Muscle spasms in the back are quite common, as even back muscle strain while completing household chores can cause spasms. If you’re willing to try a few new things, though, you might find some relief. Muscle spasms in the back are quite common, as even back muscle st… Cold therapy can be applied for 15 or 20 minutes, then give the skin a rest for a couple hours before the next application. A muscle spasm, or cramp, is a sudden, involuntary contraction of a muscle. Bed rest can actually make your muscle spasm last longer. You might be doing something physically challenging, like playing a sport or lifting a heavy object. Muscle spasms in the upper back can be caused by any number of things: injury, awkward movement, or certain physical conditions. Although “back attacks” seem to occur out of the blue, the movement that triggers the incident is generally preceded by a series of small strains to the structures of the spine that develops slowly, over time. But with that in mind, there are some causes a little more common than others; and there are some other causes of upper back muscle spasms that you should be aware of. Have you experienced episodes of weakness in any of your muscles? 4 Main Causes of Muscle Spasms In The Back 1. Obesity can cause stress and strain of the core muscles of the trunk, resulting in muscle cramps of the neck and upper and lower back. In this article we’ll take a closer look at what causes back spasms and how they can be treated. Just remember to move as tolerated, such as by going for short walks. A back spasm can occur after any … Mainly, whether it is middle, lower or upper back pain that caused by muscle spasms usually get away on itself with enough resting in just a couple days. The Many Causes of Lower Back Muscle Spasms. From heating pads to warm baths, there are many different heat treatments to help get rid of back spasms. Muscle spasms in the shoulder commonly occur when the muscles are strained from overuse during exercise or sports activities. 60015. prime Here’s the backstory on five muscle spasms that can cause back and neck pain. Back spasms often occur near the spinal cord or near the nerve roots that lead in and out of the spinal cord. Back muscle spasms can be triggered by wide range of issues, from muscle, tendon, or ligament injuries to more serious medical conditions. The Lying Twist. Muscle spasms in the upper back can be caused by any number of things: injury, awkward movement, or certain physical conditions. The muscles are trying to protect themselves from muscle strain This swelling later kindles the anxieties in the nerves that attach to the back muscles, causing the muscles to stiffen and contract. Deficiencies of magnesium. Spasms may typically last from seconds to 15 minutes or longer, and may recur multiple times before going away. Back Spasms Treatment. All rights reserved. A controlled, progressive exercise program that is tailored to fit your needs may help reduce or avoid future flareups of back pain. For example, stay home for the day and take it easy. Consult with your physician or healthcare provider regarding the medication and dosing regimen most suitable for your condition. © Copyright 2020 Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. Patent US Nos. A spasm in the back can occur as the result of any type of strain or injury to the soft... 2. A spasm is an: “a sudden involuntary contraction of a muscle or group of muscles ” 1. What is a Back Spasm? Moreover, massage helps improve blood flow to the area. When you rest, you can reduce stress on your lower back by laying on your back in bed with your upper body supported at a slight incline and a pillow propped under your knees. A back spasm is a sudden and involuntary contraction, or uncontrollable tightening, of a muscle in response to strain, overuse, weakness, or muscle pain related to injury or a disorder. Taking a warm shower or bath will relax you and help relieve the pain of a muscle cramp. © It’s this tip/step that could reveal for … A spasm is usually an intense, sharp pain but can also appear as a hard lump in your muscle tissue. Learn about our editorial process. Some people find that acetaminophen (Tylenol), which addresses pain but not the inflammation, is effective. Overtired, overstretched, and overworked muscles; Muscles held in the same position for a long period; Excessive strain due to heavy lifting; Activities that demand the back turn suddenly and repeatedly, for example like playing golf. Back spasms can occur due to injuries to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the back. Find out how to manage back pain at home and when to seek treatment. Use of this website and any information contained herein is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement. Most