Can a Chiropractor Help With Back Spasms? Learn How They May Actually Be Your Best Option
You’ve been repainting the bedrooms in your house all weekend when it happens — a round of spasms in your back that leave you in pain and sometimes nearly immobilized.
You can’t go on like this. You need treatment but aren’t sure what kind. Your sister has gotten help from a chiropractor and suggests that you see one, too.
But can chiropractors help with back spasms?
It turns out that a chiropractor may be your best treatment option if you’re seeking relief from muscle spasms.
Read on to find out why chiropractors are ideal practitioners to help you with this issue and the types of treatments you can expect from them.
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Can a Chiropractor Help With Muscle Spasms?
We know that chiropractors can do many things for us, but are they helpful when it comes to dealing with back spasms? The answer is a resounding yes!
Most people suffer from some sort of back pain at one point or another, and many chiropractic patients are seeking relief from muscle spasms, among other things.
Chiropractors are highly trained to deal with muscle spasms in conjunction with subluxation, a condition in which a connecting bone is partially out of joint.
Why Are Chiropractors Ideal Practitioners for Muscle Spasm Treatment?
Since a large part of our bodies is made up of nerves, muscles, and bones, it’s no surprise that so many people suffer from muscle spasms along with:
- Chronic pain
- Trigger points; or
- Other musculoskeletal conditions
Bone dysfunction and subluxation put stress on the nervous system, which in turn triggers muscle spasms. Chiropractors offer a holistic approach to treatment — they look at the whole picture and devise a plan for healing.
3 Types of Chiropractic Treatment for Muscle Spasm
In addition to considering the body as a whole when providing care, chiropractors also offer a variety of treatments to help your body heal. Each person is different and may not respond the same way to various treatment modalities.
That’s why personalized healthcare is so important. At Therapia Wellness Center, we strive to offer the highest quality of care in SW Portland through a variety of treatments adapted to the unique needs of our patients.
Let’s look at three different ways we are likely to treat muscle spasms.
#1: Muscle Stimulation
Muscles can be stimulated with simple and traditional methods like heat and ice to help ease spasms, but one unique way your chiropractor can help is with the use of interferential current therapy (IFC).
IFC is an effective option to relieve pain and accelerate the self-healing process as the high-frequency signals penetrate through the skin and into the deep muscle tissue below.
This may sound scary, but it’s very simple and safe. Small electrodes are placed on your skin around the affected area, and then the device transmits small quantities of electrical impulses. This stimulates the nerves and tissue below and helps them begin to heal.
The process is not painful at all — in fact, most people say it just feels like a slight prickle on the skin.
One benefit of IFC is that it can begin to relax the muscles before soft tissue manipulation begins.
How Does Muscle Stimulation Help Muscle Spasms?
As far as overall alleviation, IFC has been believed to stimulate endorphins, the body’s natural pain relievers. This helps your body begin to heal itself without the need for medications.
And as this therapy trains the muscles into a relaxed state, you may be less likely to experience back spasms in the future.
Of course, this therapy works best in conjunction with other chiropractic techniques. Let’s explore some other methods your doctor may use in chiropractic treatment for muscle spasms.
#2: Soft Tissue Manipulation
Soft tissue manipulation is a great way for a chiropractor to help with back spasms. At Therapia, we are certified in the Graston Technique, a manual therapy used by:
- Physical therapists
- Osteopathic doctors
- Athletic trainers; and
- Massage therapists
Also known as soft-tissue instrument-assisted mobilization, the Graston Technique uses specialized instruments to massage or gently scrape the skin to identify areas of restriction or spasm in the body.
The goals of the Graston Technique are to:
- Loosen fascia restrictions that come with acute soft tissue injuries
- Break down scar tissue; and
- Stretch connective tissue
In addition to this technique, chiropractic treatment for muscle spasms may involve:
- Manual joint stretching and resistance — A series of techniques designed to loosen the muscles and joints
- Trigger point therapy — A method of pressing on knots in the muscles that accelerates blood flow and breaks the pain cycle
How Does Soft Tissue Manipulation Help Muscle Spasms?
