What causes muscle pain in the neck and lower back?
I read your question carefully and I understand your concern.
Based on your description the most probable cause of your symptoms would be spinal degenerative arthritic changes. Over the years due to the wear and tear the spines of each of us do undergo degenerative changes, in some people more pronounced than others depending on genetic factors, type of work, trauma etc.
These changes may lead to period of local inflammation and spasms of the spinal muscles causing the symptoms you mention.
A spinal x-ray would be a cheap and good initial exam for the arthritic changes, wouldn't go into more expensive tests if no other symptoms. Regarding treatment the episodes seem rare so I would suggest only an over the counter anti-inflammatory medication like Ibuprofen for a few weeks when needed. If it doesn't alleviate the symptoms a muscle relaxant like Flexeril may be added. Physical therapy is useful as well and the only proven means of slowing down the evolution of these changes over time.
I remain at your disposal for other questions.
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