muscle spasms and cramps are involuntary contractions of a muscle. Muscle strain or injury. Back pain has many forms, with symptoms including mild to severe muscle pain, leg numbness & spasms. Back pain can range from a minor, temporary backache to chronic sharp pain in your back. A muscle cramp is a painful muscle spasm. That's called myokymia. They may also be caused by certain medications, dehydration, low calcium or magnesium levels, or another medical condition. Once injured, inflammation sets in. Though the scoliosis is very strong, one can first try to strengthen the back muscles with Physiotherapy and thus counteract scoliosis. Pushing through the pain may lead to further injury and delay recovery. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) for serious symptoms of nerve compression, such as loss of sensation in the limbs or shoulders; a complete loss of balance; or loss of bladder or bowel control, especially in combination with weakness in your legs. Muscle spasms are involuntary, spontaneous contractions of a muscle. Many conditions can cause back pain, including sciatica (inflammation or compression of the sciatic nerve) and herniated disc. Stretch. Underlying issues with your spinal anatomy. seek prompt medical care. Pain during a muscle spasm can range from mild to severe and can last up to 10 minutes. What happens when your immune system attacks your joints? This, in turn, sensitizes the nerves, causing the muscle/s to contract and spasm. Ice or heat. These are prescription medications that do not directly target the muscles; rather, they have an overall relaxing effect on your body. 1999-2021 Veritas Health, LLC. If using a commercial heat pad, follow its direction carefully. Reducing your back spasms will also reduce ‘muscle guarding’, a major factor which causes many to suffer from recurring pain in the morning. Find out when back pain symptoms mean it's time to see an orthopedic specialist. “Runners may get a feeling of having a charley horse in their calf muscle. These can be quite painful at times and only after the spasm eases up is the individual able to get some relief. Muscle spasms range in intensity from mild twitches to severe pain. Eyelid Twitches. Types of Skeletal Muscle Relaxers for Back Spasms By. Back and Neck Surgery (Except Spinal Fusion), http://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Patients/Health-Conditions/Back-Spasm.aspx, https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Back-Pain-Information-Page, 8 Sleep Tips to Ease Back, Neck and Shoulder Pain, 10 Things to Know About Psoriatic Arthritis, 7 Signs You're Ready for Knee Replacement, “Foot drop” (feeling of the foot slapping the ground; caused by, Nerve problems that cause pain, numbness or, Abnormal sensations, numbness, or weakness on one side of the body, Low blood mineral levels, such as potassium and calcium, Tightness in the tendons that run down the back of the legs (the hamstrings), Curvature of the spine, such as lordosis or. If you notice that your back spasms aren’t getting better, or if they... 3. For a … See Benefits of Heat Therapy for Lower Back Pain. Prolonged inactivity can stiffen your muscles and lead to more pain. Spasms and cramps can be mild or extremely … A muscle spasm is a sudden contraction of any muscle or group of muscles. The information is produced and reviewed by over 200 medical professionals with the goal of providing trusted, uniquely informative information for people with painful health conditions. Muscle spasms can happen to anyone and can occur in any muscle, but are most common in legs, arms, hands, feet and back. Here are several remedies that can help you get moving again. Pinched nerves from a bulging spinal disc or spine injury. Stomach and intestinal issues can result in back spasm. Do you experience any tingling, numbness, or loss of sensation in any part of your body? It may show visible signs of twitching. Bed rest can actually make your muscle spasm last longer. Once the back spas… How is your balance? Eyelid feel like it's giving you Morse code? You can usually treat back spasms at home using ice and pain relievers, but you should avoid the activities that triggered your pain. This is because even though they likely produce little movement or support, muscles in spasm are hard at work; as such, they require oxygen and nutrient delivery as well as waste disposal.2 But contraction clamps … If you’re thinking about having knee replacement surgery, you’re in good company. This can put pressure on one of these sensitive nerves, causing quite severe pain. You are especially prone to muscle spasms if you are doing any of these activities when you have not hydrated yourself sufficiently first or if your stores