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Back Pain - Muscle Spasms

Updated on November 9, 2010


Let me start off by first saying that in no way shape or form have I had any medical training. I am not a Doctor, Nurse or any type of research scientist. But I am human, and I can put two and two together. I pay attention to what is going on around me and others I meet.

My Theory

I have believed for many years now that the back pain that some suffer is from a virus, yes I said it a virus. Now before you jump to the end and yell at me, let me explain.

A Virus is something that lives within our bodies, something the we never quite fully get rid of, is always living right there under the surface. It attacks in certain areas, for instance a cold sore, it attacks the same place, the lips. A cold is a virus, the ‘Rhinovirus’ it attacks the same place all the time, in the head and chest area with varying degrees of severity.

In layman’s terms, who is to say we can’t get a ‘cold’ in our back? I don’t think the possibility has even been entertained by medical professionals. I have been waiting for scientists to announce that a lot of the back problems that face Americans (and others) is a Virus that lives with in our bodies and causes flare ups.

Do I have evidence to back up my theory? You betcha!

I think it's 'catchy'

Many years ago when I was newly married, my husband was outside swinging an axe, shopping lumber for my Dad’s wood pile. Out of the blue he went to his knees, his back had ‘gone out’. He was in severe pain and found it difficult to move. I got him inside and resting. We talked about it, he said hat he had been having back problems for years. He’d get over it in a few days. At the time he was just 29.

Over the years from time to time he would be working around, walking, reaching just moving in general when he would go to his knees. The pain being so severe he couldn’t move. It would last anywhere from 3 to 10 days and sometimes a bit longer.

Once he was tearing down a building in damp air, he went to his knees and couldn’t get up, an ambulance was called. The Doctors and Nurses were amazed, because he was thin they could actually ‘see’ his back spasming. They took the X-rays and MRI’s and stated at that time he had ‘Degenerative Disk Disease’. Surgery was discussed and quickly nixed. My husband didn’t want any part of that at all, he’d heard too many horror stories.

Shortly after this incidence I began to suffer from back spasm’s. The first one I got caused me to be in bed for a few days. The pain was intense, making it difficult to even use the bathroom. At times even causing me to get ‘stuck’ in places screaming for help.

For a while we each would have a back spasm within several weeks of once another. One year, after he and I each had our spasm’s and they were over and done with, we were in an office talking to a professional person regarding a different matter entirely. The Lady was having a back spasm, she was just about in tears with the pain. It was then that I brought out my theory.

Kind of like a cold

I felt that what is going on is like a virus, if you have it, it lives in your body and when conditions are right it will attack. Having a back ache is kind of like a toothache, once it hits you can’t do anything or concentrate until it goes away or at least subsides a little bit.

Think of when you are getting ready to get a cold. You can feel the symptoms coming on, the sneezing, a thickness in your head etc. When you are getting ready to have a back spasm, you can feel it coming on. Sometimes you take care in your movements, particularly if you have had them in the past, you try not to move in a certain way so it doesn’t hit.


He Opts for therapy

The last ‘serious’ back spasm my husband had was on a dock at work, he went again to his knees and was rushed to the hospital. They did the MRI and said again he needed surgery. Again he refused. They showed him on the films where the disks were going bone to bone in the lower back. He opted for therapy. This time he went 3 times a week for therapy and was shown how to exercise properly to help his back muscles.

He still has his back spasms from time to time and yes, he can feel them coming on. He takes it easy and doesn’t do anything too strenuous to trigger it. He now suffers from Sciatic nerve pain. It runs across his lower back into his butt cheek and down his leg into his calf muscle. Does it hurt? Yes it does, without a doubt. He does lower back exercises to ease the pain.

Our back spasms now have timed themselves so we have them together, so rather one then the other, we have them around the same time. His was from cleaning up the back yard the other day, and mine came two days later as I was cleaning out the closet. I did get the warning signs, though they were subtle.

