Do you ever get back pain? If so, you're not alone. In fact, back pain is one of the most common medical problems nowadays. Back pains can be painful but one of the most painful is when your back gets locked in a certain position. Any attempt to straighten your spine to a neutral position causes extreme pain and make it difficult to move. In this blog post, we will discuss why the back locks up and what to do if you are ever in this situation.
There are a few reasons why your back may lock up. One common reason is muscle spasms. When the muscles in your back to go into spasm (stiffen up), they can sometimes cause the spine to feel locked up. This usually happens when the muscles are trying to protect the spine from an injury or from repeated micro stresses from activities such as repeated bending and lifting.
Another common reason is arthritis. Arthritis is a condition that causes the joints in your spine to become inflamed. This can lead to stiffness and pain, and can sometimes cause the spine to feel locked in place.
Another lesser known but a common reason for the back to get locked are the facet joints. Facet joints are the joints that connect the vertebrae in your spine. When the facet joints are taken to the extreme range of movement such as bending and twisting, example: bending down to tie your shoelaces and turning to look back without coming up first, the facet joints can sometimes not come back to their neutral position and they feel locked.
A disc bulge can also lead to a locked back. A disc bulge is when the annulus, a tough outer layer of the disc, tears and allows the jelly-like centre to bulge out. This can put pressure on nerves and cause pain. This can also cause the muscles to go into spasm, which takes us back to the first reason we discussed in the blog.
If you find yourself in a situation where your back is locked, there are a few things you can do to try and get out of it. First, try and find the most comfortable position for your back.
Secondly, if your back is locked due to a muscle spasm apply a hot pack as it helps to ease the muscle spasm. If you have a disc issue then apply a cold pack to ease the inflammation. If you don’t know the cause of your locked back, especially if this is the first episode of locked back that you have had, then use both hot and cold packs and see what feels better for you. Listen to your body and let it decide what feels right for your back pain. If you want to learn more about hot and cold packs you can have a look at this video
Third, try not to hold your breath as you are changing positions such as sit to stand or lying down in bed.
If you find that your back pain is quite severe go to a doctor and get medication for it. However, in the long term you want to address the cause of your locked back and sort out any muscular imbalances that may have resulted due to this.
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