Why Do I Have Back Spasms?

Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: September 24, 2018

Back Spasms

Back spasms can range from mildly annoying to downright debilitating, and they aren’t always easy to treat. The main reason why back spasms can be tough to treat is that there are a couple different root causes of spasms, so if you’re not treating the underlying problem, the spasms aren’t going to go away.

There are three common causes of back spasms, each with their own subsets and specificities. We explore those common causes and share some treatment tips in today’s blog.

Common Causes of Back Spasms

If you’re suffering from back spasms, your root cause likely falls under one of these three categories.

  1. Underlying Anatomical Problem – If stretching exercises and light physical therapy don’t help the spasms subside, there’s a chance that spasms are a symptom of a larger anatomical issue. Some examples of spine conditions that can cause your back to spasm include spinal stenosis, disc herniation, facet joint osteoarthritis or degenerative disc disease. When pain or inflammation is coming from an anatomical problem, your back muscles will instinctively react to this discomfort with a spasm. Treating the underlying problem should rectify the spasms.
  2. Protection – Back spasms can also occur after an injury to the nearby soft tissues, like the ligament, tendon or muscle. These spasms are usually a little easier to treat with basic conservative care, like rest, anti-inflammatories, and controlled exercise and stretching. When a soft tissue injury causes the spasm, they usually subside within a week or two with conservative care.
  3. Dehydration and Fatigue – Finally, dehydration and muscle fatigue are common reasons why back muscles spasm. When the muscle has been overstressed or loses fluid that helps aid in movement, it can actually go into a hyperactive state, which involves forceful contraction or spasming of the muscle. Rest and hydration are great ways to combat back spasms caused by fatigue or water loss, but you still might feel pain and discomfort in the area for a couple days depending on how long your muscles were in a hypermobile state.

If you’re suffering from back spasms and want to rule out an underlying anatomical problem as your root cause, consider reaching out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.

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