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How Do You Treat A Strained Lower Back

Rest But Not Too Much

How to HEAL a Lower Back Injury FAST | Easy Step-By-Step Guide

Dont rest too long. A little couch time wont hurt, but light activity speeds recovery, so avoid lying down for long periods of time.

Growing evidence shows there is little or no benefit to bed rest over staying active.

So use this rule of thumb: listen to your body.

Ultimately, your level of pain will determine your level of activity.

If a certain activity led to a pulled muscle dont repeat it for at least a week.

For example, if your back pain started after lifting something heavy, avoid lifting heavy objects for at least a week while your pulled back muscle heals.

Also, avoid sitting for too long. Long periods of sitting can tighten your muscles and cause lower back muscle pain and stiffness.

When you sit and stand, use good posture, avoiding slumping in your head and shoulders.

What Structures Make Up The Back

The lower backwhere most back pain occursincludes the five vertebrae in the lumbar region, which supports much of the weight of the upper body. The spaces between the vertebrae are maintained by round, rubbery pads called intervertebral discs that act like shock absorbers throughout the spinal column to cushion the bones as the body moves. Bands of tissue known as ligaments hold the vertebrae in place, and tendons attach the muscles to the spinal column. Thirty-one pairs of nerves are rooted to the spinal cord and they control body movements and transmit signals from the body to the brain.

Other regions of vertebrate are cervical , thoracic , and sacral and coccygeal segments.

Try Doing Gentle Back Stretches

  • Go slow and stop immediately if you feel any pain. Try a back flexion stretch by lying down on your back, pulling both of your knees to your chest, and flexing your head forward until you feel a nice stretch. Another option is a knee-to-chest stretch, which you can do by lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor. Then, place both of your hands behind 1 knee and gently pull it to your chest until you feel a stretch. Slowly release the stretch and repeat it with the other leg.XResearch source
  • Hold each stretch for about 10 seconds or so.
  • Your doctor may also recommend specific stretches for you to try.
  • Dont try to push through any pain or you could make the strain worse. If a stretch starts to hurt, stop right away.
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    Treatment Options For Lower Back Pain

    If you see a physiotherapist or GP for lower back pain, they will probably encourage you to try the self-help measures outlined above first. They can also advise you on what exercises you can do to help your back, or may refer you to a group exercise programme. But if your pain doesnt improve, they may be able to recommend other options you can try. They can also refer you to a specialist if necessary.

    Symptoms Of Lower Back Muscle Strain

    How I Treat a Strained Back

    A lower back muscle strain usually causes some combination of the following symptoms:1

    • Localized or diffused lower back pain
    • Tightness and/or stiffness in the affected muscle
    • Swelling in the affected area
    • Redness of the skin over the lower back, caused by bleeding within the muscle tissue
    • Difficulty in performing bending and/or twisting movements

    While grade I and II injuries may only cause localized pain and may allow you to continue with your normal activities, a grade III sprain typically causes excruciating pain with significant disability.1

    The pain more commonly starts as a delayed onset muscle soreness but may appear suddenly in cases of severe injury. Lumbar muscle strains may be accompanied by painful muscle spasms as your body works to stabilize your injury.

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    Injections And Other Procedures

    If you have severe sciatica, your doctor may suggest an epidural injection. Epidural injections contain a local anaesthetic and steroid to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Theyre only recommended for sciatica and not non-specific lower back pain.

    If your back pain is chronic and other treatments havent helped, your doctor may suggest a procedure called radiofrequency denervation. Its only suitable for certain types of back pain. Your doctor will refer you to a specialist to assess whether it would help you.

    How Is Low Back Pain Diagnosed

    A complete medical history and physical exam can usually identify any serious conditions that may be causing the pain. Neurologic tests can help determine the cause of pain and appropriate treatment. Imaging tests are not needed in most cases but may be ordered to rule out specific causes of pain, including tumors and spinal stenosis. Occasionally the cause of chronic lower back pain is difficult to determine even after a thorough examination.

    Tests include:

    Blood tests are not routinely used to diagnose the cause of back pain but might be ordered to look for signs of inflammation, infection, cancer, and/or arthritis.

    Bone scans can detect and monitor an infection, fracture, or bone disorder. A small amount of radioactive material is injected into the bloodstream and collects in the bones, particularly in areas with some abnormality. Scanner-generated images can identify specific areas of irregular bone metabolism or abnormal blood flow, as well as to measure levels of joint disease.

    Discography involves injecting a contrast dye into a spinal disc thought to be causing low back pain. The fluids pressure in the disc will reproduce the persons symptoms if the disc is the cause. The dye helps to show the damaged areas on CT scans taken following the injection.