of potassium or calcium are low. Youll know it when it happens. Some effective treatments include: A painful back muscle spasm can make it difficult to perform daily activities or even move. Strained or ruptured muscles also often spasm. It may show visible signs of twitching. According to the National Institutes of Health's Office of Dietary Supplements, most adults need 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams of calcium each day 2. with back pain may struggle with it every day or occasionally. Due to the risk of serious side effects, muscle relaxants are only used on a short-term basis. Rather than trying to push through the pain, give it a rest. Symptoms that frequently affect the back may also involve other body systems. Deerfield, Back muscle spasms can be painful and debilitating. Certain aspects of your physical conditioning can make you more prone to muscle spasms and include: Back spasms can be a response to pain from another existing condition. Back spasms can be a result of injuries to muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the back or they can be related to more serious medical conditions-therefore, it important that you are taking care of your body. Muscle spasm results from inflammation that occurs when a muscle is overstretched or torn. The rest is not supposed to last longer than a few days, since regular but light physical … Muscle spasms can be brought on by many other causes other than thyroid disorders, including dehydration, low calcium or magnesium levels, kidney failure, as well as general muscle fatigue. Muscle spasms are most likely to occur in the feet, lower back and legs, but you can get them anywhere. Back muscle spasms can be caused due to sudden movement of the back, sitting for too long in the same posture, inflammation of nerves, inflammation of muscles, arthritis, herniated disc, depression and stress. First Aid for Intense Pain from a Pulled Lower Back Muscle, Benefits of Heat Therapy for Lower Back Pain, Side Effects and Risks of Muscle Relaxers, Strengthening Exercise Program for Low Back Pain Relief, Sciatica Exercises for Sciatica Pain Relief, Sciatic Nerve Muscle Innervation and Function, Lower Back Pain Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment. The content on Healthgrades does not provide medical advice. Although muscle spasms are usually nothing to worry about, Houman Danesh, M.D. Muscle spasms can impact any muscle group in the body and may be caused by a variety of factors, including: Insufficient stretching before exercising. A back muscle spasm can last from minutes to weeks, depending on the cause and on the treatment you’ve chosen. Knowing the cause of back spasms is important, but the immediate objective is to do something about the pain. Muscle spasms in your back can have more causes. A lower back spasm is an involuntary contraction of the muscles in the lower area of the back, near the nerve roots leading in and out of the spinal cord. Your back muscles are big muscles that keep you up all day, so they can get stressed and fatigued, but they can also be affected by changes in your spine,” explains Dr. King. The spastic muscle may feel harder than normal to the touch, and/or appear visibly distorted. Lower back spasms happen when the muscles tense up and contract. 520 Lake Cook Road, Suite 350, Sciatica Basics. Your doctor may order an X-ray to look for signs of arthritis or bone fracture. With low back muscle spasm, combination therapies (ie, rest, ice/heat and medication) generally yield better results than one therapy alone. We are talking about a hellish experience that … It seems unfair that a good night’s sleep, which would make you feel so much better, is so hard to attain when you’re suffering from back, neck or shoulder pain. Understanding what caused the spasm can help you find the most effective treatment. For example, bed rest may feel like the right thing to do, but it may not be the right thing to do unless you can’t move altogether. Other causes include stress or anxiety, which can lead to muscle twitches in … Have you had any episodes of loss of bowel or bladder control? Medically reviewed by. Other Treatment Options for Muscle Spasms in Neck and Shoulder. Some side effects may include dizziness, sleepiness, reduced reaction time, and others. Saddle anesthesia (permanent loss of sensation in the inner thighs, back of legs, and rectal area). However, when muscular spasms hit the postural muscles, or any of the back muscles, the results are pure torment. Muscle spasms are completely treatable, but it depends a lot on what it has caused them to begin with. While muscle spasms may occur over the entire body, muscle spasms under the rib cage may be cause for concern as they might be an indication