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Physical Therapy For Back Spasm Relief

Written By Jill Sippos, MPT on April 6, 2018

Physical Therapy For Back Spasm Relief



Why Is My Back Spasming?


Back Spasm Treatment Physical Therapy Bozeman MontanaOne minute you are sipping your coffee and the next moment you bend over to tie your shoe and BAM- a severe muscle spasm in your back sends you doubled over in pain, unable to stand up straight and maybe even heading to the Emergency Room. Unfortunately, a sudden onset of muscle spasm in the back is a common occurrence, but knowing what to do in the event of an episode will help you feel better and hopefully avoid a trip to the ER.


What Causes Muscle Spasm?

Spasms of the back muscles are common and are most often due to overuse and muscle fatigue, and may also be related to dehydration and electrolyte abnormalities. Back spasms typically occur after a strain or injury to the soft tissues of the abdomen, hips, pelvis and spine, which include the muscles, tendons, fascia or ligaments. Injury may present itself suddenly as the muscles are trying to protect themselves or other sensitive tissues from movements that could stress or further injure, but not always do the symptoms present right away.

Sometimes back muscle spasms are related to an underlying anatomical problem such as facet joint osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis or a disc injury. In the case of an anatomical problem, the muscle instinctively reacts to the pain and inflammation by going into a spasm to limit movement, guard, or protect the area.


What Do I Do if I Experience a Muscle Spasm?


  1. Lie flat on your back with your legs elevated.
  2. Take slow steady deep breaths in and out and try to relax your back muscles. Do not take shallow breaths. It may take several minutes or even longer for the pain to start to decrease.
  3. Use ice for the first 24 to 72 hours. Use a protective cover and apply for 20 minutes every 1-2 hours.
  4. After 72 hours, apply moist heat for 20 minutes every 1-2 hours. You may also alternate ice and moist heat if you prefer.
  5. Attempt to slowly straighten up in small increments.
  6. Once you are able to stand up straight try to perform some light stretching. See end of blog for some gentle stretches to try at home.


If your back is still painful after 1-2 weeks or if you are having recurring episodes of back muscle spasms, please schedule an appointment for a physical therapy evaluation. The Physical Therapy Team at Pro Physio can help you find relief from your back spasms. In our office we will provide a comprehensive examination to develop a plan of care personalized for you. Your treatment may include some or all of the following.


  1. Spinal decompression or traction therapy
  2. Relaxing pain relief modalities such as ultrasound or muscle e-stim
  3. Manual therapy to decrease pain and improve soft tissue and joint health
  4. Therapeutic exercises to improve strength and flexibility
  5. Home exercise program to prevent the muscle spasms from occurring in the future






At Home Muscle Spasm Physical Therapy

Back Spasm Exercises Physical Therapy Bozeman Belgrade Montana

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This informational blog is brought to you by the Belgrade Physcial Therapy Professionals at Pro Physio. Please do not hesitate to call our office if you have any questions or would like to schedule Back Spasm Physical Therapy. (406) 388-8118.

Posted In: Low Back Physical Therapy

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