Severe low back is often due to psoas and iliacus muscles spasm. These muscles are often referred to as "hip flexors", however they also bend and rotate the spine. A spasm of these muscles can recruit other muscles into spasm such as the abdominal muscles.
This type of spasm often occurs after an injury, after overworking the low back muscles and also after sitting for an extended period of time such as in a car or plane. Typically, a person with a psoas spasm will feel better while sitting, then when they arise from a chair they may need two or three steps before then can straighten to standing. Often a patient will have one side that is in spasm. These patients will either be flexed laterally or have their shoulders quite dramatically off to one side in relation to where their hips are.
About 60% of severe low back pain that I see in my Chiropractic office is due to low back muscle spasm. The psoas muscle is attached to the front of the vertebra and discs and can pull them out of place causing severe pain. A low back spasm can become chronic, so it is important to relax the muscle then improve core strength.
Psoas and Iliopsoas Muscle Spasm Home Protocol
1.) Avoid Sitting especially long drives in car or on plane - If you must, don't drive and lean passenger car seat back as far as possible.
2.) Avoid walking long distances except around the house
3.) Wear a back brace if it helps
4.) Stretch Hip Flexor Muscles: Leg off side of bed, remember to bend opposite knee to protect/flatten low back curve.
5.) Do these Home Exercises to Align Your Sacroiliac Joints (2-3 x per day) to your comfort level.
6.) Gentle Core Exercises (2-3 x per day
8.) Heat on Low Back and/or Lower Abdomen:
10.) Try Muscle Relaxers:
Kelley LeBlanc, D.C.
Kelley Chiropractic and Wellness
Village at Wexford
1000 William Hilton Pkwy, Ste K100
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
Dr. Kelley LeBlanc is a holistic Chiropractor with a background in chemistry, nutrition and yoga.
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