If you were recently in a car accident and are having severe neck and low back pain, your doctor may tell you you are having neck and back spasms. What does this mean and how can you get rid of the pain?
When the muscle is stretched beyond its regular capacity, or torn, it goes into involuntary spasm. The spasm occurs when your muscle tightens up into a rock hard knot. A muscle spasm is natures way of protecting an injured area, to keep you from moving so that you do not injure yourself more.
Spasms in the back can be so severe that they take the normal S shaped spine and make it as stiff and straight as an arrow. All muscle spasms are not seen on a patient’s x-ray, but spasms can cause the spine to become more straight as a result of the spasms.
Initially spasms are generally good because they help protect injured neck and back from continued movement and injury. However, after the initial internal bleeding and swelling stops in the neck or low back, muscle spasms themselves may cause additional damage and injury. This is because as soon as you stop using a muscle or a joint, degenerative changes set in.
If you have ever had a cast put on an arm or leg, you know when the cast comes off, your arm or leg is usually frozen stiff. That is why it is important to get some type of physical therapy or chiropractic treatment to restore the natural range of motion and flexibility in the neck, back muscles, and bones. This needs to be done before the painful spasms become chronic and permanent.
If you were dazed at the accident scene but did not feel any pain, however, the next day you have a killer headache is this normal? The answer is yes the initial injury often consists of lots of tiny muscle fibers which are torn and bleeding. At that point the bleeding inside your neck and back is not often painful. However the bleeding along with swelling and inflammation produces increase pressure on your nerves causing extreme pain and discomfort.
The internal bleeding and swelling will eventually stop and coagulate similar to a big cut on your skin. Just like a big cut though, ugly thick scar tissue can form permanently inside your neck and back causing lifelong pain. This is why physical therapy should be started as soon as the swelling goes down, usually 2 to 4 days after an accident.