Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Do I have back spasms?"

ZocdocAnswersDo I have back spasms?


Sometimes when I am in bed my back will tighten up really bad in the lower part, but then it goes away. Then an hour later, the same thing will happen again. Is this back spasms? How can I treat them?


Yes, it is possible that you are suffering from back spasms. Spasms are abnormal contractions of muscles that occur involuntarily. They can occur in any muscle, but it is often a spasm of the lower back muscles that leads patients to visit their doctors due to the level of pain that can accompany such a condition. Spasms can last for minutes to hours, and tend to occur in muscles that are put under an abnormal strain or stress, which can lead to inflammation. An often encountered scenario in the primary care setting is lower back pain experienced by individuals who start to exercise after a long period of inactivity. Treatment in the early phase of back spasms is conservative, with avoidance of strenuous activity, heat, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (such as Ibuprofen). If spasms continue despite conservative measures, then muscle relaxants such as Valium may be prescribed by your primary care doctor. If you have any concerns about your back or are continuing to have pain from muscle spasms, you should talk to your primary care doctor, who can come up with an accurate diagnosis and plan your treatment accordingly.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.