It has hit yet again

It has been a long time since I have suffered back spasms, so I had forgotten the warning signs. Turning the wrong way in the closet brought them on. So now for the next few days I will have spasms, that come and go with their intensity, never really leaving but definitely able to get worse if I move wrong. Certainly it makes it difficult to catch my breath when I am in the throes of it.

The spasms are in varying degrees of intensity as well as in the places they settle. Usually when mine hit they are in my lower back, just above my buttock area. This time it is in the middle of the back to the left side. My husbands are usually in the lower back area. I have talked to several people over the years who suffer from this from time to time. They just call it ’back problems’.

Most people go to the Doctor when these hit, I’m not much for taking medicine so I stay at home and suffer through it. My husband has had prescriptions of all kinds to help, they really don’t do a lot other than make him oblivious to his surroundings.

So other than going to the ER and getting all doped up what can you do? If you can live through the pain without calling an ambulance, here are a few tips.

10 Tips to help you through it!

1. When the spasm is in a ‘relaxed’ mode (the best that can be said during this time) lay flat on your back on a hard surface, such as the floor. Make sure you are not alone, you may need help getting up. With your knees together, slowly bring them as close to your chest as possible and hold this position.

2. Gently try to ‘touch’ the floor with your right knee (keep those knees together) then your left knee. Going back and forth. You want to try to stretch those muscles out a bit.

3. Pull one knee at a time to your chest using your hands and hold for 10 seconds, repeat with the other knee.  Keep doing this for several minutes, this will stretch those muscles and pull them out a bit to help relax them.

4. Sitting up, curl into a ‘C’ position grasping your knees and hold.

5. Pregnancy exercises, that is the exercises that are given for women who are pregnant, are good to do at this time. When pregnant the lower back is under considerable stress, these exercises really do help.

6. Do not make any sudden or twisting movements. Try to keep all your movements fluid.

7. Do deep breathing exercises, in through the nose out through the mouth.

8. Drink plenty of water. Muscles will tighten if they don’t have enough water to keep them supplied.

9. Sleep with pillows in between your knees, to keep them on the same level as your hips.

10. Walk slowly and with measured steps, use another’s arm to help you if needed.

Listen to your body!


The spasms should only last a few days and you can get through this! Be aware of your body talking to you the next time it is ready to happen.


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    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 3 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Great hub and I love your tips. Very useful for us. I'll show this hub to my mom. Good job and voted up!


    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 3 years ago from Michigan

      You may have something else wrong deep inside - it is best to get it looked at. They may first do an xray and then a cat scan or MRI. Do everything your Dr. says to make it better and get you on your way to recovery!

    • profile image

      marcus morgan 3 years ago

      I picked up a box a month ago and pulled something in my back and it just hasn't gotten better. I am just wondering when is the right time to go get it looked at or wait until it gets better over time. I loved the ten tips to help it get better I am going to try this.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      That is good to know!! I'll have to look it up and see what I find. Thanks for stopping by to tell me,

    • profile image

      Happi 6 years ago

      Research in Britain confirms your theory, people were given antibiotics for three months and this eased Their suffering

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

      Well there is that!! I know I've been on a roller coaster of illnesses lately that are driving me nuts. Nothing too bad, just start feeling good then I get something new.

    • profile image

      ruby 6 years ago

      this is my experience: Just before Christmas I got a cold sore - just after Christmas I came down with a bad flu - a week into that my back went into spasms which is getting better (I think). I believe this all stems from a virus.

      Sometimes we let stress overcome us and our immune system can't handle it.

      Keep well

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      Actually if I could afford to go to a Chiropractor on a regular basis, I would!! The first time I went he gave me this lovely hug, I rippled, the bones doing what they would. Of course there were x-rays first, to make sure nothing was broken!! It didn't hurt that he was cute and smelled good either!! Then they hooked me up to a machine with some electrodes at levels that I could control. I had seriously bruised my tailbone, so I was in a lot of pain. I went about once a week for 12 weeks.

