As far as the area of the back, I would say it varies with each episode. Sometimes it is upper right side, sometimes mid left side, etc. It is not a lower back problem. It is always the musculature area that is affected.ovsfarm said:Read up on trigger point therapy and see if that describes what you're experiencing.
Not to be too personal, but what's your tummy look like? If you have a protruding belly, that can chronically stretch your back muscles. Then they are weak and the slightest injury can cause them to spasm. Yoga or other stretching programs might help relax the contractions, but you will need to address the cause of them or they will continue to come back. If your back muscles are weak, as most people's are, then you might need to slowly add a few light exercises to strengthen your back. The operative words here are SLOWLY and LIGHT! It does no good to overdo.
What area of your back is involved? If it is low back, then I would definitely consider the need to look at your profile! Also workwise, be sure to lift properly and not to lift heavy loads when twisting. If it is mid back, it is more likely to be a strength thing. If upper, you might check to see if your work all day with your shoulders rounded forward (like they are when typing!). That also chronically stretches the upper back muscles.
Back in the day, when I was a therapist and not a sheep farming homeschooler, we used to follow the pattern of 1. trigger point release, 2. gentle stretching and heat, 3. light toning, 4. strengthening exercise and stretching. All of these steps over time, and moving on to the next one only when the tissue was responding well to the current step. HTH