A back spasm is a painful contraction of a muscle. It can be felt anywhere along the spinal cord but is commonly experienced in the lower back. Typically, back spasms occur as a symptom of more serious medical conditions. They can be either acute or chronic and may persist if treatment is not sought at The Pain Center of Arizona.
What Triggers a Back Spasm?
The spasm often occurs when the patient is twisting or exerting their back muscles in any way. However, the pain can sometimes be spontaneous and cause lower back pain to become worse.
People experience back spasms due to damage to the muscles, tendons, or ligaments, but these painful contractions could also result from an arthritic or spinal condition. However, in most cases, back spasms are caused by over-exertion from heavy lifting or excess strain.
Diagnostic imaging could be used to see if arthritis or spinal discs cause back pain, and an MRI machine can detect muscle issues. Be sure to bring in all images or have your doctor send them to The Pain Center of Arizona before your next appointment.
How Do You Avoid Back Pain?
Our physicians recommend that patients warm up and stretch their backs before working out or lifting heavy objects to prevent back spasms. Lifting abnormally shaped objects (like furniture) puts people at risk of developing back pain and muscle spasms.
To prevent straining the back in an uncomfortable position, we highly encourage using another person to lessen the burden on the weight. If patients regularly work out their back muscles, spending a few days resting in between is important. Muscles in spasms are often irritated and inflamed, so rest days allow muscles to recover so they do not result in spasms.
How Do You Treat Back Spasms?
The board-certified pain management physicians at The Pain Center of Arizona have treatment options for just about every cause of back spasm. They may recommend physical therapy and prescribe muscle relaxants to soothe the muscles, but if the medication doesn’t work, the back spasms could result from a more serious condition.
Injections are a great way to find out where the back pain originates and treat back spasms at the source. For example, if a patient has facet joint arthritis, a physician can administer a facet joint block. Our physicians will work with the patient until they find the best treatment for them.
Published On: September 11, 2015
Updated On: April 13, 2023