A muscle spasm in the back is one of the most painful situations you can conceive of or endure in your life. The gripping agony of a contracting postural muscle is unlike any other type of pain. The suffering will bring even the strongest and most resilient person to their knees, breaking their body and spirit with tremendous and unmerciful fury unrivaled in clinical medicine. This I know all too well from personal experience!
Imagine a part of your body contracting so forcefully that you feel as if the pressure will crush your internal organs and permanently destroy sensitive nerves. You can not move. You can not fight. You can not stop the torment from victimizing you.
This is the reality of a severe muscular cramp. For some of us, this is a recurrent part of our hellish back pain journeys. This essay examines the reasons why spasms torment so many back pain patients with a wide range of diagnosed problems.
The pain of a back spasm is often described as someone reaching into your spine and crushing the sensitive tissues with a vice-like grip. The affected muscles suddenly convulse and tighten, leading to an instant shock of terror and misery.
There is no instant cure for a back muscle spasm and patients are left helpless until the event passes. Some spasms take mere seconds to resolve, while others last for minutes. Most patients with severe back spasms will endure seemingly endless cycles of contraction and resolution.
Worse still, the more they try to move to get help, the worse the cramping becomes. In many scenarios, the patient is literally paralyzed by pain and is considered lucky if they can find any position at all which brings even temporary relief.
Back muscle pain is common and can be the result of a number of possible occurrences. Typical muscular pain is not demonstrated as muscular spasm, but rather as a sharp or dull constant aching. Sometimes, the intensity of this pain is linked to a particular variety of movement in the arms, legs, neck or torso. This type of pain is often the result of a minor injury to the soft tissues in the back, such as muscles, tendons or ligaments. Treatment is rarely necessary and will often be ineffective even if it is attempted. Fortunately, most common muscular back pain conditions will go away all by themselves in a few days to a few weeks time.
Back spasm is a completely different story. Spasms are possible in cases of severe injury, but can also be the result of ischemia of the nerves, muscles and other tissues in a regional area of the back. This oxygen deprivation can be the result of a physical source, but is very commonly enacted by a completely psychogenic condition.
Spasms due to psychogenic back pain syndromes can be unbelievably unbearable and are typically tied to emotionally stressful events in life and repressed subconscious issues.
Spasms enacted by injurious processes typically occur due to the muscle's temporary inability to receive blood circulation due to vascular damage, inflammation or other trauma. Waste chemicals build up in the muscle and the cells become oxygen deprived. This is the proven scientific result of ischemia, regardless of whether it is caused through purely physical or mindbody means.
I endured years of suffering with muscular back spasms. Although my pain did not always involve spasms, they would certainly be present and accounted for during all the worst episodes. I clearly remember several torturous events in which my lower back ache and muscular lumbar spasms literally sucked the will to live out of me.
I recall thinking and even vocalizing that death would be better than living with the type of pain my back caused me. I remember experienced doctors being in complete shock after examining me. I was told they had never seen such a controlling spasmodic condition and compared my locked up muscles to chunks of rock. I remember all of this as if it was yesterday, since the pain is written in my heart and very soul. This emotional damage will last until the day I die.
If you are suffering from chronic bouts of back muscle pain and spasm, I truly feel for you. I know the horror of the agony and I send you my most sincere empathy to help you to persevere.