When you exert a lot of energy or strain the muscles of the back, it is quite natural to have back spasms. Some of the work we do around, such as heavy load lifting, or even working out, or taking part in high sporty activities too can lead to back spasms.
You are more prone to the attack when the body is not hydrated well, which is why before you start your workout, your gym instructor would always ask you to sip some water. Medically speaking, back spasms also happen when the amounts of calcium or potassium in the body are at its lowest.
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Talking about the causes of the back spasm, it can happen because of injuries to a muscle, to the tendons or to the back’s ligaments as well. And there could also be a relation to very serious medical conditions too, say experts.
One of the commonest reasons would be that of heavy lifting. When there is a huge amount of strain on the muscles of the back and the lower back ligaments, an injury can be caused. Even sports such as golf and football can lead to the cause of back spasms too. This is because such activities need the back to turn fast and rapidly on repeat.
If you also have weak abdominal muscles, experts say your back could be attacked by spasms. The abdominal muscles should be strong, or else they can injure fast and easy.
Even if you have arthritis or if the disk in the spine is ruptured, you could have back spasms. If there is arthritis in the lower back, there would be immense pressure on the spinal cord, say experts. And this could be a cause of pain near the back of your legs.
Diagnosis of Back Spasms
When you go to a doctor to seek help with back spasms, you would be asked to get an X-RAY done. This is needed to check if there is arthritis or if there is a bone fracture.
Some doctors may also ask you to get an MRI scan done or a CT scan so that a better look is given to the muscles and the other soft tissues around. These would be scans that help identify what the possible problem areas are and to check the disk and the blood supply to that area too.
What the Doctor must know
When you do meet your doctor, you must let them know how severe the pain is, and how often it gets flared up.
If there is a home remedy for lower back spasms that you use for relief, let him or her know that as well.
When the pain started and how long you have been suffering from the same. Your doctor needs to know everything in detail. And do let them know if you are involved in a heavy strenuous work activity or play heavy-duty sports as well. This will help the doctor do the right diagnosis and to determine if there is a muscle injury to care for or not.
Back Spasms Exercises?
Yes, there are certain exercises and home cure for back spasms. Today we shall discuss the same with you. Please read on and be well-informed.
The Knee-to-Chest exercise
This is a stretching exercise and one of the best home treatments for back spasms, where the muscles of the back and the hips are worked up.
- Lie on your back first.
- Bend your knees while lying flat on your back.
- Begin by bringing the right leg towards the chest first, and your hands should now be placed behind your thighs.
- While doing that, you should pull the leg closest to the chest as much as you can.
- Hold on to this position for around ten seconds, and then gently relax by releasing the leg.
- Repeat the same three to five times on the other leg, and continue.
Rotate your trunk
Trunk rotations can help work up the hips and the lower back.
- Lie flat on your back, and bend the legs at the knees. Your knees should touch one another while your feet are flat on the ground.
- Now get in position to contract the abdominal muscles, bringing your knees as much as possible to the right. You should hold on to this position for around five seconds.
- Now change and slowly bring the legs all the way to the left side, and hold on to this position for around five seconds.
- On each side, you shall do this ten times or with ten repetitions.
- Your legs should always be together, as you move from one side to another. And your feet should be touching the floor at all times.
- The twisting motion mostly happens from the hips, so your back does not have to move.
The prone back exercise
With Prone back exercise, the flexibility of the lower back becomes better.
- For this home treatment for back spasms, you would need to lie face down.
- Your elbows need to touch the floor, while you raise your upper body above the surface of the floor.
- Now gently place your palms on the floor and try lifting the entire abdomen off the surface of the floor, and at the same time try straightening your arms as well.
- Now arch your spine backwards gently while you are in this position. This helps stretch the lower back. Hold onto this position for half a minute and repeat thrice.
Here are 10 Simple Home Remedies For Back Spasms.
10 Simple Home Remedies For Back Spasms
1. Get a lot of rest
The moment you feel the attack of a back spasm, you should stop whatever it is that you are doing and seek some rest.
You must get into bed slowly and very carefully, or even sit on a comfortable chair or just lie down and be immobile for some time. You can even use pillows and cushions for support, and breathe deep to stay relaxed. In some cases, people put pillows under the legs to elevate the limbs, which is fine.
This helps reduce the pressure on the spine, and brings relief from the pain too. Rest should be taken as much as possible for around one or two days, experts say. You don’t have to be completely on bed for these one or two days, but don’t indulge in heavy work which can trigger the back spasms again.
2. Try using Epsom salt
The occurrence of muscle spasms also happens when the magnesium levels in the body are low. Hence, if you have low magnesium levels, chances are that you would have back spasms as well. You can try using epsom salt in this case, because it has magnesium in it.
The magnesium in epsom salts help relax the muscles and heal the body. However, always remember to wait for two days or forty eight hours before you use the epsom salt. If you have heart problems, diabetes or blood pressure, using epsom salt is not advised.
- To use epsom salt, you would need to fill the tub with warm water first.
- To this, you shall add a cup of epsom salt and then gently stir it into the water.
- You must now soak yourself in this water for half an hour max.
