When you have back pain, you can have back spasms. The muscles can spasm due to the irritation of the nerve coming from the spine.
If you have a disc problem, the cushion between your bones can start to wear down. You can have a gradual wearing down of the disc, or you can have a sudden disc slip.
As we age, our discs and other connective tissue can wear down and not provide the cushion that they should. When this happens, there is not enough space in the spine to allow for normal nerve flow. This can put pressure on the nerves. Once the nerves are irritated, they affect the muscles.
If your disc slips or herniates, this can cause a sudden leakage of the fluid that your body uses to cushion the disc. I had this happen over 10 years ago. I lifted a heavy box at a bad angle and I had a disc herniate. It felt like I was being stabbed in the back. Not only did the spine area hurt, but the whole back was in a spasm.
I had acupuncture done on my back to calm the muscles down. If you do not have access to acupuncture, you can try herbal plasters. Herbal plasters can provide fast pain relief in many cases.
The muscles have to be calmed down. Heat can help to relax the muscles. Sometimes that is not enough. In fact, if there is a lot of inflammation in the area of where the disc herniated, using heat can make it feel worse. You never know how you will respond to things until you try. Every situation and person is different.
If I did not have access to an acupuncturist, I would go to local drugstores or Wal-Mart and get Tiger balm patches, or whatever kind of patches they had. The ingredients can soak into your back. Tiger balm is a famous liniment used in Chinese medicine to treat pain topically.
I would also take natural remedies like bromelain and glucosamine sulfate. If you have one disc slip out, your other discs are probably not very healthy either and you could have a problem later. I would take glucosamine for a few months to allow my body to heal.
Please do not forget to take magnesium glycinate. If you are magnesium deficient, you will have a hard time getting your muscles to relax once they are irritated.
Be aware that even if you see a medical doctor, it is not always possible to know for sure if you have a slipped disc. If the disc is only slightly slipped, it might not show up on the scans they use. Unfortunately, these tests are not always conclusive. My main objective is to relieve pain as quickly as possible.
These are the paraspinous muscles. They go the whole way down your spine. Once you get a spasm in one muscle area from an irritated nerve, the whole back can hurt. You can have referred pain. Sometimes it hurts on the opposite side of the muscle spasm, although this is not common. I usually treat both sides when I do acupuncture for back pain.