4 Non-Invasive Ways to Help Relieve Back Muscle Spasms

If you experience tension, pain, or cramping in your lower back, you may be having muscle spasms. These abnormal contractions can range from an uncomfortable feeling to a debilitating, immobilizing condition. Whether you are dealing with minor pain or extreme discomfort, you are probably wondering what causes muscle spasms.

According to Healthline, they can occur as a result of daily habits or a health condition. Some people get them from heavy lifting or twisting, while others have them due to arthritis or a ruptured spinal disc. Whatever the reason for your symptoms, it is essential to your wellness for you to find back pain relief.

Muscle spasm

The following solutions can help you to relieve back muscle spasms without a surgical procedure. While you will feel better, you will also avoid downtime due to recovery after surgery. After all, says the Mayo Clinic, conservative back treatment methods are considered by doctors to be the first line of defense for back pain and tension.

1. Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medications

One option for relieving back muscle spasms is taking an over-the-counter (OTC) medication. According to Spine-Health, the most commonly recommended choices are the anti-inflammatories ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and naproxen. They are all known to reduce cramps and discomfort, but some doctors prefer certain formulas over others. A physician may select ibuprofen because it has both pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. However, this medicine can be hard on the stomach.

Naproxen may also need to be taken with food, but it tends to last longer than ibuprofen. Acetaminophen does not help for swelling but can be effective for tension and discomfort. Some OTC pain relievers can interact with other medications. They can also be inappropriate for people living with certain health conditions. If you have questions about the right medicine for your needs, talk to your doctor. A general practitioner or family doctor can help you choose the formula that will help relieve spasms without concerns or extra side effects.

2. Heat or Ice Therapy

When you are having muscle spasms, both heat or ice therapy can help to reduce lower back tension and pain. Try alternating between heat and ice for the most relief. First, start with a heating pad. You can also use a hot water bottle wrapped in a soft towel. Apply it to your lower back area on a low or moderate temperature for up to 20 minutes at a time. Next, wrap an ice pack, a bag full of ice cubes, or a frozen bag of vegetables in a cloth. Apply it to your lumbar area for 10-20 minutes.

You can use both of these therapies a few times per day. Just be sure that both the heat and ice do not directly touch the skin. If you are using a heating pad, it is also important to shut it off after use. Falling asleep while engaging in heat therapy can cause burns to the skin or even cause a fire hazard.

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3. Massage Therapy  

While massage therapy is relaxing, it is also good for the body. A neuromuscular massage can be particularly effective at relieving cramping and pain in the lower back. During each treatment session, your therapist will apply pressure to the muscles of the lumbar area with their elbows, fingers, and/or knuckles. The same amount of pressure will be held on each area for 10-30 seconds at a time. This practice encourages the muscles to relax. It also encourages the right amount of blood flow and oxygen throughout the lower back area.

Throughout your massage, the deep tissue pressure will also release lactic acid from the body. Since a buildup of lactic acid can make muscles sore after physical activity, deep pressure will help to make your back feel more comfortable and energized. If you are interested in a neuromuscular massage, look for a therapist who has experience in this area. If you are under professional care for your spasms, it may also be a good idea to get a recommendation from your doctor.

4. Laser Light Therapy

A cutting-edge treatment option for lower back pain known as photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT), formerly often referred to as low-level light therapy or LLLT, is also shown to help relieve muscle spasms in the lower back. Wearing a laser therapy device for as little as 30 minutes per day can help to reduce your discomfort and tension while also helping to enhance function in your lumbar area.

man with curavi belt working

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Relieving Your Back Spasms

Back spasms can be uncomfortable. If they recur often enough, they can even affect your quality of life. Thankfully, there are many convenient ways to care for yourself. Staying consistent with your treatment and talking to your doctor when you have questions can help you to feel better and stay on track. Once you find the right method of therapy for your muscle spasms, you can use it anytime you experience back pain or tension.

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