Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Are back spasms normal or should I see a doctor?"
My back seizes up from time to time. No big deal but I don't want it to turn into a bigger problem because I know back pain is terrible. Should I go see a doctor? What could they do to make sure this doesn't progress into something worse?
Back pain is a very common complaint and a big reason for missed work. Many patients get back pain initially as an injury from lifting or twisting. If it is not properly cared for, the muscle strain is not properly healed. The synergistic muscle groups are not strengthen and you can re-injure it again and again. Your body is able to move in a variety of ways because of the synergistic and antagonistic functioning of your muscle groups. For example, your biceps allow you to bend your elbow, but it is the opposing muscles which are the triceps that help to control the degree and speed of the motion. It is therefore the muscle tone of all your muscle groups that together make your motion smooth. The majority of back pain comes from a musculoskeletal or biomechanical imbalance between different muscle groups. Repetitive motion is another huge cause of musculoskeletal injuries. Poor mechanics, such as bending forward to pick up a heavy object, is another very common cause of injury. In the acute stage of injury, rest, ice and elevation of the injured area are important to decrease inflammation. Pain control is often with non-steroidal inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Proper rehab includes stretching and strengthening of your muscle group to prevent future injuries. You should see a primary care physician who can properly examine your body. Your doctor may opt to try physical therapy in the beginning or order imaging if something more serious is suspected.
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