What Causes Muscle Spasms in the Back

If you’ve ever lifted a heavy object or bent down to pick something up and felt a sharp contraction in your back, you know the pain of back spasms. Here we discuss what causes muscle spasms, cramps, and pain in the back, and what you can do to treat them.

What are Back Spasms?

Back spasms are involuntary contractions of the muscles in your back that are typically caused by injuries to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the back. When you are injured, inflammation occurs, sensitizes the nerves, and causes the muscles to contract and spasm.

Muscle Spasms and Pain in the Back

Diagnosis and Treatment for Back Pain

If you frequently experience muscle spasms, cramps, or pain in your back, you should visit a healthcare professional as soon as possible to determine the cause. They will likely ask you questions about your medical history and perform a physical examination, as well as order one or more of the following tests:

  • X-rays
  • MRIs
  • CT scans
  • Blood tests
  • Bone scans
  • Nerve studies

Treatment for back spasms depends on the underlying cause and can be as simple as taking anti-inflammatory medication and icing your back. In some cases, chiropractic treatment or surgery may be required.

If your back spasms are not due to a serious injury or medical condition, there are a few things you can do to relieve the discomfort at home, such as:

  • For the first 48 to 72 hours after your spasms, ice the area for 20 minutes every two hours.
  • After 72 hours, apply moist heat by using a heating pad or soaking in the tub.
  • Elevate your legs to take pressure off of your spine.

Preventing the Causes of Back Spasms

After the muscle spasms in your back are over and you are feeling better, there are things you can do to help prevent them from happening:

  • Stretch
    Stretching is a great way to loosen your muscles and prevent the cramps and tightness that contribute to back spasms.
     
  • Exercise
    Exercising regularly will keep your body in better overall shape and help prevent future back injuries from occurring. Moderate exercise with proper form can help develop smooth muscles and improve your back muscle support.
     
  • Increase your strength
    By strengthening all the muscles in your body, not just your back muscles, you can decrease the strain put on your back and prevent injury. Strengthening your core and legs are a great way to improve overall back health.

Treatment for Back Spasms at FastMedIf you’re experiencing back spasms that aren’t getting better with ice and rest, visit your local FastMed Urgent Care as soon as possible for treatment. Our walk-in clinics are equipped with state of the art equipment and on-site labs and X-rays, and we strive to provide all of our patients with fast treatment so they can spend less time in a waiting room and more time recovering.

At FastMed Urgent Care, our mission is to positively impact the lives of our patients and their families. Walk in and let our healthcare professionals find the cause of your back spasms and soothe your aching back.

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Sources:

Spine Universe: http://www.spineuniverse.com/conditions/back-pain/muscle-spasms-leading-cause-back-pain
Healthline: http://www.healthline.com/health/back-pain/lower-back-spasms

The content presented on this page is not intended to diagnose health problems or take the place of professional medical care.