There are over 600 muscles in the human body. The “high publicity” muscle such as biceps, hamstrings, gluteals, and abdominals are known to everyone, while the less well-known muscles do the work silently, carrying out the activities of everyday living. The spine has many muscles that are crucial in maintaining back strength, neck strength, and the structural integrity in the spine. In fact, muscular back pain due to muscle or tendon strain is the single most common form of back pain.
Causes of Muscular Back Pain
- Acute strains are caused by sudden injury. Chronic strains are the result of prolonged overexertion. Acute muscle strain may occur while playing a sports game or lifting a heavy object. Acute muscle strains are usually immediately symptomatic. Chronic muscular strain may occur with sitting or standing for long periods of time with improper posture, repetitive ergonomically poor work motions, spinal arthritis, fibromyalgia, depression, failed back syndrome, and prolonged unrelieved psychological stress. Chronic muscular strain develops slowly and is often not immediately recognized.
Muscles of the Spine
Each region of the spine has a variety of muscles. A few of the most important include:
- Cervical spine – trapezius muscle
- Thoracic spine – dorsi muscle
- Lumbar spine – oblique muscles
- *Sacral spine * – piriformis muscle
Treatment for Muscular Back Pain
While strained muscles and muscles spasms can be painful, especially when they are exerting pressure on nearby nerves, with time, they frequently heal themselves with conservative treatment. Medication adjuncts include acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and cyclobenzaprine. Other therapies include gentle stretching exercises, hot/cold therapy, and behavior modification. Alternative holistic therapies like yoga, massage, and acupuncture have also proven helpful for some people.