Back spasm is a sudden, involuntary, and painful contraction of the muscles of the back. Muscle cramps in the back area can lead to mild or severe back pain. Players or athletes often have to face severe back pain due to a pulled muscle in the back. Muscle pain can be transferred to surrounding areas, making the situation worse. Wrong posture, injury to the muscles or bones during sports or accidents, or excessive workload on the back while working or exercising may lead to muscle fatigue, muscle spasm, or cramp. Vitamin/mineral deficiency, nerve damage, arthritis, osteoporosis, stress, wrong posture, etc., are some of the common causes of frequent back spasms.
- Exercise: Back exercises and stretches can help relieve the strained muscle. Walking can also be a good exercise.
- Massage: Massaging with sesame oil, mustard oil, olive oil, or prescribed ointment works great for back pain. A trained-massage therapist can offer back-pain relief within a few minutes. Ayurvedic oil massage also provides relief from pain.
- Physiotherapy: In case of severe pain, doctors usually recommend physical therapy.
- Acupressure/Acupuncture: Acupressure and acupuncture therapies are often recommended to those patients who complain about constant back pain due to muscular spasm.
- Warm Clothes: Rains and chilly weather can worsen the painful condition. Therefore, covering your back with warm clothes will help avoid excessive exposure to cold.
- Weight Loss: Natural remedies for back pain include following a weight loss diet regularly, taking a hot bath, and sufficient rest. Excess weight creates stress which causes muscles to contract. A pulled muscle in the back can generate severe pain.
- Support: Watch for your postures in office chairs, car seats, sofas, beds, dining chairs, etc. If your upper or lower back is missing the required support, insert a small cushion there and avoid upper or lower back pain.
- Mattress: Watch your mattresses which might have uneven surfaces that can increase the back pain. Use a comfortable mattress.
- Sleep: Insufficient sleep can lead to painful contraction of the back muscles. Hence, sleep well, but do not forget to watch your position as it may aggravate strain on the back muscle.
- Relaxation: Stress is the unavoidable element of modern lifestyle. However, there are relaxation techniques which help relieve stress. Meditation, listening to music, yoga, etc., play an important role in alleviating stress. Over-the-counter medications that help lower the stress also work great.
- Ice Packs: Ice packs can be used to reduce the inflammation since they create numbness in the affected area.
- Hot Packs: Sometimes, hot packs are used to enhance the circulation of blood in the affected area, which in turn helps loosen up the muscle tissues.
- Traction Devices: Under the guidance of your physician, traction devices can be opted for if there is constant back pain due to muscle spasm. These devices promote unloading of the spine.
- Back Braces: Back braces are suggested by doctors when the back muscle spasm causes an injury, leading to instability of the spinal column. Soft back braces can protect muscles and prevent oncoming muscle fatigue.
- Nutritional Aid: The body's natural healing process is dependent on the supply of vitamins and minerals through food. Also, the defense system of the body works well when there is adequate supply of essential nutrients. Therefore, a healthy diet is essential for quick recovery.
- Medications: You can take over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen. They can lower the pain; however, it is better to consult your doctor before using any of these medicines to avert any side effects.
- Shoes: Ill-fitted shoes can cause spasms and back pain. Therefore, check the weight, size, and shape of your shoes.
- Posture: Various professions lead to sudden contractions of the back muscles as they involve wrong postures. An improper position while working on a computer increases the chances of having back pain due to muscle spasm. You cannot change the profession; however, you can be more careful about your posture while working.
Disclaimer: This HolisticZine article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.