A muscle spasm occurs when a part of the body has been injured and the muscles tighten (contract) around the injury to protect and prevent further injury. Muscle spasms may produce a painful feeling like a severe cramp or contraction.
Multiple factors can cause a muscle spasm:
- Injury or trauma to the muscle such as after a fall or a hit
- Overuse of the muscle causing fatigue
- When a muscle stays in one position for too long
Over 70% of adults have at least one episode of back spasm or pain in their lifetime.
Your physical therapist has lots of tools to help relieve your muscle spasms and prevent recurrence:
- Manual techniques such as soft tissue mobilization and trigger point release to release the spasm and relax the muscle
- Stretches to elongate the muscle, increase range of motion, and relieve pain
- Exercises to strengthen and stabilize the muscle and surrounding joints
- Modalities like heat, ice, or electric stimulation to relieve pain