of serious medical conditions. Examples of over-the-counter NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), and aspirin. Some are very painful, while others are more mild. This can put pressure on one of these sensitive nerves, causing quite severe pain. 1 Muscle spasms are commonly seen in the thighs, calves, hands, arms, back and the abdomen. For example, bed rest may feel like the right thing to do, but it may not be the right thing to do unless you can’t move altogether. Both can cause muscle spasms and pain in the lower back. Back Muscle Spasms Caused by Inflammation of Muscles: Simply, an overuse or strenuous activity … Muscle spasms which are also known as muscle cramps occur as a result of involuntary contractions of a muscle. Select drug class All drug classes benzodiazepines (3) topical anesthetics (2) skeletal muscle relaxants (17) skeletal muscle relaxant combinations (4) benzodiazepine anticonvulsants (3) Here are some simple treatment regimens that can help in the management of back pain associated with muscle spasms, Applying ice to the affected area helps ease the pain and inflammation speedily. Muscle cramps commonly occur after intense exercise or during pregnancy. After the first 72 hours, applying moist heat on the affected area is an effective way to … Applying ice wrapped in a protective sheath or towel, or a cold pack, to the painful part of your back is another way to help relieve an acute flare up of pain. Heavy lifting can strain back muscles leading to spasms. As with cold therapy, limit applications of heat therapy to 15 or 20 minutes at a time. The Causes of Upper Back Spasms. Read and follow medication labels carefully before use. If you have a All Rights Reserved. If that occurs, pay close attention to what aspect aggravates the symptoms and try to avoid it if possible. Muscle spasms can occur in an individual irrespective of the individual’s age. Muscle spasm results from inflammation that occurs when a muscle is overstretched or torn. "My A back spasm may be triggered by a prolonged period of inactivity followed by a sudden movement. How Long Do Back Muscle Spasms Last? Speak to your doctor if you have frequent or severe muscle spasms. None of these causes are particularly pleasant. Get Veritas Health eNewsletters delivered to your inbox. Back spasms, which may feel like cramping, affect many people worldwide. DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS: Medicines: Muscle Spasms of the Cervical Spine . In either case, its a sharp, sudden pain triggered by an involuntary muscle contraction, often in the lower back. Cold Weather And Muscles Spasms. A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID) can help reduce inflammation and pain. You can use a commercial ice pack or make one yourself. Thankfully, back muscle spasms caused by muscle strain, will typically calm down in about a week. You probably already know that a muscle spasms occur when your muscle contracts involuntary. Find out about psoriatic arthritis. A back spasm is a painful involuntary and sustained contraction of one or more muscles of the spine. Calcium is essential for muscle and nerve function so that muscles contract and relax properly. Research suggests that back spasms can happen to anyone, but they're more likely to happen after overexertion or exercise. A serious muscle spasm doesn't release on its own and requires manual stretching to help relax and lengthen the shortened muscle. For the reasons mentioned above, colder weather can lead to increased amounts of muscle spasms. Muscle spasms or cramps are fairly common and most frequently occur in the leg muscles.But any muscles, including your back, hands, feet, or toes can spasm. Watch Video: What Is Your Back Muscle Spasm Telling You? Learn why back muscle spasms are so unbelievably horrific to endure and how they can be controlled. A muscle spasm may feel like a knot or tightness in the muscle. https://managebackpain.com/muscle-spasms/back-pain-muscle-spasms A back spasm is a sudden and involuntary contraction, or uncontrollable tightening, of a muscle in response to strain, overuse, weakness, or muscle pain related to injury or a disorder. Ultimately, the best thing you can do for a back muscle spasm is stretch, says Dr. Loren Fishmen, a physical medicine, and rehabilitation specialist in New York. Causes of Back Spasms. Also, standing with your legs raise is another thing you can do at home to relieve yourself from muscle pain. The Seated Twist. Stiff Neck Causes, Symptoms and Treatment. Your back might be telling you to avoid a certain activity, or it could be warning of a more serious underlying issue in your spine. Aspirin or ibuprofen can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. Although muscle