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In discussing back muscle spasms, it’s important to remember that sometimes spasms of the muscle in the back is just the spasm of the muscle. And when I say that, what I mean is muscles have their own intrinsic protective mechanisms. A muscle has a mechanism by which it senses the extent to which it is extended (or stretched out) or the speed at which it’s stretched out. So, if either one exceeds a particular threshold, the muscle reacts by contracting and protecting itself. Essentially it is protecting itself from tearing or being damaged otherwise.

Those muscle spasms tend to recover within a week to two weeks with appropriate interventions and appropriate rest. What’s important to remember is that the muscle spasm that doesn’t recover or tends to recur with usual methods can be a sign of another underlying problem, and it’s important to remember that a variety of different things can cause that muscle spasm to recur. For instance, pain stemming from the facet joints, those hinge joints in the lumbar spine, or the disc—either herniated disc or ruptured disc or essentially pain coming from that disc—will cause an instinctive contraction of those muscles, and essentially the muscle spasm. Now those muscle spasms will tend to come back. And some of us will experience that in our lifetime at times. You sit in the warm bath, and the muscles relax, only to return as soon as we get out and start moving around. So, those are the muscle spasms that need to be looked at deeper and evaluated for what is actually causing those muscle spasms, what’s driving that muscle spasm.

In treating back muscle spasms, it is very important to diagnose the underlying problem. The treatment should be directed at the underlying problem. Unless the underlying problem is evaluated, discovered, and treated, the muscle back spasms will tend to recur.

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