Sunday, July 21, 2024
HomeFactsWhat To Do For Lower Back Muscle Spasms

What To Do For Lower Back Muscle Spasms

Warnings For Prescription Muscle Relaxants

WARD Off Lower Back Spasms, Muscle Strains & Pain By Doing This!

Muscle relaxants such as carisoprodol and diazepam can be habit forming. Be sure to take your medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

Muscle relaxants can also cause withdrawal symptoms, such as seizures or hallucinations . Do not suddenly stop taking your medication, especially if youve been taking it for a long time.

Also, muscle relaxants depress your central nervous system , making it hard to pay attention or stay awake. While taking a muscle relaxant, avoid activities that require mental alertness or coordination, such as driving or using heavy machinery.

You should not take muscle relaxants with:

  • alcohol
  • herbal supplements such as St. Johns wort

Talk to your doctor about how you can safely use muscle relaxants if you:

  • are older than 65 years
  • have a mental health problem or brain disorder
  • have liver problems

Living With Lumbar Strain

Cold reduces swelling. Both cold and heat can reduce pain. Protect your skin by placing a towel between your body and the ice or heat source.

  • For the first few days, apply an ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • After the first few days, try heat for 15 minutes at a time to ease pain. Never sleep on a heating pad.
  • Over-the-counter medicines can help control pain and swelling. Try aspirin or ibuprofen.

Other Treatments For Lower Back Spasms

In the long-term, exercise is the best way to manage lower back spasms and prevent them from recurring. However, if youre looking for more immediate relief, one or more of the following treatments can help.

Rest plus ice/heat application: If you have severe back pain due to muscle spasms, a period of rest is advisable until your symptoms are better. Both ice and heat can help relieve the pain from lower back spasms. Ice and heat reduce muscle tension and inflammation. You may find that alternating between hot and cold packs is particularly helpful.5

Massage therapy: Pressure in the lower back area can soothe your symptoms by reducing tension in your muscles. Apply firm pressure in circular motions in the affected area for 30-60 seconds. The pressure should be firm, but not painful. Avoid massage if you can feel a pulse in the area.5 You can also use a foam roller to loosen up your lower back muscles and relieve tightness. However, be aware that using a foam roller incorrectly can lead to injuries. Its best to talk to a trainer or healthcare provider before using one.

Medications: Medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen are available over-the-counter for pain relief. Your doctor may prescribe some muscle relaxants if your lower back spasms are severe.

Remember, you may need to try several treatments or combinations of treatments to get the best outcome. Lifestyle changes can increase the effectiveness of any treatment for lower back spasms.

Recommended Reading: Aleve Good For Back Pain

Apply Over The Counter Topical Creams

For quick relief, carry an over-the-counter topical cream designed to combat muscle pain. These creams often contain counterirritants, salicylates, or lidocaine.

Commonly used counterirritants in topical creams are menthol, eucalyptus, and wintergreen. Salicylates are aspirin-like compounds, and lidocaine is a topical anesthetic.

Apply the cream in thin layers no more than three or four times per day. The active ingredients in the topical creams can penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream, causing side effects.

What Causes Lumbar Strain

How To Treat Muscle Spasms In Lower Back At Home ...

Injury can damage the tendons and muscles in the lower back. Pushing and pulling sports, such as weight lifting or football, can lead to a lumbar strain. In addition, sports that require sudden twisting of the lower back, such as in tennis, basketball, baseball, and golf, can lead to this injury.

Certain risk factors can increase the risk for this injury. The risk factors are:

  • Severe lower back curvature
  • Weak back or belly muscles
  • Tight hamstrings

Also Check: Will Aleve Help Back Pain

Faq About Back Spasms

We prefer using heat to help stop back spasms. The heat will reduce muscle tension and bring blood flow to the area which can speed up healing.

Absolutely! A hot tub is one of the best things that you can for back spasms.

