8 Ways to Help Alleviate Those Annoying Back Spasms
Back spasms are relatively common and are the involuntary contractions of the back muscles that are having a difficult time getting to a relaxed position. Spasms can occur in any muscle of the body and can cause sharp and intense pain in that specific region of the body. These spasms can last a few minutes, and some episodes can last weeks. When this occurs, the muscle may become rigid or stiff to the touch or may even appear twisted under the skin.
When a back spasm occurs, there are a few home remedies that may help alleviate the discomfort or pain. If the pain persists or becomes more severe, consult an expert back and spine specialist at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery for an evaluation of your unique condition.
At-Home Remedies That May Alleviate Back Spasms
When you are first experiencing pain and discomfort due to a back spasm, there are a few ways that you can choose to alleviate the sensation. These at-home remedies are worth trying when mitigating a back spasm episode:
1. Take a Hot Bath to Relax the Back Muscles
Taking a bath is beneficial during a back spasm episode because it increases blood flow to the affected area and relaxes the muscles in your back. Increasing blood flow to the area is important because blood carries vital nutrients and growth factors that your muscle might need. This may also speed up the recovery time from a muscle spasm. Alternatively, you can also use a hot pack on the affected area.
2. Apply Over-The-Counter Topical Cream to the Affected Area
A quick-relief solution to a muscle spasm is to apply over-the-counter topical creams to the affected area. These creams are used to combat muscle pain and may contain the following ingredients:
- Counterirritants such as menthol, wintergreen, and eucalyptus
- Salicylates, aspirin-like compounds
- Lidocaine, topical anesthetic
It is important to only use these topical creams in a thin layer, up to four times daily. The active ingredients in these creams can absorb into the bloodstream and cause side effects if overused.
3. Drink or Eat Electrolytes
Electrolytes are important when dealing with a back spasm because they include minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and potassium that can control muscle contractions in the body, including important muscles like your heart. Spasms may occur when these minerals are depleted due to things like stress or diet deficiency.
4. Massage the Back Muscle Experiencing the Spasm
Massaging the affected area can help loosen the muscle that is experiencing the spasm. Massages stretch the muscle and allow it to fully relax. Applying heat first can help the muscle relax before a massage. Getting massages as a preventive measure may also help reduce the frequency of muscle spasms.
Way to Prevent Future Back Spasms
There are many ways you can prevent or reduce back spasms from occurring in the future. Preventive measures are usually done routinely. These are specific ways you may prevent muscle spasms from becoming a regular occurrence:
5. Work Towards a Strong, Flexible Body
One of the best ways to prevent or reduce back spasms is to have a strong, flexible body. Specifically, a strong abdominal core can help support your back and can help in reducing the number of muscle spasms you experience. Some of the best exercises for improving core strength are:
Moving your body daily and keeping your muscles limber by stretching is a great way to prevent back spasms. If you are unsure which exercises are right for you, consult an experienced back and spine specialist at OLSS for guidance regarding your unique back condition.
6. Drink Water and Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is essential to preventing back spasms. If you stay dehydrated, it increases your chances of your muscles tensing up, seizing up, or spasming.
7. Consider Physical Therapy
Physical therapy can be beneficial in strengthening muscles to reduce the frequency of back spasms. It can bolster your spine alignment and keep your muscles properly engaged. Additionally, you may receive instructions on how to properly take care of your muscles at home after your physical therapy has ended.
8. Eat a Diet Full of Electrolytes
Eating a diet full of whole foods such as potatoes, avocados, spinach, meat, and eggs can help you get more electrolytes. Additionally, you may also be able to add salt to drinking water to add extra electrolytes to your diet.
Speak with a Back and Spine Specialist at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery Today
If your back spasms increase in frequency or your pain is intense and interfering with daily activities, it may be best to speak to a skilled back and spine specialist at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery for an evaluation of your unique back condition.
At OLSS, we understand that each patient is different and has a specific set of needs that should be treated with a customized treatment plan that is right for them. Our award-winning and compassionate medical professionals ensure that you walk out of our clinics thoroughly informed and understand every detail regarding the best treatment option for you and your full recovery. To speak with a back specialist about your back spasms, call (866)-646-5090 or fill out our contact form.