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5 tips to reduce a back spasm

A spasm or tightness of the muscles in the back is a very common back pain symptom that can leave you unable to do the daily activities that you need to do. Over the years I have collected a few tips and tricks to help relieve some of the pain that you might feel if this was to occur. It is general advice so parts may work better for you than others. For a more individual approach please don't hesitate to contact me for an appointment.

1. Heat

Although most injuries or pains may benefit from Ice, I have found that heat works better for painful backs. This could include a heat pack, warm tea towel, hot water bottle or a hot bath/shower. Keeping the heat on for 20minutes at a time can help to alleviate some of the pain.

Top Tip: 'Wet' heat penetrates deeper into the skin than 'dry' heat, so pop a warm wet cloth over your hot water bottle or heat pack to get greater results. 2. Stretching

When it comes to muscular back pain the best way to stretch is bringing your body forward, as if folding at the hips or going side to side. Hold each stretch for 20 seconds and try to stretch further each time you breathe out. Make sure you stretch with NO PAIN, as creating pain only causes your back to tighten further. Top tip: Try to stretch on the floor/bed as it is much less strain on your back than trying to stretch whilst standing up, as the muscles in your back are also providing stability against gravity.

3. Keep Moving!

The biggest tip I can give to you is this one! There is NOTHING worse for your back pain than lying in bed or sitting slumped on the sofa all day. Every hour try to move in some way, even if it is just rocking your pelvis forwards and backwards in your chair a few times. Try going for a short walk around the office, doing some stretches or simply change your position from a sitting to a standing or a lying to a sitting. 4. Massage

Massaging the area that is painful can be a great way to loosen off the muscles and reduce your pain. The best way to do this is to book in for a massage which will ensure a professional is working on the correct areas of your back with the correct amount of pressure to give you the best results. However if you want to trial massaging at home the best way I have found is with a 'peanut'. Tape two tennis balls together and pop them between your back and the wall. Then gentle move yourself up and down the wall so the tennis balls glide up and down your back. Add more or less pressure, whatever feels comfortable for you.

5. Acupuncture

This is not a necessity however I have had great success with clients I have done acupuncture to so I felt it best to add it to the top tips. For some people acupuncture can be a great way to have a natural pain relief without the need for medications. It is not suitable for everyone so please talk to a professional before trialling this. However if acupuncture is for you then after only a few sessions people can feel a big difference in their pain levels. One of the side effects to acupuncture is having a deeper nights sleep which can only be a good thing if you've been struggling with a good nights sleep because of your back pain. There are many theories to how acupuncture works. The one that I use is it stimulates the brain to produce more of your own internal pain relief. When the brain perceives the back to be less painful it will relax the muscles. It is still important to apply all the previous 4 tips as it does not solve the problem of the tight muscles, only relieving the pain experienced. #backpain #toptips #relievebackpain #physiotherapy #massage #acupuncture

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