There's nothing worse than back pain, especially when the pain is caused muscle spasms. One of the problems is that you can never tell when the spasms are going to occur. One thing is almost certain, though. If you've had one bout of lower back muscle spasms, chances are good that you'll have more. However, with medical care, and at-home intervention, you can reduce the chances of your muscle spasms turning into a continual pain problem. To keep your muscle spasms under control, and manage the pain associated with them, here are three steps you should follow.

Treat the Spasms

There's no definitive reason why muscle spasms occur, especially in the back. Most of the time, they're brought on by over-exertion, or misuse of your back. However, they can also be brought on by medical conditions such as arthritis, or disc injuries in your spine. In fact, they can also be brought on by dehydration, or lack of exercise. Regardless of the reason for the spasms, you need to begin treatment as soon as you feel the first twinge. The first thing you should do is apply ice packs to the affected area of your back. Lie down on a flat surface, and place an ice pack between your back and the surface you're lying on. Leave the ice pack in place for between 20-30 minutes. Continue applying ice several times a day, for the first two days of your spasms. After that, apply moist heat by either using a heating pad, or soaking in a hot tub. If you choose to soak in the tub, add about one cup of Epsom salts to the water to help loosen your muscles.

Prevent Their Return

Once you've gotten your spasms under control, you need to work to prevent their return. The best way to prevent lower back muscle spasms, is to use your muscles more. One way to do that is to stretch at least once a day. Yoga is an excellent way to stretch your muscles without over-exerting them. It's also a good idea to begin walking several times a week, and adding an exercise routine to your schedule. The added walking, and exercise will strengthen your muscles and help prevent the spasms that are causing you pain.

Visit the Doctor

If you're unable to control your spasms, and the pain is becoming unbearable, you'll need to get your doctor involved. Your doctor may recommend a pain management program for you that may include the use of medication, and the introduction of a TENS unit. TENS units work by sending mild electrical impulses through to the affected muscles. Talk to your doctor about a pain management plan that will work best for you.