A back spasm is sudden tightness and pain in your back muscles. It may happen from overuse or an injury. Things like sleeping in an awkward way, bending, lifting, standing, or sitting can sometimes cause a spasm. But the cause isn't always clear.
Home treatment includes using heat or ice, taking over-the-counter (OTC) pain medicines, and avoiding activities that may cause back pain.
For a back spasm that doesn't get better with home care, your doctor may prescribe medicine. Treatments such as massage or manipulation may also help ease a back spasm. Your doctor may also suggest exercise or physiotherapy to help improve strength and flexibility in your back muscles.
In most cases, getting back to your normal activities is good for your back. Just make sure to avoid doing things that make your pain worse.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: November 29, 2017
Steven J. Atlas, MD, MPH - Internal Medicine
& Joan Rigg, PT, OCS - Physical Therapy
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