Preventing and recovering from back spasms

The Passion

Orange Belt
Nov 20, 2005
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From time to time I will randomly get very bad back spasms. I will just be doing anything random from running, grappling, jumping,(mostly things that involve vertical shock on the back), and I will get a shooting pain up my lower and middle back. Sometimes, like a muscle cramp, if I can feel it coming on ahead of time, I can stretch really quick and work it out before it hits. But when it does hit hard, I will be nearly imobilized for about a week or two. Sometimes I can barely sit down or stand up, and even have trouble getting to sleep because the pain is so bad. However, in between these random occurences I usually go full effort at whatever activity I'm doing and feel hits me like a sniper.

Wondering if anyone else has had this problem, and if so, what have been the best ways to prevent it or heal it if it does occur? I take ibuprofin, use a heating pad, and try to stetch and pop my back, but what else is there to do?
I have that happen to me constantly ever since I got a lumbar strain, or at least that's what they told me. The physical therapist had me do some pilates type exercises to try and build up the muscle in that area.

One of them was laying down like if you were going to do a bridge but only push up to where you can start to feel it and not actually lifting your butt off the mat/ground. They would have me hold the position for about 30 seconds.

The one that helped me the most was laying down in the same position (flat back, knees bent) and slowly swinging my knees to the left and the right til they almost touch the ground on each side. I know I'm probably not doing that great of a job explaining the exercise, but someone else here might be able to tell you what it's called.

If it's too late and it feels like hell. What they told me to do is just squat down and ride it out until you can lift yourself up and do some very slow cherrypickers.
All I can tell you is if you are starting to have back problems stop whatever your doing to cause them until they go away. I ended up having to have surgery on one of my disks which pretty much put an end to certain things i used to love doing. If I would have just mellowed out for a little and let it heal I might not have had to get the surgery.