back pain


In general, most back muscle spasms occur because of the following reasons:

(1) The muscles are trying to protect themselves from muscle strain

A back spasm can occur after any type of strain or injury to the soft tissues (muscles, tendons or ligaments) in the spine. This type of soft tissue injury typically heals enough within a week or two for the muscle spasms to stop.

(2) The muscles can spasm in response to an underlying anatomical problem

If your back spasm does not get better in 1 to 2 weeks, or it comes and goes overtime in the same area of your back, you may have an underlying anatomical problem in your spine. Some examples of underlying issues that could cause your back to spasm include:

  • Facet joint osteoarthritis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Herniated disc

When these or other underlying anatomical problems are present in the spine, muscle spasms are likely to keep recurring due to ongoing inflammation or instability. It is important to seek medical attention to treat the underlying cause of your symptoms, rather than just treating the symptoms.

back pain, Obesity and lower back pain


When a person is overweight, any added weight in the midsection shifts the pelvis forward and causes the spine to curve excessively inward. This position exerts abnormal pressure on back muscles that are forced to bear the weight. Exercises designed to strengthen the lower abdominal muscles may help counteract this effect and bring the pelvis back into a neutral position. But, more importantly, losing weight is key to relieving the strain on the back and spine.

Obesity can also exacerbate other common back conditions. Among them:

  • (1) Spine osteoarthritis. This condition is known to be aggravated and accelerated by obesity. While excess weight can lead to joint misalignment, it is strongly believed that adipose tissue in the trunk can affect degenerative changes in the spine by creating a persistent, localised inflammation in and around the areas of damage.
  • (2) A herniated disc, if you are overweight or obese, your body mechanics may play a role in both the onset and duration of the herniated disc.
  • (3) Being overweight can burden inter-vertebral disc as they work to help support your spine. Degenerative disc disease which can affect anyone of us as we age can be especially problematic for people who are overweight.


  • (a) Shoulder strengthening exercises: lateral raises with dumbbells or overhead press exercises will build strong shoulders and upper back.
  • (b) Mid-back exercises: the lat pull-down is a good exercise to strengthen the lats and create a toned, triangular shape.
  • (c) Waist exercises: a side bend exercise with or without added weight will help to taper and strengthen the side of your body. Oblique crunches on the floor can target the oblique abdominals.
  • (d) Lower back exercises: Slouching makes back fat more noticeable. To stand taller and promote better posture, do lower back exercises to strengthen the core will help to target these trouble spots.

If you are overweight, it is possible that the extra weight is placing undue pressure on your back and spine. But it doesn’t mean that it’s the only cause of back pain. If you are experiencing back pain or disability of any sort, have it checked out to determine the underlying cause, contributing factors, and appropriate course of treatment. However, losing body weight will likely to reverse many of back pain symptoms. Ask your doctor for referrals to a qualified nutritionist and fitness expert who can help.