Muscle spasms often go hand-in-hand with other problems, and may be the actual cause of your pain. As one muscle spasms to protect an injured area, it affects the muscles around it, and your pain just continues to build. This is because after an initial period, if the basic injury is not fixed, the spasm forms muscle knots. Usually this happens about two weeks after the initial injury. These knots are painful, and become part of the problem. Sometimes, the pain from the muscle knots is the reason why someone first goes to get help with the problem. The knots form because the spasm keeps the muscle continuously "on". Normally, even when doing heavy lifting, no muscle is working continuously. Instead, as the body moves in normal activities, different muscles cycle on and off. The muscle spasm makes the muscle work continuously, around the clock. The muscles are not designed for this continuous work. After some amount of time the muscle overloads and forms these knots. Treating spasm helps reduce this problem. Spasm occurs after other kinds of injuries, but muscle knots only become a problem when the source of the pain doesn't go away quickly. This happens most often (but not only) with injuries to the neck and back. Muscle spasm can also result from inflammation that occurs when a muscle is overstretched or torn. It begins as a muscle strain, which doesn't sound like a serious injury, but it can cause severe low back pain. Many people go to the emergency room each year because of a muscle strain. In fact, most episodes of acute lower back pain are caused by damage to the muscle and/or ligaments in the lower back. Muscle strains are also known as a pulled muscle. When the muscles in the lower back are strained or torn, the area around the muscles can become inflamed. With inflammation, the muscles can spasm leading to severe low back pain and difficulty moving. Lower back pain from a muscle strain occurs most frequently after lifting a heavy object, lifting while twisting, or sudden movement or fall. The pain is usually localized, meaning it doesn't radiate to the leg. The area may be sore to the touch, the patient usually feels better when resting. Depending on the cause of your muscle spasm, you may find that heat therapy works best, cold therapy works best, or that alternating heat and cold is most effective. In either case, we have the answer! Thermophore® provides intense moist heat that doctors recommend for pain relief, and Ice It!® cold therapy systems make it convenient to apply cold therapy, because you don't have to hold anything in place.