Written By: Vicco Labs
First aid for a painful back muscle spasm: When your back goes into spasm, the first step is to get some immediate relief from the intense pain. The initial goal of treating the muscle spasm is to get the muscle to relax, thus relieving the pain. Some effective treatments include:
Muscle relaxants : These are prescription medications that do not directly target the muscles; rather, they have an overall relaxing affect on your body. They are typically only prescribed if there is intense, acute pain, and only on a short-term basis. Some examples of muscle relaxants medications include Valium and Flexeril.
Cold therapy: Applying ice wrapped in a protective sheath or towel, or a cold pack, to the painful part of your back is another way to help relieve an acute flare up of pain. As a general guideline, cold therapy will help reduce local inflammation, which in turn contributes to relieving pain. You can use a commercial ice pack or make one yourself. For example, you can put some ice or frozen vegetables into a baggie, add some water to smooth out the lumps, double bag to prevent leaking, cover it in a towel to protect your skin from ice burn, and apply it to the painful area of your back.
Reduce stress on your back: For a severe muscle spasm, you may find movement is too painful and you need to rest. When you rest, you can reduce stress on your lower back by laying on your back in bed with your upper body supported at a slight incline and a pillow propped under your knees, or sitting at an incline in a reclining chair with your legs supported and knees slightly bent.
Walk as much as possible: To whatever extent possible, try to get up and move as much as possible. For example, this could mean a day of mainly rest, followed by a day that includes several short walks around the house, followed by a day with a short walk every hour or half hour, or longer walks as tolerated. Prolonged inactivity will stiffen your muscles and will likely lead to more pain. In general, walking is gentle on your back and promotes blood flow, which in turn helps speeds the healing process.
If your spasm has occurred as a result of an overuse injury or muscle strain, these measures will get you through the relatively small amount of time it will take for the muscle to heal and go back to normal.
On the other hand, if your spasm is occurring in response to an underlying spine or disc dysfunction, these treatments will help treat the pain, but the underlying cause of the problem will still need to be addressed.
Whatever the cause of your back muscle spasm, after the acute pain has resolved you will want to consider physical therapy, as usually a controlled, progressive exercise program that is tailored to fit your needs will
give you the best chance of avoiding a future flareup of pain.