    Electrodiagnostics can identify problems related to the nerves in the back and legs. The procedures include:

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    Strengthen Your Back Muscles To Prevent Future Injuries

    The second step to recovery for your pulled back include exercises to help strengthen your back, abdomen, and shoulders. You may be already aware of the benefits of exercising to strengthen your back such as loosening up your ligaments and tendons, preventing you from future injuries, repairing your muscles, and helping support your spine. The list could go on and on but you get the point. If youve sprained your back, strengthening your abdomen, shoulders, and back are all important as these components are what help support your spine.

    When Should I See My Doctor

    Pulled Muscle In Low Back? 3 DIY Treatments

    Apart from the signs of a serious back injury, you should see your doctor if:

    • your problems have not improved at all within a few days
    • your problems have not improved completely within 6 weeks

    Your doctor may be able to help you manage any pain and may refer you for physiotherapy or other investigations.

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    Where Can I Get More Information

    For more information on neurological disorders or research programs funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, contact the Institute’s Brain Resources and Information Network at:

    Office of Communications and Public LiaisonNational Institute of Neurological Disorders and StrokeNational Institutes of HealthBethesda, MD 20892

    NINDS health-related material is provided for information purposes only and does not necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke or any other Federal agency. Advice on the treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient’s medical history.

    All NINDS-prepared information is in the public domain and may be freely copied. Credit to the NINDS or the NIH is appreciated.

    What Causes Lumbar Strain

    Injury can damage the tendons and muscles in the lower back. Pushing and pulling sports, such as weight lifting or football, can lead to a lumbar strain. In addition, sports that require sudden twisting of the lower back, such as in tennis, basketball, baseball, and golf, can lead to this injury. Certain risk factors, such as excessive lower back curvature, forward-tilted pelvis, weak back, or abdominal muscles, and tight hamstrings, can increase the risk for this injury.

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    Bird Dog Hip Extension

    Why its beneficial:

    The bird dog hip extension helps to stabilize your lower back as well as your abdominal muscles.

    Try it:

  • Kneel on a mat with both hands down and arms shoulder-width apart.

  • Start by engaging and tightening your core muscles.

  • Slowly straighten one leg behind you while maintaining a flat back.

  • Return the straightened leg back to the starting position.

  • Repeat on the other side.

  • Perform 10 repetitions, while holding each for 20-30 seconds.

  • Modification:

    If this causes any discomfort, lift your leg only several inches off the ground rather than reaching full extension.

    How To Treat A Muscle Strain

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    The good news is that most back strains heal with time.

    Healthcare providers recommend modified activity as the quickest way to get over a mild to moderate back strain. Your practitioner may advise you to avoid heavy lifting or activities like running for the first few days after your back strain.

    You can also ice the area and take an anti-inflammatory medication to reduce inflammation.

    If the pain lingers past 10 days or so, you should talk to your healthcare provider about it. If your back spasms make it difficult to move or exercise, your practitioner may recommend physical therapy and/or prescribe a muscle relaxant for you.

    Muscle relaxers do not repair the injury, and they often cause sedation, which can interfere with your ability to drive and manage your day to day activities. But they may relax your muscles so you can stretch them and use them more effectively during physical therapy.

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    Not Sure What To Do Next

    If you are still concerned about your back injury, check your symptoms with healthdirects online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

    The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether its self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero .

    How To Treat A Lower Back Strain

    Are you among the 80% of the population suffering from back pain? If so, you know just how painful and debilitating a lower back strain can be.

    There are many causes of lower back strain. From heavy lifting, arthritis, and sitting wrongly, there are many every day causes that can strain the lower back. Luckily, there are also many ways to find relief, too.

    Keep reading to learn how to treat your lower back strain and get back to enjoying each day.

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    See Your Doctor If The Pain Is Persistent

  • They may prescribe you medication or refer you to a specialist. If after a week, you havent noticed any improvement in your back pain, make an appointment to see your doctor. Theyll be able to examine you and run tests to figure out what the problem is. They may also prescribe medication for pain and inflammation or they may send you to a specialist who can more effectively treat your back.XTrustworthy SourceJohns Hopkins MedicineOfficial resource database of the world-leading Johns Hopkins HospitalGo to source
  • See your doctor right away if youre unable to stand or walk, you have numbness in your leg, you have a high fever, or if you have severe pain in your abdomen.
  • Pulled Muscle In Lower Back Exercises

    How to Treat a Low Back Muscle Strain at Home

    There are several exercises you can perform to help your lower back heal. Not only will they help the muscle spasms you may be having, they make your back stronger so its not as likely to become injured again.

    Here are a few easy stretching exercises. Take them slowly and move gradually into each position. If any of these make your back pain worse, stop and see a doctor.