- This bath will help reduce the pains and it should be done once a day until the spasms decline.
3. Try using chamomile
An ancient medicinal herb, chamomile can bring down the uneasiness caused by muscle spasms in the lower back. Chamomile has plenty of flavonoids in it, which has anti-inflammatory properties that bring down the pains. It also has the properties to soothe and calm and to relax the body, which helps the muscle tissues heal faster as well.
- To use chamomile, you would need a few drops of its oil, mixed with two tablespoons of carrier oil, such as coconut oil.
- Massage the area which is affected three to four times a day.
- You can also prepare cups of chamomile tea and drink it thrice a day, which helps relax the muscles of the back that are sore.
4. Are you drinking enough water?
You should know that one of the reasons why we have muscle spasms of the back is because of dehydration. Even when the electrolyte balance in the body is poor, muscle spasms can happen, especially in the lower back region. You need to rehydrate your body as much as possible to help solve the problem to a large extent. You should try having fruits and veggies that have plenty of water content in them. And there are even sports drinks that have electrolytes in them, which helps balance the electrolytes in the body.
5. Do try a cold compress
It is a conservative treatment no doubt, but one that works. Applying cold compresses to the affected area can help bring down back spasms to a large extent. The cold compress is most effectively used within the first twenty-four to seventy-two hours. In doing so, the inflammation is reduced and the pains are brought down to a large extent. With cold compresses, the muscles are forced to shrink, and this stops any energy from feeding the spasm as well.
- What you need to do is to wrap in a thin cotton towel a couple of ice cubes.
- The cotton towel should be placed on the affected area for around fifteen minutes.
- This should be repeated every hour for the first twenty-four to forty-eight hours.
6. You can use moist heat
When the first seventy hours are gone after the muscle spasm has happened, you can apply moist heat on the area affected, which will bring plenty of relief from the spasms and pains. This is because the heat would help expand the blood vessels and increase circulation as well to the affected area. When the muscles are warmed up, they would stretch and expand.
- What you need to do here is to soak a towel in lukewarm water, and squeeze it out.
- Now place the moist warm towel on the affected area for around ten minutes.
- This should be repeated three to five times in the day, and for two to three days at a stretch.
7. Get a holistic massage
A simple holistic massage can take care of the back muscle spasms too.
One must gently massage the sides and the length of the back and the lower back, which will help the muscles relax slowly. A good massage when done well will help improve the blood flow to the affected area.
- Ask someone to apply lukewarm coconut or olive oil onto the area which is affected.
- Massage should be done with gentle and long strokes, on the area for around ten to fifteen minutes.
- Once the massage is done, the area should be wrapped up with a warm moist towel.
- This should be done thrice a day for two days continuously.
8. Use yellow mustard
Although science has yet to prove that yellow mustard can do wonders to bring down the spasm pains, there are many that swear by the consumption of yellow mustard to get relief from muscle spasms. It could be because of the nerves in the mouth being stimulated, which influences the nerves that cause the spasm.
Just one teaspoon is more than enough once a day, or else it would harm the digestive tract.
9. Apply cayenne pepper topically
There is capsaicin in cayenne pepper, which is known to bring down inflammation and is an analgesic as well. This, in turn, can help bring down the muscle spasm pains. It is said when one applies cayenne pepper topically, a warming sensation is produced, which helps relax the muscles of the back that are tensed.
- To apply this concoction, one needs to add a tablespoon of lukewarm olive oil to a teaspoon of the spice’s powder.
- Mix it well and then apply the paste over the area which is affected.
- Gently massage the area for a minute and then rinse the area after half an hour.
- This is a remedy that should be used twice daily for complete recovery to happen.
- If the skin is broken or irritated, do not use this home remedy.
10. The hamstring stretch
It is in the back of your thighs where the hamstring muscles are mostly located. If they are not flexible, they would pull onto the lower back muscles. When there is too much pulling, it would cause the back muscles to spasm. With hamstring stretches, one can bring down the lower back strain and also the occurrence of back spasms too.
- To do the hamstring stretch, one would need to first sit on a flat surface.
- Now extend the right leg ahead of the body.
- The left leg should now be bent in such a way as to help it touch the inner part of the right thigh.
- Now stretch out your arms and lean ahead towards the right leg as much as you can.
- This position should be held for fifteen seconds and should have a repetition of three times too.
Some more tips to get relief from back spasms
- There are NSAIDS to use which are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and they help bring relief from spasms and pains of the lower back.
- One can even partake in physical therapy, and there are certified therapists who help bring relief from back spasms too
- You should walk as much as possible, which is helpful for the back and gentle too, and it also helps increase blood flow as well.
- Start working out if you have weight issues, are overweight or are obese, or try playing a sport which will help your body shape up and you get to lose weight too.
These were thus the 10 Simple Home Remedies For Back Spasms.
Please note, the information given here is purely through research and not the final word. You must consult a doctor if the back spasm problem persists for more than two days.
Comment below if you have any question?
[su_spoiler title=”Sources” style=”fancy” icon=”chevron-circle”]IMG: hopkinsmedicine.org