The heat will help relax the muscles and you can use the jets to help massage the area that hurts.

Just be cautious and don’t spend more than 30-40m minutes without taking a break.

Not right away! We recommend being able to walk 30 minutes without an increase in pain or spasms before you try to run.

This may take a few weeks before you are able to run without pain.

Swimming is an excellent activity to do to help with back spasms.

The bouncy of the water can help decompress the spine and relax the muscles.

It may take a few weeks before you are able to swim laps like normal,

Yes you can drive with back spasms as long as you are not currently taking narcotic pain medication.

Try rolling up a towel or using a pillow behind your back to provide support and reduce to intensity of back spasms.

Prone Press Up On Hands Orstanding

  • Lie face down on tummy
  • Raise only upper body, by pushing up on your hands like you are going to start a push up. As far as possible and comfort allows, arch the low back with no pain or discomfort. If this movement causes discomfort, try pushing up on your elbow as far as possible to arch the low back with no pain or discomfort.
  • Do not use buttock or back muscles keep them relaxed and passive as all effort is with the arm and shoulder muscles.
  • Hold for 3-5 seconds.
  • Repeat as many times as is comfortable.
  • If it is too painful to lie down, or too painful to push up with the elbows, or you cannot lie down when your back bothers you away from home, slowly and gently do a few standing backward bends, as shown.

Recommended Reading: Advil For Back Pain Dosage

How Do Doctors Treat Back Pain

“Doctors may start you on physical therapy to strengthen the muscles that support your back. In some cases, we may use a steroid medication to reduce swelling,” Dr. Cornett says.

Chronic back pain is typically treated by starting with simple, low-cost treatments and moving toward more aggressive interventions as needed, NINDS explains. There are a number of complementary and alternative treatments that may be recommended, from acupuncture and various relaxation techniques to transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and spinal manipulation. Surgery might be considered if other options fail.

“If imaging studies show a long-term disc problem, we may recommend surgery in some cases,” Dr. Cornett says.

How Are Muscle Spasms Treated

How to Treat Back Spasms

When a spasm strikes, you might be exercising, simply sitting or even sleeping in the middle of the night. If only there was a magical injection that could instantly relieve your pain! There are, however, five steps you can take to try to get rid of the spasm:

  • Stretch the affected area.
  • Massage the affected area with your hands or a massage roller.
  • Stand up and walk around.
  • Apply heat or ice. Put an ice pack together or apply a heating pad, or take a nice warm bath.
  • Take painkillers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen.

You May Like: Aleve Lower Back Pain

Stretching The Area Of The Spasm

Common back stretches for back spasms include the tennis ball stretch, foam roller stretch, and exercise ball stretch.

How to Do Tennis Ball Stretches

  • Lie down on the floor or a bed with a tennis ball or another ball of similar size. Place the ball under the area with the spasm for a few minutes.
  • Try to relax and breathe normally.
  • Move the ball to an adjacent spot and repeat the exercise until you feel relief.
  • How to Do the Foam Roller Stretch

  • Place a foam roller perpendicular to your spine and lie down on the floor.
  • Cross your arms on your chest.
  • Move your back over the roller, up to your shoulder blades, and down to your belly button.
  • How to Do Exercise Ball Stretches

  • Stretch out your back, shoulders, and buttocks on an exercise ball. Make sure your feet are flat on the floor.
  • Remain in this position for a few minutes. For better balance, you should do this near a chair or couch.
  • What Causes Muscle Spasms

    Idiopathic means that the exact cause is unknown, and thats the case with muscle spasms. Some experts believe that one of more of the following may be to blame in most cases:

    • Not enough stretching.

    Possible causes for nocturnal leg cramps , specifically, include:

    • Sitting for long periods of time.
    • Overusing the muscles.
    • Standing or working on concrete floors.
    • Sitting improperly.

