The contracture of the lumbar musculature is the painful and persistent contraction of the muscles that are in the lower part of the back. This contracture can have many origins although once established a vicious circle is produced that maintains it, since the contracted muscles produce a compromise of the circulation of the small vessels that nourish the muscles themselves and this lack of blood supply favors the persistence of the contracture.
The fundamental symptom is «lumbago» pain in the lower part of the spine (lumbar region), together with the difficulty to move the trunk, this becomes evident, above all, when the patient is asked to flex the trunk to touch with hands the ground. Patients usually have a maintained posture with the trunk flexed forward along with a lateral deviation of this (anti-allergic posture). The pain increases when palpating the muscles that are perceived with hardened areas. Sometimes the pain can extend upwards (towards the dorsal musculature). At other times, the pain can be concentrated in the gluteal region and even extend down the back of the thighs.
Some problems of the thoracic spine: lumbar osteoarthritis, discopathy or disc protrusions may favor the appearance of contractures. In people who are subject to continued overload of this muscle, either because of their work activity as in the case of overweight patients, the muscles can contractures with some frequency. There are also patients who, during their work, spend long periods of time sitting in a bad position or maintain prolonged postures with a greater predisposition. An intense trauma as well as a major effort can produce a picture of acute lumbago.
The treatment of the contracture is carried out by means of gentle mobilizations together with local dry heat. The medicines that can alleviate the symptoms are: analgesics, anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants. Bed rest should not be prolonged beyond 48 hours, after this period it is good to start performing daily activities gently avoiding efforts.
In terms of prevention for patients with frequent contractures, it is important to avoid effort, not to maintain a prolonged posture and if this happens, try to move periodically and perform soft exercises to relax, tone muscles and follow a series of postural rules. It is important to take care of overweight and perform daily exercise.