Back muscle spasms are among the most painful temporary injuries a person can suffer, and they are extremely common in a wide variety of people. A back muscle spasm is a spontaneous and abnormal contraction of a back muscle leading to great discomfort and sometimes intense pain. The closer the spasm is to the spine or nerve roots, the more painful it is likely to be.
Spasms are most often caused by twisting or strain to a back muscle, leading to abnormal and involuntary muscle contractions. The most common causes of a back muscle strain include heavy lifting, incorrect posture, overuse of the back muscles, and even sneezing or coughing. The best way to prevent back muscle strains and spasms is to keep the back muscles strong and flexible with a regular routine of exercise and stretching, and a regiment of proper hydration.
As a result, back muscle spasms are most common in people who are physically out of shape and dehydrated, as the stronger and more well nourished the muscles are in your back the less susceptible they are to strain. In addition, back muscles that are overly tense or tight are also have a higher likelihood of straining or spasming. Back muscle spasms are also common in athletes who spend a great deal of time twisting their body, or pushing, pulling, and lifting. Athletes who participate in weight lifting, golfing, and baseball are particularly susceptible to back muscle spasms due to the repetitive intense exertion of their back muscles.
In the case of a back muscle strain, the patient is advised to react with conservative treatment usually revolving around ice and compression, and a good deal of rest. Muscle relaxants, pain relieving medication, and anti-inflammatory medicine can also assist in the healing of a back muscle strain, and the reduction of back muscle spasms. When the pain has lessened it is wise to gently stretch and exercise the back muscles to encourage them to recovery and reduce the risk of muscle atrophy.
Back muscle spasms often cease in a short period of time when proper care is taken to alleviate the strain on the muscle and allow proper healing. However, if back muscle spasms continue for over a period of two weeks it is imperative that the patient seek medical assistance as the muscles may start to weaken from lack of use. This may turn into a greater problem which only increases back pain since the back muscles begin to loose the ability to hold the spine properly.