      You'll do fine! It may feel strange but I've never had one hurt me. If you need an adjustment, you will feel so much better afterward!!! Make sure you follow any instructions they give you.

      Best of luck to you! Let me know how it goes!!

    • profile image

      Jamie 7 years ago

      I am suffering my first lower back "episode" currently. This is my 2nd day of stationary bedrest and my 11 month old is pretty anxious for mommy to get up! I have calmed emotionally a great deal and am planning to see a chiropractor tomorrow if I can get to his office. I have never had a chiro adjustment and am a bit frightened.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      Yes, this seems to be true. We wear ourselves down with work and keeping busy then an area of our body seems to get sick. It's just our bodies way of saying 'slow down'...

      Thanks fo stopping by!

    • JLWmassage profile image

      JLWmassage 7 years ago from West Boylston, MA

      As a massage therapist I see this all the time. Pain hits areas of weekness in our body's. And when this happens the body is unable to feed it's self correctly

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      I know how bad it hurts!! Thank goodness my episode is pretty much over right now. I sometimes forget and move too suddenly, THEN I remember....

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Mr. Smith profile image

      Mr. Smith 7 years ago from California

      I've suffered with lower back pain episodes for about 8 years. I have to always be conscious of the way I move in order to avoid a problem. I also invested in a new bed last year, and I've more secure with my back.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      I can tell you when I wrote this 2 weeks ago I was in severe pain, almost to tears, now the pain is almost gone. I still feel a twinge here or there, but for the most part it s gone. I truly believe there is something to my theory.

      It wouldn't surprise me to hear RA is caused by a virus. There is so much within the human body that we have yet to learn.

      I hope you get to feeling better very soon!!

    • kats48 profile image

      kats48 7 years ago

      I have back spasms any time I walk over 15 steps! When I see my Doctor next I will ask him about your theory. He told me once I had a cold in my shoulder. It wasn't painful like bursitis, just achy. So you may have a good thought there. I remember reading about a top Arthritis doctor saying he thinks it is a virus that causes RA.


    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      LOL, So what you're saying is I shouldn't clean out my closet? I like it!

      Yeah the chocolate chip cookies would just tick me off, I'd probably be spasming all the time. Or at least twice a week.

      I have an idea on my theory, if when people go in for back spasms blood was taken and tested. Maybe looked at for viruses or whatever the teckies do under a microscope. Viruses are found in the blood right? So that's what I was thinking... Just an idea.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      I sympathize with you and your hubby's back spasms. I got my first back spasm when I reached over a king size bed to straighten a sheet. The pain was excruciating and lasted for several days. Now I don't make beds any more.

      The next time was from fractured ribs from river rafting. Now I don't river-raft any more.

      If I ever get a back spasm from eating chocolate chip cookies, I'll be in really BIG trouble. :

      Your virus theory is unique and interesting - if we could just figure out a method to confirm it.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      I haven't done any scientific type of stuff, but I believe it to be true. Just by observing others and what is going on. I truly wish someone (in the science community) would confirm my suspicions.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 7 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      Sweetsusieg: Thank you for confirming that which I thought to be true. I do know that it is possible to get a cold in your kidneys, this is a medical certainty diagnosed by my family doctor about 40 years ago.

      Brother Dave.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      LOL, Thanks Lilly!! Yeah, I'm not much for meds. The Dr's don't much like me because of that. There are only a few times that I have taken even antibiotics, and that is when my tonsillitis gets SO bad that nothing will work. Personally I think they are way too over used.

      As long as I don't move too much I'm getting through the day!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! BTW, LOVE the pic!

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 7 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

      I agree with your assessment of Pain, and back problems. When it comes to illness and disease, there are many ways of dealing with it. Not always by surgery, or prescriptions! Many times by the way we 'see' it. The Best to you and y'all's Backs!

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      It's been a painful one from time to time for sure!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    • Abhitheprince profile image

      Abhitheprince 7 years ago

      i liked reading your experience..interesting one


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