Lower Back Cramps

A cramp in the lower back is really bothersome because it can have an adverse effect on your normal activities like standing, sitting, walking, etc. Read this article to find out the triggers behind such cramps.
HerHaleness Staff
When you suffer from cramps in the lower back, you feel a sharp pain deep into the lower back muscles. Sometimes, the cramp is centered in one particular area, like on the right side, or left side, or at the center. You experience it mostly after the soft tissues of muscles or ligaments present in the area are injured. A back injury often leads to muscle strain or ligament sprain. Muscle strain is a condition where the muscle is stretched so much that tears develop in its fibers. In ligament sprain, the fibrous connective tissue which joins the muscle with the bone at the joint suffers abnormal stretching.
Causes & Treatment Options
In this section, we are going to talk about those causes that can lead to cramps in the lower back in any adult individual. They are as follows.
Injury: Acute lower back cramps are commonly triggered by an injury. The muscles and ligaments in the area may get hurt during accidents or while playing sports, doing exercises, or due to a wrong bending technique. An injury-related lower back pain starts all of a sudden. Rest, pain relieving medicines, and physical therapy are the best possible treatment options for healing this kind of injury.
Nerve Damage: The cramps caused by damage in the nerve tissues can be identified with their accompanying symptoms, such as numbness, burning and tingling sensation at the back; which may later move on to the legs as well. The common factors that put extra pressure on the nerve roots and trigger back cramps are: herniated discs, defects of vertebrae; like spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis, fracture in the vertebrae, and narrowing of the spinal canal with aging. It is very difficult to manage these cramps as the usual methods of back pain relief do not have any effect on it. Muscle relaxants are good as they help to heal up the damaged nerve. Once the cramp subsides, certain stretching exercises should be done to release the tension from the adjoining muscles.
Other Causes: Cramps in the lower back region can also develop due to problems in kidneys, hormonal disorders, diabetes, anemia, etc. Deficiency of essential minerals, like potassium and magnesium contribute towards this problem. Dehydration and side effects of some medicines can also be the cause. In all these cases, doctors need to be consulted as they can identify the exact cause and the treat the condition properly.
Cramps During Pregnancy
Pregnant women often tend to get cramps in the lower part of the back as the muscles, ligaments, and joints in this area are under a lot of pressure. The key causes of such cramps during pregnancy are discussed here.
During Early Pregnancy: The characteristics of the cramps in early pregnancy are quite similar to menstrual cramps. As implantation takes place after 8-10 days of ovulation, the woman may experience such cramps. As the uterus undergoes expansion to prepare itself for the developing baby, the adjacent ligaments get stretched and cause light cramping in the lower back. Constipation or gas pain is quite common in this phase and can give muscle cramps in lower back and abdomen. When the cramp is accompanied by spotting and bleeding, it could be a sign of miscarriage. Ectopic pregnancy is another serious cause where the back cramp is felt along with severe abdominal pain, bleeding, etc. The last two causes require emergency medical attention.
During Late Pregnancy: At the later stage of pregnancy, as the size of the baby grows, the uterus is stretched further and the supportive ligaments are pulled. So, mild cramps may occur. Braxton Hicks contractions are responsible for such cramps in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Lower back cramp could be a symptom of preterm labor if noticed in the period between 20 to 37 weeks. In this case, the cramps turn severe and are accompanied by diarrhea and back pain. Whenever a pregnant woman experiences lower back cramps, she should immediately inform her doctor about it. Doctors understand better whether the cause is serious or not, and can start the treatment accordingly.
Prompt treatment can prevent the condition from worsening. Any delay in diagnosis often leads to unnecessary complications. If you develop cramps in the lower part of the back suddenly, then the first thing that you need is a good amount of rest, so that it does not worsen further. Maintain a correct posture and do not bend down or try to lift heavy objects in this condition. Take care!
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.