An upper back spasm is a real horror for any patient who is affected by severe muscular contractions in the middle back, lower neck or between the shoulder blades. While not as common or typically as painful as lower back spasms, uncontrollable constriction of the muscles in the upper back can be almost as agonizing and equally debilitating.
Most patients will find that during an upper thoracic spasm, their posture will be destroyed, their arm functionality will be diminished unilaterally or bilaterally and they might not be able to move their necks well, if at all. Worse still, there is no sure way to end a spasm and any movement or positional change might bring on a new surge of agonizing muscular cramping.
This essay details spasms in the upper back and why they are so incredibly painful.
Most back spasms are the result of one of 2 possible processes:
The first and most obvious is traumatic injury to the area. Injury can cause pinched nerves and general inflammation, which can bring on back muscle spasm throughout the surrounding anatomy. These types of spasms generally occur within 24 hours after injury and should not last for more than a few hours to a few days time.
Unexplained, recurrent or chronic back muscle spasms are a possible sign of an ischemia process at work. Oxygen deprivation back pain is one of the most common forms of chronic symptoms known in the dorsopathy industry. Ischemia can be linked to an anatomical structural disease or disorder, but is more likely to come from a psychoemotional defense mechanism. Psychological back pain is an epidemic in the healthcare system, although it is rarely correctly recognized for what it truly is.
Upper back muscle spasms generally make use of the arms and head virtually impossible. These sudden attacks can put anyone into a state of panic in seconds. Spasms in the neck and face can be particularly troubling and frightening to endure. While there is no sure way to end a spasm, the best advice is to try to relax and simply breathe through the worst of the event. Allowing a spasm to create inordinate stress will only make the symptoms worse and will definitely perpetuate the attack.
Some back pain drugs might be effective at reducing spasms, but this relief often comes at a high price. Most powerful prescription drugs have serious side effects which may be worse than the symptoms they seek to control.
Ice may help some patients, but heat is not advised until the spasms end. Usually the best course of action is to relax in bed and ride out the attack.
I understand the misery of back spasm all too well. I suffered enough of these in my lower back to permanently scar my heart and soul. I will never forget the agony of my own back muscle spasms and can still actually feel the gut wrenching feeling when I think back to my own nightmarish back pain journey.
If your spasms are related to injury or surgery, time should help them to get better. The body works diligently 24/7 to heal and it is logical that anatomical injury will improve with a bit of care and patience.
There is a solution to most cases of recurrent mindbody back spasms. It involves understanding the ischemic process and seeking to resolve the underlying emotional issues which enact these punishing symptoms.
If you have lasting chronic pain due to spasms anywhere in the back, it may be indicated to consider knowledge therapy as a potentially effective treatment for your torture.
Please talk to your physician about the various ways you might be able to completely recover from back pain once you can end the immediate acute spasms. If no long-term recuperation goals are in place, then statistically, symptoms are likely to recur in your future. Be wary.