The other day, I used a hand vac to clean the staircase, and wham – a back spasm hit me, thankfully, on the bottom stairs. My lower back suddenly had a tightening, pulling, painful sensation in my lower back. In fact, it was a pain that came on so quickly it took my breath away. I sunk down on my knees on the landing. Eventually, I ended up on my back like a turtle and couldn’t get up.
I laid there for a while and even put my feet up on the wall, trying to relieve the backpressure. Actually, after a while and a few attempts to get up on my own, I gave up. Yup, down for the count. I texted my husband, who also works from home, “hey do you have a minute?”.
There are numerous reasons and causes for back spasms.
- Lumbar disc herniations – when a disc pushes outward beyond the normal boundaries
- Low back, neck or hip arthritis – the deterioration of the facet joints due to long-term wear and tear
- Spondylolisthesis – a vertebra in the lumbar (lower) spine slips out of normal position
- Spinal stenosis – spinal cord or nerve root compression due to narrowing in the vertebrae of the spine
Back spasms are caused by tight back muscle tissue. Usually, this tightness occurs because of some other mechanical stress; such as lumbar strains – bending over and moving back and forth briskly vacuuming with a hand vac. As a result, the muscles are pulled taut, and that’s when the spasm occurs.
While there are several ways to calm down the inflammation; today let’s look at how diet can help.
Let’s Talk Diet
Deficiencies in some nutrients can increase the probability of muscle cramps, such as Vitamin D, specific B, and magnesium. Keep in mind if your pain is severe – see a doctor.
Significant evidence points to some foods’ anti-inflammatory properties, which can equally ease back pain. Specific foods that include magnesium, potassium, sodium, and calcium may help decrease muscle cramping.
Foods That Heal
- Ginger – has anti-inflammatory properties and can be ingested or applied directly to tight muscles and promote circulation. If you apply directly create a paste with garlic and ginger, apply paste on the painful area and cover with towel.
- Potassium and calcium – work for nerve and muscle function. Foods that contain potassium are potatoes, sweet potatoes, cooked greens, and bananas. Potassium is also found in yogurt, chicken, and fish.
- Calcium-rich foods – are milk, cheese, yogurt, sardines, tofu, turnip greens, and kale. Most adults need 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams of calcium each day so add supplementation.
- Magnesium – needs are between 210 and 320 milligrams for women and 400 to 420 milligrams for men per day according to the Institute of medicine.
Grate fresh ginger and place in a clean cheesecloth. – Tie up the cheesecloth and place in hot water for about 30 seconds. Let it cool off a bit and place on the painful area for 10 minutes at least 3 to 4 times a day. Continue using it for 2 to 3 days.
Asian Chicken Salad
- 2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
- 4 cups green shredded cabbage
- 1 cup red shredded cabbage
- 1/4 cup edamame
- 1 small carrot cut into thin strips
- 2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
- 4 thinly sliced scallions
- Handful of wonton strips
Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- 1/4 cup unseasoned rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4-inch ginger, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves of minced garlic
- pinch of salt
- Place all of the dressing ingredients in a blender, and pulse until smooth.
- Toss dressing and salad together.
Baked Fish With Pecan Rosemary Topping
Combine and place in a baking dish:
- 1/3 cup chopped raw pecans
- 1/3 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place baking dish in oven for 7 to 8 minutes or when mixture is a light brown.
- Take out the mixture and set to one side.
- 1 egg white
- 4 tilapia fillets (you can also use mahi mahi)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
- Turn oven up to 400 degrees.
- In a shallow dish, whisk egg white.
- Alternate dipping a piece of tilapia in the egg white and then into pecan mixture
- Place tilapia dipped pieces into a baking dish
- Press remaining pecan mixture into the top of the tilapia fillets.
- Place baking dish into oven for approximately 10 minutes so that the fish is cooked through.
Click on the links below for some breakfast recipes
Nothing worse than a back issue. It has really gotten in my way. I can’t sit for long periods, can’t stand for long periods, and the only thing I can do is lay down for long periods. I don’t mind for a day or two, but I have to do whatever I can to return to being out of this discomfort.
Back spasms happen for many reasons but avoiding them is probably something we are all interested in. Try an anti-inflammatory diet and see if it helps you.
Check my other articles on to fix back pain; Age Related Spine Pain: How to Fix (An Expert Guide)