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Back spasms can occur when a muscle is over stimulated by the nervous system, or if a muscle is trying to compensate for a problem in a joint, muscles, tendons, or ligaments. Spasms of the skeletal muscles can also occur due to electrolyte imbalances and dehydration. Spasms occur abruptly, are painful, and usually short-lived. Long term compensations and overuse of these muscles can occur with routine daily activities like shoveling snow, mowing, raking, working out, picking up children, and gardening. Injuries could also be the result of a fall or motor vehicle accident. When muscles are overused to compensate for an underlying problem for an extended period of time the muscle cells run out of energy and fluid and become hyper-excitable, resulting in irritability leading to a forceful contraction.


Particularly vulnerable to these occurrences are muscles that are affected by vertebral subluxations. This is a condition where a bone in the spine called a vertebrae is misaligned and puts pressure on the nerves exiting the spine in that area. This condition causes malfunction in cells, tissues, or organs supplied by that particular nerve, which can lead to back pain and back spasms in the skeletal muscles that are being asked to do excessive work. There is acute onset of pain as the muscle contracts. A bulging, tight muscle may be seen or felt underneath the skin where the muscle is located. Most often, the spasm resolves spontaneously after a few seconds, though it may last many minutes or longer. Usually, those affected will feel the need to stretch or massage the muscle involved, thus relieving the back spasm and temporarily resolving the episode until a chiropractic adjustment is available.

Living with back spasms can be debilitating and completely unnecessary. The best strategy to help treat back spasms, and a myriad of other back and health problems, is to see a qualified chiropractor. One of the basic foundations of chiropractic care is “vitalism” – recognizing that the human body has an innate ability to heal itself, called innate healing intelligence, and does not rely on symptom treatments like drugs or surgery.


Risk of back spasms are increased in people who have:

  • Subluxations (vertebral misalignment causing nerve pressure)

  • Dehydration and/or electrolyte imbalances

  • Weak/inflexible muscles along the spine

  • Weak stomach muscles

  • A pelvis that tips forward more than normal

  • Tight hamstrings

  • Poor posture

  • Work in a hot or humid environment

  • Decreased muscle mass

  • Pregnancy

  • Diabetes, nerve, liver, or thyroid disorders


If you suffer from back spasms, you do not have to resort to drugs or injections with dangerous side effects to relieve your pain. Not only can these become habit forming, but they only momentarily treat your symptoms. An effective treatment for back spasms is to visit a chiropractor. We can analyzes your health history, examine your skeletal system, and provide recommendations to not merely relieve your symptoms, but to cure the root cause of your problem.

If you are experiencing back pain, please contact us to see how we can help!

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