What Does a Back Muscle Spasm Mean?

28th Jan 2016

Ever experienced a muscle spasm in your back? For some, they can be so painful that you feel like you should head to the emergency room.

What are back spasms? Muscle spasms occur for two reasons:

  1. As a result of muscles trying to protect themselves from a muscle sprain or strain or…
  2. In response to an underlying condition

Sometimes a muscle will seize up if it senses it is about to be torn as a result of a sudden movement as a form or protection. With some rest and recovery, you should be back to your old self in about 1-2 weeks.

If after 1-2 weeks, your back spasm doesn’t get better, you may have an underlying problem that needs to be addressed. Some of those issues include:

  • pain from a herniated disc
  • facet joint osteoarthritis

For these cases, the muscle is reacting to the pain from the disc or joint disfunction.

How can you treat a muscle spasm? The goal is to get the muscle to relax. You can do that by the following:

  • massage therapy
  • hot and cold therapy
  • muscle relaxants

If the muscle spasm is a result of an injury, it will take a while for the muscle to heal. If it is a result of an underlying issues, these treatments will help treat the muscle spasm pain, but will not fix the issue long-term.