A back spasm refers to a spontaneous and unexpected contraction of one of the muscles in the back. Most commonly seen in the lower back, this condition usually leaves the muscles feeling very tight and sore, and is very painful. Back spasms can be caused a number of ways but are most commonly the result of inflammation of the muscles or spine deterioration. Back spasms treatment options vary in invasiveness, but in most instances pain can be managed with conservative, non-surgical therapies.
The main symptom of a back spasm is the onset of severe pain in the back as a result of the sudden contraction of muscles. This pain can be exacerbated by moving the arms or legs and can leave the patient largely immobile. Back spasms are common ailments that particularly affect active people and athletes, although they can also follow any injury that inflames or irritates the back muscles.
Back spasm treatments
If you are experiencing back spasms, treatment usually includes:
- Anti-inflammatory pain medication – prescription or over-the-counter
- Muscle relaxants
- Ice therapy to cut down on the swelling
- Rest and relaxation to let the back muscles heal with treatment
- Compression of the back with a brace
- Elevation of legs to take the stress off of your back
- Targeted exercise or stretching techniques may be effective for strengthening the back and limiting pain, although the patient needs to consult with a physician to be sure not to further aggravate the injury
Other treatment options
In most cases, back spasms are a temporary frustration that can be overcome with conservative treatment. However, if you experience recurring back spasms, an underlying spine issue may be the cause. Herniated intervertebral discs, for example, can also regularly lead to back spasms. To learn more about all of your back muscle treatment options, contact Laser Spine Institute. We can provide you with a review of your MRI or CT scan and help you decide if one of our minimally invasive, outpatient spine procedures can help overcome your painful back spasms.