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Back Spasms

A spasm is when your muscles contract suddenly and against your will. They may painfully twinge, seize or contract. The muscles in your upper, middle and lower back are divided into three types: intrinsic/deep muscles, superficial muscles and intermediate muscles. Lower back spasms are more common, but any muscle can contract.

What causes back spasms? There are a number of possible causes for back spasms: Not using your muscles enough. If you sit too much, have poor posture, don’t exercise or rarely use your back or stomach muscles, those muscles can get weak and spasm. Using your muscles too much. Athletes and those who do a lot of heavy lifting may experience back spasms. Such activities can cause a muscle strain, which is a tear, and that can cause inflammation. Dietary issues. Back spasms can be caused by too little water, potassium and/or calcium in your diet. Mental/emotional health issues. Anxiety and stress can tense up your muscles. Trauma. You may injure your back in a fall or car accident. Sometimes, your back spasms may be caused by an underlying condition, including: Gallstones. Spondylitis. Kidney stones. Kidney infection. Tumor.

How long do back spasms last? If you use your back muscles too much, you may have spasms for a few days. It may take several weeks if there’s a muscle strain. How are back spasms treated? Physical therapy: Deep Tissue massage, with assisted stretching where you can learn relaxation techniques and stretches for your back muscles. Ice/heat: Apply ice or heat to the location of your back spasms. Wrap the ice pack or heating pad in a towel and apply it to your skin for 20 to 30 minutes. Then reapply after 20 to 30 minutes. Over-the-counter pain medications: Over-the-counter pain medications including Tylenol, Aleve, Advil or Nurofen (ibuprofen) may help. How can I prevent back spasms? Back spasms are not 100% preventable, but self-care can help, including: Exercising. Sitting with good posture. Stress management. Getting up and stretching after you’ve been sitting for 20/30 minutes.

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