Ankylosing spondylitis is a kind of arthritis that mainly impacts the spine, but could also impact other joints as well. It causes inflammation of your vertebrae or spinal joints, which in turn could cause severe, chronic discomfort and pain. If you suffer from ankylosing spondylitis, you know too well that it could cause stiffness and pain in your joints, particularly in your spine. However, ankylosing spondylitis could also cause muscle stiffness and pain.
There several ways that your condition could lead to your muscles becoming difficult to move and sore. Your back muscles might tighten or shorten, which in turn could result in an aching, dull pain. Likewise, stiff joints or those that have reduced range of motion might cause you to adopt certain uncomfortable postures or even change how you sit, stand, move around, or do specific activities, which could strain more muscles. Additionally, muscle spasms usually impact individuals with ankylosing spondylitis.
What Exactly are Muscle Spasms?
Put simply, muscle spasms are involuntary, spontaneous muscle contractions that could occur in individuals who struggle from most types of arthritis, and could be extremely painful. They could also reduce strength and mobility. Those who struggle with ankylosing spondylitis usually feel muscle spasms particularly in their lower back, typically when they’re experiencing a flare or during a time when they feel worsening symptoms. According to a well-known chiropractor in Chandler, AZ, the pain brought about by muscle spasms could be intensely sharp, and individuals who experience them describe it as their muscles moving on their own accord and beyond their control.
How Do You Alleviate Muscle Spasms?
The Spondylitis Association of America recommends massaging and gently stretching the affect area and keeping it stretched out until you feel the pain or spasm pass. Application of heat or cold to the affected muscle could likewise help. A warm shower or bath could also soothe spasming and sore muscles. Some complementary treatments such as massage therapy, chiropractic care, and acupuncture might also help.
To reduce muscle spasms and tension, you could also try relaxation techniques such as yoga, deep breathing, and meditation among others. If you feel you must take medication for your symptoms, muscle relaxants and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs might help to ease nighttime cramps, but speak with your doctor first before taking any medicines.
Could You Prevent Muscle Spasms?
While it’s hard to completely prevent muscle spasms, especially if you have ankylosing spondylitis, you could decrease your risk of experiencing them by ensuring that you are always hydrated because fluids would help your muscles relax and contract. You should also work with an experienced pain specialist to create an exercise program that involves extension stretches and stretches.
Extension exercises would help increase your lumbar curve’s flexibility, while proper stretching could improve mobility and ease tight muscles. Pelvis tilts and working out with resistance bands might also help improve your range of motion and strength. If after doing the recommended preventive treatments you still experience muscle spasms, work with your doctor to find out why so that you could find a more suitable treatment strategy.