Orthopedic Treatment For Back Spasm

Back spasm refers to the sudden, involuntary muscle contractions that lead to sharp pain in the lower back. A spasm is considered to be a natural mechanism through which the muscles protect themselves from the external or internal stress to any part of the body.

In the back, a spasm may be an indicator of either an underlying condition or injury to any of the spinal structures. It requires immediate medical attention and if left untreated, may result in permanent physical disability.


  • Anatomical conditions such as Herniated Disc, Spinal Stenosis, Osteoarthritis of the spine, Spondylolysis or Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Overuse injuries
  • Poor postural habits
  • Direct injury to the spine
  • Sports injuries
  • Vehicular accidents
  • Dehydration as well as deficiency of calcium and potassium
  • Lifting heavy weights
  • Spinal abnormalities, such as Kyphosis and Lordosis
  • Weak muscles along the spine and stomach


  • Sudden tightening of the back muscles
  • Dull or severe pain
  • Limited range of motion
  • Pain may be felt even while resting
  • Tingling sensation in the back, upper or lower extremities
  • Uncontrolled bladder and bowel movements
  • Numbness


  • The patient may be questioned about the duration and onset of the pain, routine activities, occupation, past injuries, medications etc.
  • Palpation may be done to identify the exact location of the pain
  • The patient may be asked to perform some physical movements to identify the positions that increase pain
  • X-ray imaging may be done to analyze the bone structure
  • MRI and CT scan may help to diagnose problems in the soft tissue as well as vertebrae


The aim of the treatment is to allow the affected muscles and soft tissues to heal naturally. For this, an orthopedic doctor may recommend the following treatment options:

  • Lie down on your back and keep the upper part of the body slightly elevated using pillows
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines and muscle relaxants may help to relieve pain
  • Applying ice packs at regular intervals to the affected part may help to reduce inflammation
  • Performing light exercises may help to improve blood circulation within the spine and promote healing
  • Using heat pads may provide immediate relief from muscle stress
  • Avoiding activities such as lifting weights, bending, twisting etc. may prevent aggravated pain and discomfort
  • Physical therapy may be required to promote muscle strength, flexibility as well as prevent recurring flare ups in the future

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