    Read Also: Aleve For Lower Back Pain

    When To See A Doctor

    In most cases, exercises and home remedies help with your lower back spasms. However, if your muscle spasms and back pain are severe and do not improve with conservative treatment at home, you should get medical care.

    • Your lower back spasms are severe and last more than a few days.
    • Your back spasms prevent you from completing your normal daily activities.
    • You have suffered injury or trauma to your back.
    • You have fever associated with back pain and spasms.
    • You have a loss of bladder or bowel control.
    • You are experiencing weakness or loss of strength in the back muscles.
    • You have unexplained weight loss in association with back pain and spasms.

    Pain In Lumbar And Sciatic Nerves Of Back And Legs: Know Symptoms Causes And Treatment

    back pain quick remedies

    Sciatica or low back pain often refers to back pain that is usually felt as a shooting in the lower back, thighs, back, and lower legs. Usually, sciatica affects only one side of the body. In this case, the pain can be sudden or increase gradually over time. Mechanical back pain is also one of the most important causes of low back pain. That is back pain that is exacerbated by activity and improves with rest, which generally accounts for 85% of the cause of low back pain.

    Sciatica most often results from a lumbar disc herniation or displacement of the disc from its correct position, and in such cases, the disc usually puts pressure on the nerve roots that connect to the sciatic nerve. Other conditions that cause sciatica can include narrowing of the spinal canal, the formation of bony appendages due to osteoarthritis, and the biting of nerves as a result of changes in the spine. When the nerve is pressed, its normal function is disrupted, which can lead to muscle weakness, numbness, leg weakness, or a burning sensation in the soles of the feet and lower back. Sometimes these symptoms are accompanied by pain, anxiety, and worry that you should see a doctor to treat leg weakness and burning of the sole of the foot.

    Also Check: Back Pain Advil

    Straighten Up Your Body Posture

    Slouching for long intervals of time and the weight gain on top of it degrades your bodys posture. You should keep an eye on your posture while sitting, working or even sleeping. For example, to take the stress away from your lower back region, sleeping on your side while placing a pillow between the knees can be really helpful.

    There are special pregnancy support belts available in the market for keeping the expecting mothers body posture correct.

    If Back Spasms Continue

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people avoid prescription drugs, especially opioids, for back pain unless other remedies have failed. Even in situations when opioids are prescribed, the CDC recommends that patients should receive the lowest effective dosage, and opioids should be combined with nonopioid therapies, such as physical therapy.

    When the root cause is not addressed, back spasms can create a self-replicating cycle which can lead to further spasming and even more pain. So, if back spasms or pain continue, or increase, or along with numbness begin traveling down your limbs, a physical therapist can work with you to restore healthy movement patterns and heal faster.

    Treatment includes both passive and active therapies and will vary depending on individual needs. Your physical therapist may give you treatments such as hot and cold therapies, hands-on stretching, postural correction, joint mobilization, deep tissue massage, Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and/or ultrasound.

    Your therapist may also suggest a personalized exercise and stretching program for you. The overall goal is to calm the cycle of spasms and control the pain. Once that is under control, your physical therapist will work on rebuilding strength and mobility to allow you to move normally again. Throughout the process, your therapist will educate you on how to perform daily activities properly to reduce future flare ups of back spasms.

    Don’t Miss: Advil Or Ibuprofen For Back Pain

    Stretches For Calf Muscle Spasms

    To do the first stretch:

  • Lie down, stretching your leg by pointing or pulling your toes toward your head.
  • Hold for a few seconds or until the spasm stops.
  • You can also use a strap or belt looped around your foot to gently pull the top of your foot toward you.
  • This also works for a hamstring muscle spasm.

