Back problems are one of the most commonly reported symptoms in middle-aged women. Some women complain of a radiating pain across their lower back or a painful pinching in their shoulders, while others experience a series of electric shock sensations.
Although some underlying causes might be due to natural age-related deterioration, in some cases, electric shocks in the back indicate a more complex medical condition that requires intervention. Let's take a closer look at electric shocks in the back, their causes, and possible management strategies.
Recognizing Electric Shock Feeling in the Back
There are several ways in which women describe an electric shock feeling in the back, but they all agree on one thing: electric shocks are frightening and unpleasant. They might feel like burning pins and needles, electric-like tingling, sharp stabs, or lightening-like jolts.
Sometimes these electric shock sensations begin in the lower back and radiate to one or both legs. Other times, they affect shoulders and extend to the arm. When electric shocks initiate from the neck and go down the spine, they are often referred to as a Lhermitte's Sign.
Causes of Electric Shocks
The causes of an electric shock sensation in the back vary greatly, and they most commonly relate to the following conditions:
Hormonal fluctuations of estrogen and progesterone during menopause are known to cause electric shocks in the back.
Low vitamin B12 is usually associated with causing electric shocks in the legs, but can also cause them to occur in the back.
Lifestyle triggers, such as bad sleeping positions or sleeping on poor quality mattress, sedentary life, obesity, smoking, and alcohol abuse are big triggers of back pain and electric shocks.
Withdrawal from medications to treat depression, anxiety, or migraine.
Back-related conditions are commonly related to the cervical (neck) or lumbar spine, which often worsen with age.
Other medical conditions, particularly autoimmune or neurological, often cause electric shock sensations in the back, as well as other body parts.
Treatments for Electric Shock Feeling in the Back
Several back conditions that cause nerve compression, resulting in electric shocks sensations, can be improved with physical therapy and medications to relieve the pain, relax the muscles, and reduce inflammation. Sometimes; however, back problems have to be repaired surgically.
Stretching and exercising
Focusing on strengthening your back, as well as the abdominal muscles, which help support your posture, can alleviate electric shocks in the back. Yoga, Pilates, and other low-impact exercises are great to build strong musculature, and they only require a little space and a mat. Frequent stretching throughout the day and exercises with an exercise ball can also help you relieve disc compression.
Eating a healthy diet
Diet is another excellent way to promote healthy back and prevent electric shocks. Calcium, for example, is found in many foods, such as dairy, like yogurt, cheese, or milk; dark green leafy vegetables, such as kale; and legumes, particularly soy, which can also help stabilize hormonal changes. To be properly absorbed, calcium should be taken with magnesium and vitamin D3, which can be found in many foods or taken as supplements.
Other natural remedies to consider:
Are Electric Shocks in the Back Dangerous?
Electric shocks themselves do not cause any harm to the nerves or back structures. But it is important to remember that their occurrence indicates some sort of abnormality in the bones or neck of the back, hormonal shifts, or harmful lifestyle habits, which should be addressed by a medical doctor.
Electric shock sensations in the back, especially when they are accompanied by pain, can be truly incapacitating for many women. Some menopausal women also experience them in the head or in the legs. For more inspiration on how to manage your hormones with ease, make sure you check out the alternative treatments for menopausal electric shocks.
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- International Neuromodulation Society. (2012). Painful Peripheral Neuropathy.
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- National Institute of Health. (2014). Low Back Pain Fact Sheet. Retrieved September 13, 2017 from https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Low-Back-Pain-Fact-Sheet
- Therapeutic Advances in Muscoskeletal Disease. (2011). Soy foods: are they useful for optimal bone health? Retrieved September 13, 2017 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3383497/