Back Spasms: Significance and Natural Remedies

June 25, 2019
Spasms can have both physical and psychological causes. Find out more about this and how to treat them naturally in the article below.

More and more people are beginning to suffer from back spasms, mainly due to a sedentary lifestyle, hours spent in front of a computer screen, stress and emotional issues, and other causes. Here, we’ll talk about why we get spasms, as well as very effective and simple natural remedies.

A spasm is technically a prolonged and involuntary muscle contraction that can cause swelling, pain, and/or impede proper mobility. However, it can have various causes, which we will describe below:

Psychosomatic causes of spasms

Spasms are not solely due to physical causes. They have their emotional explanations too, and correspond to a non-manifested emotion, which “stays inside”, rather than being let loose outside.  Also, the area in which the spasm occurs carries its own significance:

  • Rhomboids: rage
  • Trapezius: inability and frustration
  • Dorsal region: fear
  • Lumbar region: frustration

If you get a spasm once, it’s really no cause for alarm.  But if you get them repeatedly in the same area, it could help you to pay attention to these zones.  If that’s the case, it means you should change some specific attitude. 


In addition to their emotional correlation, spasms can also be caused by inflamed organs underneath the muscle.  In this case, the most commonly affected organs are:

  • Kidneys: area above the lumbar region
  • Liver and gallbladder: Right upper region, and right trapezius
  • Stomach: Middle upper region on the left side, and left trapezius
  • Heart: cervical region
  • Lungs: left trapezius

Also, read: How to Take Care of Your Liver with 5 Natural Remedies

Suction therapy or cupping to relieve back spasms

This ancient therapeutic method is used in traditional Chinese medicine.  It consists of using certain types of crystal cups that create a sort of vacuum suction to the body, suctioning to the skin and part of the muscle.  It opens pores and promotes blood circulation and the lymphatic system.

Pain and swelling are relieved within 10 to 15 minutes of using this technique.  Even though you can see a therapist for this, you could just as easily procure the cup set in natural medicine or Chinese medicine centers, and do it yourself.

Some suctions come with a suctioning machine, and those are the safest and easiest to use. Also, you can also apply a bit of sesame or almond oil to the area, and drag a suction over top to give yourself a massage.

If there is inflammation, the area will begin to turn red and darken.  These marks could stay with you for a few days, but within a few minutes, you will start feeling much better. Also, the organ that corresponds to that area of the back will also start to feel better.

Cupping for helping your back

Sulfur bars

Sulfur bars are yellow cones comprised of sulfur, that has a very simple use. The mineral sulfur absorbs static electricity.  You can hear the bar cracking while rubbing it on the affected area; sometimes it even breaks into two or more pieces and collapses.

The bar can no longer be used after this happens.  If the bar doesn’t break, you can submerge it in cold water for 2 minutes, and reuse it once again. This technique is used in several South American countries. In addition to this, it is a very easy and 100% natural way of removing tension and back pain.

Foods for spasms

We should really be careful about what we eat while having a spasm, avoiding inflammatory foods, while increasing our consumption of anti-inflammatory foods.  So which is which?

Anti-inflammatory foods:

  • Natural fruit and vegetable juices (carrot, beet, celery)
  • Red peppers
  • Chia seeds and other nuts
  • Ginger
  • Pineapple
  • Papaya

Papaya helps to treat back spasms

Also, you might like: 11 Key Features of the Anti-inflammatory Diet

Inflammatory foods:

  • Dairy
  • White sugar and refined flours
  • Red meat
  • Fried foods

Three ancient remedies

  1. Alternate using warm and cold water compresses in the affected area.  Give yourself massages with warm sesame oil, while also drinking Boldo and Rosemary infusions (three times a day).
  2. Boil water with ginger.  Place a towel in water.  Firstly, apply a dry towel to the back, then apply the towel soaked in ginger water. Then, cover the entire affected area, and let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Finally, boil entire kale leaves for just a few minutes.  Allow to cool for a few seconds, and then apply directly to the skin.  You can cover with a towel or dressing.
Photos courtesy of netdoktor and winnie3
  • Cao, H., Li, X., & Liu, J. (2012). An updated review of the efficacy of cupping therapy. PLoS ONE.
  • Wu, X., & Schauss, A. G. (2012). Mitigation of inflammation with foods. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.