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Back Pain Muscle Spasms. Finding the Culprits

Feb 11, 2008
You have long muscles that run along the spine called the erector spinae muscles. These are often the guilty muscles when you have back pain and muscle spasms. A spasm is an involuntary contraction of the muscle for a sustained period of time. Usually a spasm occurs when the muscle has been suddenly stressed somehow which can include injury, sprains, tears or bruising. The spasm can actually start in the nerves that lead into the muscle though the feeling is the same no matter where the spasm starts.

Most of the time muscle spasms are painful, but not serious. It should be mentioned though that in some cases, the spasm may be a symptom of a more serious problem. The back is composed of bones, muscles and ligaments, and injury or disease to any component can result in back pain muscle spasms.

Back pain and muscle spasms can occur anywhere along the spine from the neck to the lower back. A spasm can occur once or it can happen repeatedly. Often the spasm makes the muscle feel sore and tight even after the spasm subsides. So when you deal with muscle spasms you have two goals. The first goal is to attempt to prevent the reoccurrence of the spasm. The second goal is to relive the pain and tension after the spasm.

There are many ways you can approach management of back pain and muscle spasms at home. First, you should keep moving. You don't want to go to bed and lie still, because that will cause the muscle to hurt more. Light exercises will relieve the muscle stress while strengthening and toning. Also, you can use an ice pack applied to the area and decrease the muscle spasm pain. In addition, you should avoid any heavy lifting or moves similar to the moves you were doing before the spasm.

If your back pain and muscle spasms don't get better with home remedies, you may have to visit the doctor. Frequently, muscle relaxants are prescribed to relieve muscle tightness. Muscle relaxants are a short term solution meant to give relief from pain while the muscle heals. Some people find enough relief by using over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain relievers. Many medications you can now buy yourself are what were once considered full prescription strength. All of the drugs can reduce swelling and increase muscle flexibility.

Other forms of therapy for back pain and muscle spasms include massage or physical therapy. But one of the most important therapies you can do yourself. That's to maintain good posture. Good posture lets your spine work the way it was designed to work. Maintaining good posture is important during any activity too and not just while standing. You should stand, sit, walk and lift while maintaining proper spine position. This will help you avoid muscle injury and sprains that can lead to muscle spasms.
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