Back spasms are painful contractions or cramps in the muscles of the back. The pain can be the result of overdoing it during an athletic workout or as simple as just moving wrong while getting out of bed or performing a household chore. According to the Sports Injury Bulletin, most back spasms affect the lower area of the back. You can alleviate the pain of a muscle cramp in the back through home remedies.
Ice the area that hurts to relieve the pain of a back spasm. Apply an ice pack in a massaging motion to your back—you may need the help of a family member to reach the right spot—for a period of 12 minutes, according to Sports Injury Bulletin. The cold not only eases the pain but can reduce inflammation within the muscle and surrounding tissues. You can ice the painful area throughout the day, taking a 20-minute break between icing sessions.
Take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to treat a back spasm at home. Most spasms that occur without ligament tearing can be helped by medications you probably already have in your medicine cabinet.
Do some gentle stretching to strengthen your lower back, which can both relieve and prevent muscle cramps, according to MedlinePlus. Pelvic tilts, also called pelvic presses, strengthen the lower part of your back and increases your flexibility.
Lie down on the floor or a bed with your arms straight down beside you. Tighten your stomach muscles, gently pushing the small of your back down against the floor. Hold the position for several seconds—up to 12 seconds is ideal if you can—before relaxing.
Perform leg lifts to strengthen your back and core and to help loosen up tight muscles that spasm often. Lie on the floor or a bed. Lift your right arm and left leg up as high as you can, keeping both limbs straight. Hold the position as long as you can before returning to your original position. Repeat the exercise with your left arm and right leg. Two sets of 10 repetitions of this exercise is adequate, according to the Sports Injury Bulletin.
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Though stretching can help back spasms, wait until your pain has subsided from its worst before starting the stretches.