Soft tissue manipulation can be used to reduce muscle spasms and tension by:
- Reducing pain
- Enhancing range of motion; and
- Improving movement during specific tasks
#3: Joint Manipulation
Once the soft tissue has been treated, you don’t want to forget about the joints. Since these systems all work together, having healthy joints that are well-aligned will take pressure off the nerves and soft tissue in your body.
At Therapia Wellness Clinic, we mostly use two methods of joint manipulation:
- Manual adjustments — This involves pressure from the chiropractor using the hands to effectively move joints and correct misalignment. This is a quick movement and usually does not cause discomfort. It is often accompanied by joint cavitation, a popping or cracking sound made as gases are released.
- Activator adjustments — An activator is a handheld, spring-loaded instrument that delivers a quick, low-force impulse. This is thought of as a softer technique than manual adjustments and is great for patients who don’t like that method. The speed of the device means that the muscles are less likely to tense as a result of the adjustment.
How Does Joint Manipulation Help Muscle Spasms?
Adjustments are an excellent way to keep the body functioning at its highest level. When the body is in alignment it can respond and perform optimally.
Manipulation lets your joints and spine return to normal motion, which can lead to a decrease in muscle spasms and reduced pain.
2 Additional Treatment Modalities That Complement Chiropractic Care for Muscle Spasms
Therapia Wellness Clinic is here to provide people in SW Portland with holistic care for muscle spasms. In addition to chiropractic techniques, we also employ massage therapy and acupuncture for help with back spasms.
#1: Massage Therapy
Massage therapy has an array of benefits. It:
- Promotes healthy circulation
- Increases range of motion
- Enhances immunity
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces stress; and
- Shortens healing time for injuries
Deep tissue massage is most likely to help with muscle spasms, as it focuses on:
- Increasing recovery rates of muscular injuries
- Fixing muscular imbalances; and
- Relieving chronic pain
With deep tissue massage, the provider and patient work together in each session to establish the ideal pressure to allow for optimal relaxation and therapeutic relief.
In addition to deep tissue massage, Therapia Wellness Clinic also offers massage in the following styles
- Hot stones
- Jaw; and
Acupuncture is a component of traditional Chinese medicine and works well as an individualized treatment approach as well as in conjunction with other modalities.
Acupuncture works by treating specific points along meridians in the body with thin, sterilized disposable needles. It is based on the idea that a blockage in the body’s energy, or “qi,” can cause health issues.
A study has found that acupuncture can relieve muscle spasms and reduce tension by inhibiting the release of inflammatory cells.
Does Chiropractic Treatment Change for Acute Muscle Spasms vs. Chronic Muscle Spasms?
Many incidents of muscle spasms are acute and caused by overuse or injury. We like to say we have a lot of patients coming in with “acute gardenitis,” a funny term describing the muscle aches caused by repeated motions such as raking leaves.
But some people end up with chronic muscle spasms, usually due to postural overload. This can be caused by:
- Poor work environments
- Computers not being set up properly to encourage good posture; or
- Sitting in chairs that are not ergonomically correct
Treatment factors will typically be similar for acute and chronic muscle spasms, but with chronic spasms, there will be more focus on preventative care. Not only will we focus on getting the adhesions broken up and allowing the muscles to settle out, but we will also educate patients about what they can do at home or work to improve conditions and posture.
At-Home Treatments a Chiropractor May Prescribe for Muscle Spasms
Clinical care will only go so far — we want to give patients the tools to be able to help themselves at home.
You can relieve your muscle spasms at home by:
- Doing lower back exercises
- Employing ice or heat
- Using over-the-counter medications
- Taking advantage of Therapia Wellness Clinic’s medicinary by purchasing magnesium and other helpful supplements
Your chiropractor at Therapia Wellness Clinic will give you specific instructions on the best combination of at-home therapies to ease your muscle spasms.
Therapia Wellness Clinic: Holistic Care for Your Muscle Spasms
If you want relief from muscle spasms and are ready to make changes to your health and well-being, Therapia Wellness Clinic should be your choice in SW Portland.
We offer individualized care and strive to help our patients:
- Overcome injury
- Achieve optimal performance; and
- Enhance wellness
Don’t let muscle spasms or any other nerve and bone issues get in the way of the life you want to lead. Book an appointment today and get a free 15-minute consultation to learn more about our chiropractic services.