that are given for women who are pregnant, are good to do at this time. When pregnant the lower back is under considerable stress, these exercises really do help.
6. Do not make any sudden or twisting movements. Try to keep all your movements fluid.
7. Do deep breathing exercises, in through the nose out through the mouth.
8. Drink plenty of water. Muscles will tighten if they don’t have enough water to keep them supplied.
9. Sleep with pillows in between your knees, to keep them on the same level as your hips.
10. Walk slowly and with measured steps, use another’s arm to help you if needed.
Listen to your body!
The spasms should only last a few days and you can get through this! Be aware of your body talking to you the next time it is ready to happen.