Muscle spasms in back- any tips?
Last Friday I started with back pain caused by wearing a heavy rucksack while biking to work. Saw physio on Sat who diagnosed muscle spasms and gave me several stretches to do, advised me to stay mobile and use warmth. I’ve been doing all those things but 5 days later it’s no better. I know it’s nothing serious, but it’s really painful. Can’t even walk properly or put my own boots on. Am I being too impatient?Posted 4 years ago
Anyone got any additional tips?
Seriously though: Just do what the doc says and give it time. I think moving is key. Maybe blag some co-codomol to relieve the pain and thus allow you to move freely.
Speaking from experience.
Disclaimer: IANAD so if you break your spine following my advice you’re on your own 🙂Posted 4 years ago
Yep, patience is the key. I have a G5 and a tens machine which both help.Posted 4 years ago
Treat yourself to a massage?Posted 4 years ago
When you can walk, walk! I found gentle exercise the best thing to help lower back pain/spasms.Posted 4 years ago
diazepam , naproxin, will do the trickPosted 4 years ago
I’ll probably get flamed for this, and possibly rightly, but I’ve had some good results using physio tape to relieve tension in my lower back.
The effect might be small but of course you can leave it applied for days so it mounts up.
Edit: this is the application that has worked for mePosted 4 years ago
There’s a book out there called ‘The Back Book’ that I’ve found helpful in the past. Includes some useful stretches and exercises. I had a nasty spasm-type thing a few years back caused by scar tissue from a bike crash, sorted eventually by sports massage, but it depends on the cause, obviously.Posted 4 years ago
Can’t even walk properly or put my own boots on
Well who”s boots are you putting on?Posted 4 years ago
Regarding your back, I have always had to be gentle and patient with mine. Once the pain goes I start regular stretching. Since my last back problem I have been concentrating on my hamstrings which has seemed to help rather a lot. I now daily stretch my Achilles, legs and bum and seem to have a much better back. Good luck with yours.
That’s very good advice from Roper actually, I’ve felt a lot better for regular stretching of hips, hamstrings, glutes etc. Focus especially on the piriformis, it’s a tiny wee muscle underneath your glute but it seems to be responsible for a lot of problems!Posted 4 years ago
When my lower back went big time styley in 2008, I was prescribed Diclofenac for ~9 months. In the first few days, I could barely walk more than 10 metres. In hindsight, I wish I had tried to be more mobile than I was, I recall those spasms while freewheeling down the hill at 20+ mph scaring the life out of me!Posted 4 years ago
I find a wheat pillow helps me Vicky.Posted 4 years ago
Also rack and panniers should be on the list of jobs for Mr P to sort for you. (Speaking as one who had this change forced on him).Posted 4 years ago
If the current bike can’t fit them, it’s a win.
Thanks all. Mr Pea bought me a rack for my commuting bike yesterday.Posted 4 years ago
I’ve been using a wheat bag, which helps a lot, and I do generally stretch my hamstrings and piriformis.
What I am not is patient and gentle with myself! I discovered that cycling is less painful than walking so I did a 44-mile ride tonight!
Being patient with any muscle injury is a key component of recovery….the worst news for any rider cos we is impatient by nature and wanna go faster and ride all the time.
Back extensions work for me for my lower back issues, I have trapezium problems as well and a damaged rotator cuff muscle from a road crash last july (broken shoulder and scaphoid to boot)
I’ve avoided as much chemical help as possible but last few weeks for no reason I can see I’ve been in agony and no amount of my planned stretches that usually fix things are working, so I am back on gabapentin. I had tramadol and something else (began with F) from doc but drove me nuts after 2 days. I got this from doc about a year ago when my neck and trapezium flared.
Posture is a big thing, sitting or driving can exacerbate my issues, I need to walk during day as much as I can (dog is ok with this)
I have thought about a tens machine for my neck area, be interested to hear how useful they arePosted 4 years ago
Ouch! You have my sympathy.as others have said, movement is key and therefore painkillers to allow you to move are a good thing.
Once the really bad pain has subsided then swimming might be good, I found it helped me to move my back in a variety of directions without any sudden shocks.
Once it’s much better then I’d foam roll your back, although at first this will feel as painful as the actual spasm, over time it becomes easier as the muscles relax.Posted 4 years ago
Yep movement. Mine has started recently, can barely walk the first 10m but it feels much better after walking the pooches.Posted 4 years ago
I can feel mine coming on as my right heel starts to rise. So when I’m standing it’s like my right leg is shorter.
