Back cramps can be painful and debilitating, and can be caused by a number of different things. Injury to the back, such as a pulled muscle, is one of the most common causes of back cramps. Poor posture, overexertion through exercise, improper lifting methods, or even menstrual cramps can all cause back pain as well, however, in addition to issues with the vertebrates of the spine.
The most common cause of back cramps is physical injury. It is easy to injure the back if one does not warm up properly before exercising, or if one attempts to lift something that is too heavy. Before lifting anything, it is important to bend from the knees, and to be sure to use the muscles of the arms and chest rather than the back. Ideally, the lower back should not be used at all when doing any heavy lifting.
In addition, though it is important to stretch after every workout, it is important to stretch properly. Hinge from waist, for example, feeling the stretch in the back of the legs. Do not round the upper back or overextend the lower back; it is all too easy to pull a muscle when trying to stretch in that manner. If back pain does not appear to be muscular in nature, it may be necessary to visit a doctor to rule out any spinal problems.
Wearing improper shoes all day, sitting incorrectly in a chair, or practicing poor posture can all lead to back cramps as well. Be sure to wear shoes that support the arches of the feet, and whether sitting or standing, attempt to keep the hips, shoulders, and ears in alignment. The spine features a number of natural curves; do not try to diminish these curves, simply allow the spine to remain in a neutral position, and do not round the shoulders. Stretching the arms up above the head and to the sides can help to stretch a tired spine.
Back cramps can often be relieved by heat. A heating pad or hot bath or shower can help to relax the muscles and eliminate the cramp. Muscle relaxants or anti-inflammatory over-the-counter drugs can also help to relieve back cramps, especially if they are caused by menstrual cramps. Massage to release any knots in the muscles can also be very helpful as well at relieving back cramps and eliminating stress and tension, which can make cramps worse.