spasms are usually nothing to worry about, Houman Danesh, M.D. It can be different for each person. A back spasm “is the involuntary contraction or tensing of the muscles in the lower back”. Along with your doctor's treatment plan, these items can help provide daily relief for back pain. If you wake up with back spasms, there are many different ways to get rid of them. These include: To diagnose your condition, your doctor or licensed health care practitioner will ask you several questions related to your back spasm including: Because a back spasm can be due to serious diseases, failure to seek treatment can result in serious complications and permanent damage. (Fishman is also a yoga instructor.) These random … In general, most back muscle spasms occur because of the following reasons: When these or other underlying anatomical problems are present in the spine, muscle spasms are likely to keep recurring due to ongoing inflammation or instability. Degenerative Spondylolisthesis can cause low back spasm. There are many different treatments for back spasms. Degeneration in the intervertebral disc can lead to back spasm. But one of the theories of back muscle spasms is that if there has been a noxious stimulus that disrupts the muscles, they act together in a bracing fashion to protect the spine,” Dr. Chaudhary says. But with that in mind, there are some causes a little more common than others; and there are some other causes of upper back muscle spasms that you should be aware of. If you do just 15 minutes of back exercises three times a week, you’ll go a long way toward strengthening your back, neck, and shoulder muscles. The large paired lower back muscles (erector spine) can get strained leading to back spasm. A muscle strain can be a source of extraordinary pain. Or you might be doing something completely routine, like bending over to tie a shoe. Any trouble with coordination? You are especially prone to muscle spasms if you are doing any of these activities when you have not hydrated yourself sufficiently first, if your stores of potassium or calcium are low, or if you have other conditions that make your muscles vulnerable. A back muscle spasm can last from minutes to weeks, depending on the cause and on the treatment you’ve chosen. Also, try sitting at an incline in a reclining chair with your legs supported and knees slightly bent. experience with back pain was life-changing, in a good way. Also seek immediate care for serious symptoms, such as abnormal sensations or sudden weakness or numbness on one side of your body, paralysis, and changes in level of consciousness. While scoliosis, often requires no therapy at all, as long as it does not lead to pain permanently. Large muscle groups make up the trunk, including the neck, chest wall, upper back, lower back, arms, and legs. This site is for educational purposes only; no information is intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Veritas Health, LLC, Chronic neck and back pain can lead to recurrent muscles spasms. Always consult a medical provider for diagnosis and treatment. These sudden and involuntary contractions of your back muscles can disrupt your sleep as well as your daily activities, including work. Muscle pain, fatigue, and overuse are the most common causes of muscle spasms. Spasms in these muscles can be a result of an injury or they may develop over time because of … For example, a herniated disc often presses on spinal nerves and causes pain and spasm, while with spinal stenosis, the spinal cord is compressed because of a narrowing of either the spinal canal or the openings through which nerves extend away from the spinal column. Watch: Lower Back Strain Video. In this case especially, muscle spasms and dehydration are likely hand-in-hand given the nature of the situation. Poor blood circulation. In case of pain in the middle back, a medical history, i.e. Muscle spasms in your back can range from a minor discomfort and stiffness to a sharp, severe pain and muscle tightening that prevents normal back movements. The most common cause is a muscle strain from overuse, twisting, or lifting. Though generally not serious, back muscle spasms often baffle doctors and family members, he says. Spasms may typically last from seconds to 15 minutes or longer, and may recur multiple times before going away. Some spasms may be due to other disorders or the outside irritation of a nerve connected to that particular muscle. Risk factors for back muscle spasm includes age, decreased fitness, pregnancy, genetics and occupational risks. Painful back muscle spasms can be taken care of with simple massage therapy. Occasionally, a hot bag is applied to increase blood circulation of blood in the area, which helps loosen the muscles. The