ouch, ouch, OUCH DAMMIT.

OK, so I reached for the alarm clock this morning and something HORRID happened to a muscle in the middle of my back.

It hurts to twist to the right, which is the only way I can greet peoples entering my cubicle. Also hurts to reach my left arm across to the right.

Should I take Advil? Try to ice it? Try to stretch it? Help, it’s a little hard to breathe.

Oh dear, sorry to read that, Meg,

I might recommend some Robaxacet, (muscle relaxant + Acetominophen) which is available OTC here in Canada, although I think it requires a prescription in the US. Since this is a sudden onset pain, and not likely a result of an obvious injury (like spraining an ankle, being in an accident, etc.) I would guess it’s more likely to be a spasm of some sort, rather than a tear or strain which would cause inflamation, and for which Motrin / Advil / ibuprophen would be more appropriate. Also, moist heat (warm bath, pad, shower) or a massage might help with a spasm.

I would suggest that if this makes it more difficult to breathe, such that you have to “think” about drawing breath, or if the pain does not go away in 24 - 36 hours, or if you feel weakness, numbness, a buring/fire sensation, or tingling, that you see a doctor sooner rather than later.

[standard disclaimer]
Please bear in mind that I am not a medical person, do not have any formal medical training, and that free advice is worth every penny you pay for it.
[/ standard disclaimer]

Best of luck, get well quick.

Thanks, trupes, you’re a doll.
It does seem like more of a spasm thinghy. And it’s only hard to breathe when I twist to the right, so I imagine I will live. I don’t think it warrants a trip to the MD.

That Robaxacet, though… that sounds like a treat! Too bad I’m a few hundred miles south of the border.

It sounds like a spasm to me, and I’ve gotten lots of them. (Damn scoliosis.) I’ve never taken anything for them, though that Robaxacet stuff does sound good.

What I do is ice them down, for a good twenty minutes, then find somebody cooperative to massage it if I can’t reach it myself. Unfortunately, massaging it will hurt like a son of a bitch if your spasm is anything like the ones I get. I’ve been to doctors a time or two and they said there wasn’t much they could do, though if you’re worried it can’t hurt to go see. DO NOT USE HEAT. Trust me.

I keep trying to afford to get regular massages, and failing. But I really need to. I did manage to get a long-standing spasm in my low back stretched out earlier today – as far as I can tell, it’s been there for months. I always have some, though they don’t normally bother me. I’ve gotten a few horrendous ones in my upper back or shoulders, though.

Advil will help though Alieve seems even better for most people when there is a muscle in spasm

Oddly enough so will 3000 or 4000 units of Vit. C (it also has anti-inflamation properties)

At the health food store you can get “Trameel” cream, primary active ingredient Arnica …
and while you’re at it get some homeopathic sublingual (under the tongue) Arnica …
put the cream on the outside of you … on the owie lump
and use the other for the inside of you.

add ice and you’ll get a LOT of relief.
The Trameel should release the pain and inflamation of the spasm really quickly.

AND … get thee to a chiropractor (the “Activator method” has worked best for me when my back has tweeked … no crunching and no “Oh Crap!!!Ow!!!” twisting
Activator Chiropractic Find a Doctor link

or … better yet, if you can find a practitioner of Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) released a back spasm in one treatment and gave me stretches to clear up long-term tendancies to tweek my backAIS main site for references to local practitioners

Or if you go to the doc. they will put you on muscle relaxants for a few days/weeks.
I’m not wild about meds, myself, so I look toward other treatments and longer term solutions …
but, that’s just me, and I’m not a doctor or any such, as they say, UMMV!

Holy cats, Wyatt, that is a ton of info, THANK YOU! I do a lot of dancing and have frequent neck and back spasms and other assorted muscle/nerve issues. So it sounds like it would be totally worth it to check into. I won’t have time to read it all today but I promise I will get back to you if I have questions or whatever. Hey, Happy Friday.


Maaann, I coulda used that back when I could take acetominophen.

I have a prescription for Robaxin (methocarbamol) that saves my life on a regular basis.

And ICE that sucker if nothing else works. 15 minutes icing, then 30 minutes warming to room temp, then mild stretching. Repeat ever 2-3 hours, as tolerated.

And drink lots of water. The world is chronically dehydrated, for the most part, and I can slow or stop muscle spasms quite often by drinking enough water.