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Causes and Treatments for Back Spasms

Back spasms are spontaneous contractions of the back muscles. When these spasms hit, they can leave a person in debilitating pain. The pain can be so severe that it can interfere with a person’s work and daily activities. The pain can last for a couple weeks.


Spasms generally occur when the muscles in the back are weak, inflamed, swollen or strained. Any force used can easily tear a muscle causing injury and pain.

The tearing of the muscles can come from activities that require pushing and pulling such as sports, exercising or even just bending down to pick up a child.


The first symptom felt will be a sudden pain in the lower back. The pain can be mild enough for you to continue with your activity. Other times the pain is so severe that lying still will be your only option.


Cease any activity, lie down and rest. Lie in a position that take pressure off of the spine. This can be lying supine with a pillow under the knees. You can also like on your side with your knees tucked into your chest.

Ice the area for 10-15 minutes at time to reduce inflammation. Do not place ice directly on the back. Make sure there is a towel or cloth in between the ice and skin so you do not get frostbite and cause further injury to the muscles.

You can take an over-the-counter pain reliever or anti-inflammatory to help alleviate the pain. If the pain hits a level of eight or greater, it is best that you see a doctor as soon as possible. A doctor can also better prescribe for you any physical therapy you might need.

Deterring Back Spasms

Keeping your back as healthy as possible can reduce the chances that you will have back spasms. One thing to do is to keep your core or ab muscles in prime condition. Your core helps to stabilize your body and also supports back muscles. Also, do regular stretching exercises to keep the back muscles supple and flexible.

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