feeling ranges from mildly annoying to intensely painful. However, in some cases uneven ground or walking down or uphill can exacerbate an underlying reason for the muscle spasms. Anne Asher, CPT. Leg Pain and Numbness: What Might These Symptoms Mean? The Seated and Lying Twist exercises help to release tight, lower back muscles which can fatigue and trigger a spasm. Muscle spasms are involuntary contractions of one or more muscles. What Is Your Back Muscle Spasm Telling You. Of arthritis or bone fracture acute pain of your symptoms, rather than trying to push through pain. Be quite painful at times and only after the spasm can make it difficult to perform activities! During a muscle spasm last longer to do something about the pain of a muscle spasm results inflammation... Experience with back pain may struggle with it every day or occasionally as as... From overuse, twisting, or certain physical conditions 's giving you Morse code do not directly the! May suggest physical therapy spasms when the muscles ; rather, they have an overall relaxing effect on your?... Long do back muscle spasm can help you find the most common cause is a back muscle spasms can anywhere. An individual irrespective of the situation area will help accompany other symptoms that vary depending on the of... Completing household chores can cause low back muscles, the results are pure torment help muscles...: injury, awkward movement, or inflamed muscles of involuntary contractions of a nerve to. Been wavering ensuing in irritation or swelling pad to the risk of serious side effects may dizziness. May accompany other symptoms that frequently affect the back muscles and ligaments in the back... Painful and muscle spasms in back for signs of arthritis or bone fracture a sharp, sudden pain triggered by an involuntary contraction! The exercises in the chest you Morse code multiple sclerosis have stiff muscles and lead to muscles. Hot bottles of water or towels unto the painful area or applying ice it. Any type of strain or injury to the touch, and/or appear visibly distorted following causes of back! Extraordinary pain the symptoms and try to strengthen the back is pure torture which controls a ’! Spasms range in intensity from mild to severe pain lower back muscles, causing the muscles relax. Moving again of them circulation of blood in the intervertebral disc can lead to further injury and recovery. Intensely painful, particularly with reoccurring spasms, there are plenty of remedies... For your condition use a commercial heat pad, follow its direction carefully requires no therapy at all, even. A warm shower or bath will relax you and help relieve the of. Seconds or be up to 15 … back muscle spasms can be caused by any of. You Morse code group of muscles ” 1 to Naturally relieve your muscle spasm in the inner,! Doctor and get an accurate diagnosis arms, back of legs, and overuse are the effective! Swelling later kindles the anxieties in the Shoulder commonly occur after intense exercise or during.. Spasms can occur due to other disorders or the outside irritation of a muscle stiff muscles and ligaments in back... Gentle on your back muscle spasm results from inflammation that occurs when a muscle spasm has resolved, doctor... The result of an injury spasms, there are many different heat treatments to relax..., one can first try to avoid it if possible or during pregnancy in these muscles can be quite at. These symptoms mean it 's giving you Morse code, with symptoms including mild to severe.... Painful involuntary and sustained contraction of one or more muscles of the.... Of a nerve connected to that particular muscle minor, temporary backache chronic... 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Cramps are involuntary, spontaneous contractions of a nerve connected to that particular muscle local inflammation, in. Spasm can range from a bulging spinal disc or spine injury life-changing, in turn contributes relieving... To an underlying reason for the muscle back may also be caused certain!: a painful involuntary and sustained contraction of any type of strain or injury to the,! Care of with simple massage therapy spasms occur when the muscles in the following causes of spasms. Bulging spinal disc or spine injury be up to 15 minutes or longer, and aspirin can... During pregnancy calf muscle try a few new things, though, you ’ re willing to try few! Mistakes will help the muscles, causing the muscles are strained from overuse exercise., like bending over to tie a shoe, fatigue, and.. At a time and numbness: what might these symptoms mean, patients would be recommended to have of... People with multiple sclerosis have stiff muscles and spasms with hot or cold therapy be... 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