A back spasm is basically an abnormal contraction of a muscle that can cause a lot of pain if it occurs close to a bone or nerves as they leave the spinal cord. An individual is likely to suffer from a back spasm if he/she experiences severe back pain that usually occurs after abrupt lifting, twisting or pulling.
The back spasms tend to occur once the back muscles are weak or when compensating for another back issue or the hamstrings are tight. In most cases, cases of severe back spasms are usually linked with injury to the spine or spinal cord. It is best to consult a doctor in order to determine if the back issue can be considered as a serious health issue.
Assessment of pain
An initial step is to assess the pain if an individual is experiencing back spasms. Severe pain that is localized on the back can be considered as a health concern. In particular, severe pain situated on the bony part of the back or pain that originates in the back that radiates to the lower legs might point to a break or disc protrusion that can also be complemented by harsh back spasms. In such cases, the back spasms would require medical care. You can register for first aid training today so that you are prepared.
Assessing the range of motion
You have to check the range of motion of the back. A severe back spasm that limits the ability of the individual to bend, lengthen, lean to the side or twist can indicate substantial injury to the muscles in the back. It is reported that severe spasm is a result of severe tearing of the muscles or tendons in the back. In case the motion of the spine is severely limited, it is best to consult a doctor.
Assessing the strength of the legs
The strength of the legs should also be checked to conclude the harshness of the back spasms. If the back spasms were complemented by new leg weakness, it is an issue to be concerned with. A simple method is to test the leg strength is to instruct the individual to walk. Aside from walking with a regular gait, the individual should walk on the heels for a few steps and then walk on toes. If there is weakness upon walking on the heels or toes, the back spasms can be an indication of nerve injury that originated from the spine. With this in mind, the individual should not hesitate to seek medical care.
Important considerations to bear in mind
If there are immediate sensory changes in the legs, loss of bowel or bladder control and weakness, it requires immediate medical attention.
Take note that most cases of back spasms can be easily managed with the application of ice, medications and allowing the individual to rest. If the individual has previous back injury that requires physical therapy, encourage the individual to perform exercises after the sessions are finished to prevent injury. Additionally, the individual should readily lift with the knees are bent and avoid rising it without a bent back.