The Pain & Injury Doctor ONLINE Newsletter

Here is your latest pain relief tip. If it doesn’t apply to you, still take note because life is full of surprises. If you know someone who is dealing with this type of pain, please forward this email to that person– thanks!

Low Back Pain from Muscle Strain & Spasm

What is Happening:

The erector spinae muscle group — the large muscles of the low back– contract abnormally, on their own, generating pain. This is called a true muscle spasm. The pain may be chemical in nature (lactic acid), or nerve. Muscles can spasm if they go from sedentary to active without warming up. Those who are sedentary often, where the back muscles are immobilized for long period of time, lose proper muscle coordination and simple things like bending down or twisting the torso can cause a back muscle to spasm because it isn’t “quick enough” to respond to the brain’s movement commands.

Recommended Home-Therapy Products Covered in This Issue:

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

Self Treatment for Low Back Strain and Spasms

This type of back pain is a broad, achy muscular sensation more than it is an acute, focused one, as the large back muscles are in a state of constant “protective” contraction.

The first thing to do right after the onset of the spasm is ice your low back for 20 minutes: place a frozen gel pack under your lower back (put a thin piece of tissue paper over it to prevent ice burn to your skin) and lie down on your back. Use your floor/carpet, not your bed. Bend your knees 45 degrees to relax the back muscles. Place a rolled towel under your neck (about 4″ diameter) to decompress it at the same time. Ice slows pain and reduces inflammation. Repeat two more times, every two hours.

As an option while you ice, use a TENS muscle stimulator to calm your muscle spasm:

1

TENS Unit Muscle Stimulator for Pain Management

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulators (TENS) send small, pulsed electrical currents through your skin which are picked up by sensory nerves in the area. These electrical signals “compete” with nerve pain signals generated from an injured/ painful area; thus reducing their perception in the brain.  The electrical pulses can also disrupt involuntary muscle contractions (spasms) in the lower back.

The nice thing about TENS is that it is small (about the size of a deck of cards) so you can use while you go about your day.  Just clip the unit to your pants, apply the electrodes to your skin and cover with your clothes- no one will know !

More Information…

Here is a YouTube video I made that explains how to apply TENS therapy:

Take Formula 303 natural pain relief supplements. I keep this in my office, and patients swear by it!

2

Formula 303 Natural Pain Reliever

Formula 303 is a natural pain relief supplement for muscle spasm & leg cramps; tension, stress, anxiety, insomnia, fibromyalgia, menstrual cramps and other forms of muscle pain. It contains 6 parts valerian root (quad-strength); 1x 3 parts passiflora (quad-strength); 1x 1 part magnesium carbonate.

More Information…

After three (3) sessions of icing (remember, do icing sessions at least 2 hours apart), start using heat. The TDP Infrared lamp is ideal for this:

3

Professional Infrared Heat Lamp

This lamp is popular with acupuncturists, chiropractors and physical therapists. It delivers deep-penetrating infrared light and heat to muscles and joints. Infrared light increases cellular ATP production (energy) which enhances healing of injured tissues and reduces inflammation. The heat increases local circulation, delivering more oxygen and nutrients to the treated area. Great for treating thick muscles, shoulder joints, knees, hips and spine.

Use while doing TENS treatment for added therapeutic benefit.

More Information…

If you have things you must attend to (going to work, etc) but your back still hurts, use the Shiatsu Infrared Massage pillow in your car seat to heat and massage your back as you drive. You can do while having TENS attached to your back as well.

4

Infrared Thermal Heat Shiatsu Massage Pillow

Use this device on those days when you need fast relief from neck or lower back muscle stiffness and soreness. The infrared light and heat penetrate deep into your muscles, increasing circulation and energizing fatigued muscle cells.

More Information…

As your back pain improves, consider getting a PosturePump Elliptical Back Rocker to decompress discs and facet joints of the lumbar spine periodically.

5

PosturePump Elliptical Back Rocker

The elliptical back rocker is designed to reduce disc bulges by spreading lumbar vertebrae apart while extending the lumbar spine in an arc using special “elliptical” air bladders inflated by hand pumps. The pumping action draws in fluids and nutrients into thinning/ bulging discs, rehydrating them. This can slow down degenerative disc disease. It is a good device to have for low back pain prevention.

Watch this video to see how it works.

More Information…

Recommended Lifestyle Changes

I find that the people who regularly experience back pain that is muscular in nature have weak back and core muscles, and weak coordination between these muscles. They also happen to be relatively inactive (don’t exercise regularly) and spend a lot of time sitting.

The key to combating back muscle strain is to work on your muscle fitness and be active. Do functional exercises that work your core, low back, glutes and legs all at once:

If your job involves lifting and carrying heavy objects, wear a back support brace, keep your spine straight as best you can and lift mostly with your legs and glutes.

If your job involves more than 4 hours of daily sitting consider using a stand up desk. Start out with standing 25% of the time, then after a few weeks as you get used to it, increase it to 50% of your time.

6

VariDesk Height Adjustable Desk

Studies show that prolonged sitting is detrimental to your health. Not only is it associated with lower back pain, the inactivity of sitting causes your postural and core muscles to weaken and lose some coordination, which further risks injuring your low back. HDL cholesterol levels rise from prolonged sitting as well.

Place this lightweight desk on top of your traditional sit-down desk, place your monitor and keyboard on it and switch its height between standing and sitting in less than three seconds. Choose the standing position for several 30 minute intervals throughout the day to neutralize the health-damaging effects of prolonged sitting.

The VariDesk is truly a practical, relatively low cost investment in your health!

More Information…


BOTTOM LINE: Low back muscle spasms can range in severity from a mild annoyance to an all-out, extremely painful and immobilizing spasm. The erector spinae muscles “malfunction” during a usually simple movement like bending forward at the waist. Those who get them usually have weak back and abdominal muscles (core).

The key is to use ice, heat and TENS therapy to get the muscle to relax. To guard against future spasms, exercise your core muscles and avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Getting a standing desk is a good way to do this.

These are some of the products I recommend to my patients who get low back muscle spasms.  They are generally safe to use, but check with your doctor. ~Dr. Perez

1

2

3

4

5

6

For more detailed, step-by-step guidance on permanently resolving chronic muscle and joint pain, visit

logo-rounded-corners


The information contained in this email and on www.PainandInjuryDoctor.com is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as a medical directive. It is provided as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dan Perez, D.C. Every person is unique, and individual cases of pain are therefore unique. Dr. Perez encourages readers of PainandInjuryDoctor.com to use available sources of information to help them make a more educated and informed decision regarding their health, in partnership with one or more qualified health care professionals.

PainandInjuryDoctor.com participates in the Amazon affiliate program. Any product on this website that is purchased through an Amazon affiliate link may result in a small affiliate commission to us. This revenue helps us cover the costs of producing content for this site. Thank you for your support.