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Back muscle spasms.
We’ve all got struggles, mine is my back. See, a few years ago I was driving home after a long day at the gym. And a careless driver slammed into my car. My Prius. Priuses are small. So I suffered a major impact.
Sure I saved a lot of money on gas since my one-way commute was 40 mins. But my back is still paying for that accident years later.
Many of my recent clients have a similar story to mine. Most of them tell me that after their injury they have suffered from muscle spasms that come and go. And in some cases, they stick around for a couple of weeks.
I know how they feel. Here are a few things you can do to alleviate muscle spasms whether you were also involved in an accident, suffered a sports injury, or just sneezed the wrong way.
Muscle spasms can cause twitching and pain
When your muscle does an involuntary movement or twitches causing it to knot up or cramp up, you might have a spasm. The muscles contract and in some cases the muscle tears.
Many times this gets painful. You can feel a sharp pain or a dull pain, this depends on how severe it is. But you’ll know when it hits you. At the touch of the site, you’ll feel like a hardball.
Muscle spasms happen for different reasons
Muscle spasms happen when you aren’t getting all the right nutrients in your body. It can also happen when you are overtraining or not resting enough. Or like in my case, from injuries.
A lot of times when you work, like sitting at your desk, your muscles will get very tight which can cause spasm. This also happens when you do repetitive movements like when you work in a construction site or warehouse.
How long does it take to relieve?
It takes about a few minutes to a week to feel relief, depending on the severity of the case.
Apply heat or a cold press to your back muscle spasms
When you get a spasm you can take some anti-inflammatory pills. You can also apply a heating pad, or ice to alleviate.
The heating pad allows more blood flow into the muscle. The cold press alleviates the swelling around the muscle.
Usually, with a muscle spasm, the muscle gets inflamed and stiff. The heat or ice will help.
Get relief and get rid of future spasms
Once you alleviate the spasm do a self-check:
✔️Are you eating nutritious healthy foods?
✔️Are you resting enough in between workouts?
✔️Are you drinking enough water? (Make sure you get electrolytes)
✔️Are you getting enough sleep?
If you suffer from severe and constant spasms, get with your doctor. You may have an underlying issue that is more serious.
Otherwise, go through the self-check and make sure you are taking care of yourself and resting.
Then to keep the spasms away do this:
✔️Do exercise that won’t impact the area with the spasms but that will strengthen the area.
Add SMR and Exercises for relief
You can do SMR on the spot that spasms for about 5 minutes to 30 minutes. In my experience, I’ve done 45 mins of SMR just to get rid of the spasm. It goes away within a day or two.
SMR - apply heat or rest first, wait about 24 hours.
You can use a foam roller or softball or lacrosse ball. Slowly go into that area (it will be very tender). Stay there for about 5 mins to 30 mins.
Foam roll your glute max area, piriformis, glute medius and minimus, TLF, psoas, a little bit of the QL a few days later.
Some exercises you can do:
Figure out what is causing your back spasm, then you can do a specific core exercise to help strengthen your back.
⊗8 point plank
⊗Squat to Row
⊗Ball chest press
A fantastic resource to read - if none of these causes apply to you, is the Low Back Pain Fact Sheet by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Or you can download their PDF here. PDF version: Low Back Pain (pdf, 393 kb)
If you are having some back pain, download this free ebook for some stretches.
Thanks for reading!
Avoid Future Spasms
Corrective Exercise Specialist
Rafael has been in the health and fitness industry since 2006. He is certified by the NASM & insured.
Areas of Expertise
Joint Pain Relief, Post-Rehab Personal Training, Posture Correction, Weight Loss, Nutrition, Strength Training, Core and Balance, Flexibility and Mobility, Muscle Gain, Posture, TRX, Functional Training, Myofascial Release, Cardiovascular Conditioning, Injury Prevention, Stress Reduction, Corrective Exercise, Golf