By Doctor of Physical Therapy, Matt Wanderscheid

Do you have or have you had back spasms? Read this!

  1. What are back spasms?
    • Back spasms are a very common and painful condition that occur when the muscles that run along the spine tighten up and do not let go. I think about them like a Charley horse in your back muscles. Not fun…
  2. What makes muscles spasm?
    • Back spasms can occur from too much activity, not enough activity, or sometimes for no apparent reason. We have seen them occur after laying landscape blocks all weekend (one of my recent patients) or even changing a baby’s diaper (my wife 3 days ago).
  3. What does it feel like?
    • Back spasms can often feel like a sharp, grabbing pain. Many times our patients say it’s a “take your breath away” type of pain that happens with certain movements, such as bending forward or turning to grab something. Dull, aching pain often continues between spasms.
  4. What do you do when you have a back spasm?
    • First and foremost, try to remain calm when spasms occur. Although they are extremely painful, they are not usually dangerous, and getting worked up may cause the spasms to worsen. It is important to move as tolerated, because laying in bed can make the muscles tighter and more painful when attempting to move later. As with most conditions in our body “motion is lotion” and non-painful movements tend to reduce muscle spasms faster than no movement at all.
  5. What about when spasms keep happening?
    • If back spasms are very painful, start to occur more frequently, or last longer than 24 hours, there is likely an underlying cause
      that should be addressed. If you would like us to look at your muscle spasms, please click here to sign up for a free exam. We can look at your pain and direct you on the best ways to address the cause and start getting immediate and long lasting relief!