    Other stretches to do:

    • Stand and put your weight on the cramped leg, bending your knee slightly.
    • Stand on your tiptoes for a few seconds.
    • Lunge forward with the leg that isnt cramped, keeping the cramped leg straight.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Lumbar Strain

    What NOT to do for a lower back spasm

    . Each person’s symptoms may be different. Symptoms may include:

    • Sudden lower back pain
    • Spasms in the lower back that result in more severe pain
    • Lower back feels sore to the touch

    Some of these symptoms may be caused by other health problems. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

    Read Also: Aleve And Back Pain

    Not Getting Enough Exercise

    20 percent of U.S. adults are spending enough time exercising.

    It is common for people to pass much of the day sitting down or hunched over a computer screen. Over time, this can weaken the muscles in the back and other areas of the body. The lower back may attempt to compensate for this weakness, which can cause painful muscle spasms.

    Sitting for long periods can also cause muscle spasms because of muscle weakness and inflammation.

    What Can Cause A Back Spasm

    There are a number of potential causes of lower back spasms, including the below.

    • Overuse: If youve overused your lower back muscles, especially if you havent used it extensively for a while, it can trigger a muscle spasm.
    • Poor posture: Particularly when driving in a car, sitting at a desk, or hunched over a computer, poor posture can strain your back muscles, leading to developing a lower back spasm. If you alter your posture to deal with a muscle spasm, you can potentially worsen your discomfort. People who have certain conditions, like spinal stenosis, fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease, or arthritis, may also adjust their posture to compensate for the symptoms of their conditions, leading to muscle spasms.
    • Limited exercise: If you have a sedentary lifestyle and are not getting enough exercise, your back muscles can weaken. As your lower back muscles compensate for this weakness, you can experience muscle spasms. Here is a guide for at-home exercises.
    • Damaged nerves: Nerve damage resulting from injury or diabetes, can signal lower back spasm.
    • Anxiety and stress: If you unconsciously tense your muscles when undergoing stress or anxiety, it can trigger a muscle spasm.
    • Scoliosis: This condition involves a twisting of the spine, which can worsen lower back spasms.

    Don’t Miss: Does Aleve Help With Back Pain

    Talk With Your Doctor

    Its important to treat both spasticity and muscle spasms. Severe, long-term spasticity can lead to muscle contracture, which can decrease your range of motion or leave the affected joints permanently bent. And muscle spasms can not only be uncomfortable, they can also be a sign of an underlying medical problem.

    Your muscle spasms or spasticity are likely treatable with rest, physical therapy, medications, or all of the above. Work with your doctor to put together a care plan that can ease your pain and get you moving comfortably again.

    Massage Your Lower Back

    Lower Back Muscle Spasms: Treatment, Causes, Symptoms

    Massaging by gently stroking or kneading your lower back can help promote blood flow, relax your sore muscles, relieve stiffness,5 and spur the release of endorphinsyour bodys natural pain-fighting hormone.

    If youre unable to visit a massage therapist, physical therapist, or other qualified health professional, try a DIY massage by securing two tennis balls with duct tape and placing them between your chair and lower back. Gently move your back from side-to-side to enable kneading of the sore muscles as they come in contact with the secured tennis balls.

    See Massage Therapy for Lower Back Pain

    Don’t Miss: Is Motrin Good For Back Pain

    How To Get Rid Of Lower Back Spasms

    While a spasm itself is a brief jolt of pain, the problem is that some people can have these spasms on and off for extended periods of time. If you are a sufferer, no doubt you feel desperate at times to get rid of the pain. Most people who have lower back spasms due to injury try alternating between an ice pack and heat. Ice helps reduce the inflammation and heat helps to improve the blood flow.

    Unfortunately, there are those who dont get any relief with ice and heatthey need a different muscle spasm treatment. Some may turn to medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, commonly referred to as NSAIDS. Muscle relaxants can also help relieve symptoms.

    Alternative therapies such as chiropractic care and physiotherapy are other possible approaches. It is important to consult with a doctor and get a proper diagnosis before engaging in alternative treatment methods. You want to be sure that you arent further damaging your back. For instance, if the doctor deems your muscles are healthy enough, you should be able to participate in physical therapy.


    Most Popular