I had this a few years ago just before a race so saw a physio for a few days before who gave me some pretty vigorous massages which helped.
I would recommend doing light exercise, but don’t try to aggravate the muscle as you will just make it worse.
Apply either heat or ice (depending on what the professionals say), and keep mobile but also rest up.Also stay on the pills which will definitely help! When I had mine I think I was on Ibuprofen for a few days at max dosage but it did help.Posted 4 years ago
I had some back issues a few years back and still have to be sensible managing it as I bulged a couple of discs.
Saw a physio for it and she gave me some tips that worked. When really bad at the start take painkillers and ibuprofen (doctors very rarely prescribe diclofenac as above now as it’s been linked to heart issues). As soon as spasms stop ease off the ibuprofen as it can hinder healing of any muscle issues. The combination of both drugs should ease the spasms off.
Building strength in your core to support the lower back was what helped from then on, along with physio sessions. I laid off cycling and hockey for a while and for cardio exercise stick with walking and using a cross trainer. There an exercise which I think is called a bridge which I still do. Lie on your back with your arms crossed over your chest. Legs bent with feet flat on the floor. Drive your hips up literally as high as you can and squeeze your bum muscles hard all the way up. Don’t lift with your legs – concentrate on pulling yourself up with your abs initially – you should lift each of your vertebrae off the floor bit by bit to put pressure on abs. Also slowly lower yourself back to the ground.
Physio did some corrections and massage which massively helped too – because I play hockey I’m a bit ‘twisted’ from the motion of swinging to hit the ball.Posted 4 years ago
If you have a friend with a fingerboard for climbing training try a few dead hangs from the larger jugs. A low impact back stretch, unlike traction which made things much worse for me.Posted 4 years ago
I’d foam roll your back
But not the lower back, as I understand it. Anything below your lowest rib is off limits for foam rollers. Lower back problems are dealt with by exploring glutes and hams and hips etc. as suggested above by some folk.Posted 4 years ago
Best thing I’ve ever found for my back when it goes into spasm is a TENS machine. Those sneaky wee electrical pulses work wonders.. Plus it stops me swallowing large doses of painkillersPosted 4 years ago
Diazepan was prescibed by my doctor,could barely crawl up the stairs at one stage, That floaty feeling is not nice thou.Posted 4 years ago
I now use an osteopath about once a year , as mine stems from previous injury of neck after doing an over the bars badly .He puts movement back into the seized joints ,then rotations of the hips and upper body and arms keep me mobile when i feel things starting to tighten up.
Diazepam +1 for when it’s really severe.
Doctors not always keen to prescribe it though, for obvious reasons.
GWS, I know how painful & frustrating it can bePosted 4 years ago
I used to get this fairly frequently – the worst being when I clipped a tree in a Gorrick and jarred to a halt. the whole of my lower back and muscles on one side up the spine went into spasm and I was in a lot of discomfort for some while.
I tried physio, osteo, massage electro acupuncture – with varying degrees of success.
Longer term – I took up yoga once a week and then incorporated a few of the back mobility moves into my standard gym routine. Touch wood, I’ve not had issues since.Posted 4 years ago
About three years ago my back muscles spasmed so badly I ended up in the local A&E. I was sent home with diazepam and two types of prescription painkillers, one of which was Diclofenac. When the week’s prescription of diazepam ran out my GP refused me any more as it’s so addictive.
After a second week of struggling to get dressed let alone get mobile enough to go to work a session of acupuncture saw me able to touch my toes.
These days a combination of time in the gym and pilates along with osteopathy and acupuncture when needed keeps me mobile even though I’m never completely pain free. 🙁Posted 4 years ago
Welcome to the bad back club! You will have a lifetime membership. Keep it moving as much as you can with gentle exercise like swimming or walking. It will be at least a week to manage the pain and another 2-3 weeks before you start to feel back to normal. I’d stay off the bike for a bit but everyone is different so good luck!Posted 4 years ago
This kind of stuff is caused by muscle imbalances, weak glutes are a likely candidate. I recommend bridges, look up Bret Contreras, it’s all on his website.Posted 4 years ago
It took almost 3 weeks for it to recover. The best treatment was a warm wheat bag and the stretches from the physiotherapist. The dr prescribed me 2 diazepam tablets to try. Took one and it did precisely zero for the pain but gave me nightmares all night!Posted 4 years ago
Glad you are better. Keep Stretching. !Posted 4 years ago
Glad you are better. Corrizone injection is another solution (not diagnosis based on internet post and I am not a doctor !)Posted 4 years ago
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