At some point, nearly everyone will suffer from some temporary form of upper back spasms. These painful, annoying spasms of the upper back cause a tightening of the muscles and restrict mobility in that area to a certain degree. While upper back spasms can be painful at times, they are also mostly temporary and can be easily treated through a variety of means.
Generally speaking, upper back spasms are caused by spontaneous contractions of the muscle groups located just below the neck area, but above the mid-torso. These contractions are often abnormal in nature and are usually caused by a response to injury or more typically muscle strain. We often get upper back spasms when standing too quickly or perhaps turning in an unusual direction which causes our back muscles to “hitch” or stop suddenly, then start again. The pain generated from the spasms can last for a couple of days, but the more serious effects can wear off in a much shorter time period.
Treatment for upper back spasms starts with rest. By taking pressure off the upper back, the pain will be reduced and the muscles will start to heal and return to their normal state. Resting is generally the most common method of dealing with upper back spasms. However, muscles that are out of shape are generally more susceptible to having spasm attacks and following a simple exercise program may reduce the painful effects of muscles spasms and even prevent some from occurring.
Other typical treatments for upper back spasms include stretching, exercise and using over the counter medication. Aspirin for example can be an effective medication as it helps increase blood flow and lessen the stiffness often associated with upper back spasms. Stretching will help loosen the affected muscle areas as well, though it is advisable to keep from “bouncing” as this might cause even more pain. Slow, steady stretches will help alleviate the pain. Exercise itself does not have to be direct to the upper back. Even brisk walking will help increase blood flow and reduce the pain.
Another effective treatment is to apply heat to that particular region, generally through a bag or pad that generates heat to loosen and relax the muscles groups. Also, massage can be effective as well in breaking up tight muscle group areas and increasing blood flow. All in all, there are a number of simple, effective means of treating back spasms of this nature.
Some upper back spasms have other causes, from poor posture to a vitamin deficiency. Re-occurring upper back spasms may have one of these causes. By improving posture or simply taking an over the counter multi-vitamin may significantly reduce the number of upper back spasms that might happen.
Preventing all instances of upper back spasms is arguably not a practical goal as even those in the best physical condition may suffer instances of muscle spasms. But following a practical exercise program, doing simple stretches and eating a healthy diet can significantly reduce the occurrences of upper back spasms.