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    Treating Lower Back Spasms

    If your spasms do begin after an injury or an activity that stressed the muscles, try alternating ice and heat on your back. Ice will help reduce inflammation and heat may help improve blood flow.

    Medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxants may help relieve symptoms while the muscles heal. Research from a 2016 review of studies supports the use of muscle relaxants for significant pain relief from short-term muscle spasms.

    Injections of anti-inflammatory medication may also help. But there are potential side effects with every medication. Ask your doctor about the risks and benefits of these injections.

    Chiropractic care may help, but be sure to see a doctor to have your condition properly diagnosed first. Physical therapy to help strengthen your back and abdominal muscles is often recommended.

    In the middle of a back spasm, slowly make your way to the nearest comfortable chair or sofa. Here, you can try the following:

  • Gently massage the spasm with your hand or a massage gun. This may temporarily ease the spasm.
  • As you massage the area, be mindful of your breathing. Take slow inhales and exhales to reduce stress-induced pain. Diaphragmatic breathing may help you calm down.
  • Apply alternate heat and ice in 15â20 minute intervals. Wrap ice packs in a towel to avoid ice burns, and give your skin a break after icing.
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    Persistent Low Back Pain

    Nonspecific low back pain is classed as chronic if it lasts for longer than six weeks. In some people it lasts for months, or even years. Symptoms may be constant. However, the more usual pattern is one in which symptoms follow an irregular course. That is, reasonably long periods of mild or moderate pain may be interrupted by bouts of more severe pain.

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    Effective Treatments For Pulled Strained Or Torn Back Muscle

    Jenny Hills, Nutritionist and Medical Writer Health

    Most people will suffer from back pain caused by a pulled, strained, or torn muscle in their back. Your back contains muscles, ligaments, and tendons that support your upper body, give you strength for performing tasks and help move your neck, shoulders, and arms. Pulling, straining, or tearing a muscle can cause shooting severe pain if you suffer an acute injury. Or, back muscle strain caused by overuse can cause deep aches and chronic pain that can affect your daily activities.

    Treating muscle pain in your back usually requires getting plenty of rest to prevent irritating the inflamed tissue even more. Also, hot and cold treatment can be effective in speeding up the recovery time by helping to reduce swelling and inflammation. Pulled back muscle treatments also include essential oils that are effective to treat pulled, torn, or strained back muscles as well as Epsom salt bath.

    In this article, you will learn about the best and most effective treatments for strained lower back muscles, pulled or torn upper and middle back muscles, and how to treat back pain in general.

    First, its important to know something about the muscles in your back.

    Pulled Muscle In Lower Back Recovery Time

    Back Sprain / Strain: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention

    You should limit normal activity for the first few days after your injury but resume it as soon as you can after that time. Wait a few weeks before going back to an exercise regimen or sport.

    Most people will be fully recovered within two weeks of the injury, but if the pain isnt getting better after a weeks time, see a doctor.

    There are several things you can do to prevent straining your lower back, some that help strengthen it and others that are precautionary. These include:

    • stretching and strengthening exercises

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    How Can Low Back Strain Be Prevented

    • Use correct body movements.
    • Bend at the hips and knees when you pick up objects. Do not bend from the waist. Use your leg muscles as you lift the load. Do not use your back. Keep the object close to your chest as you lift it. Try not to twist or lift anything above your waist.
    • Change your position often when you stand for long periods of time. Rest one foot on a small box or footrest, and then switch to the other foot often.
    • Try not to sit for long periods of time. When you do, sit in a straight-backed chair with your feet flat on the floor.
    • Never reach, pull, or push while you are sitting.
  • Warm up before you exercise. Do exercises that strengthen your back muscles. Ask your healthcare provider about the best exercise plan for you.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Ask your healthcare provider how much you should weigh. Ask him to help you create a weight loss plan if you are overweight.
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    Epsom Salt Bath To Relieve Strained Muscle In The Back

    One way to relax tense muscles and also relax your mind to ease muscle tension is to take a warm bath of Epsom salt.

    Dr. Carol DerSarkissian on WebMD says that an Epsom salt bath can help to heal a pulled or strained muscle and ease many aches and pains. It is thought that magnesium and sulfate from the salts penetrate the skin and help relax stiff muscles.19

    How to use Epsom salt for muscle repair:

    To make a healing bath with Epsom salt to get rid of pain caused by pulled back muscle, this is what you should do:

  • Fill your bathtub with very warm water and add 1 to 2 cups Epsom salts.
  • Soak in the bath water for 20 minutes to allow the salts and minerals ease muscle tension in your back.
  • Rinse off in the shower and dry yourself.
  • Take the bath up to three times per week until your sore back muscles are healed and are no longer sore.
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