Stretching And Strengthening Exercises
Youll want to be very careful your first couple of days, but some light stretching can often reduce pain from a pulled muscle in your lower back by relieving tension. Include both strengthening and stretching exercises.
Try this easy stretch while lying in bed. Gently raise your knees from the bed to your chest, then put a slight pressure on your knees for a light stretch in your lower back.
This stretch can help relieve muscle spasms in your back faster than waiting for them to resolve on their own. The stretch should not add to your pain.
Remember to listen to your body.
Sometimes, back support compression braces can be useful during the healing process. This help keeps your spine stable and can help you from further irritating your lower back when you twist or bend throughout the day.
Compression can also assist in reducing swelling after an injury, so compression braces may be useful.
I dont recommend you wear a compression brace all day, though just for a few hours or when you know youll be most active.
Keeping it on for too long can keep you from healing fully, as you need to be able to strengthen those muscles in order to recover.
Key takeaway: To help your body recover more quickly and reduce pain from a pulled back muscle, alternate cold and heat therapy, use natural anti-inflammatories, get some rest and try gentle stretches.
Causes Of Pulled Torn Or Strained Muscle In Back
Unfortunately, all of us at some point in our lives will suffer from some degree of upper back pain, middle back pain, or lower back pain. In fact, according to a report published in 2014, lower back pain is the number one cause of lost days at work. The report described back pain as a major health condition that affects about 10% of people and is a leading cause of disability worldwide.4
How Is Lumbar Strain Diagnosed
In addition to a complete medical history and physical exam, diagnostic procedures for low back pain may include the following. However, during many initial assessments and exams, specialized tests aren’t usually recommended.
- X-ray. A diagnostic test that produces images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.
- Computed tomography scan . This is an imaging test that uses X-rays and a computer to make detailed images of the body. A CT scan shows details of the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. A CT scan shows detailed images of bones, muscles, fat, and organs.
- Magnetic resonance imaging . A diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body.
- Radionuclide bone scan. A nuclear imaging technique that uses a very small amount of radioactive material, which is injected into the bloodstream to be detected by a scanner. This test shows blood flow to the bone and cell activity within the bone.
- Electromyogram . A test to evaluate nerve and muscle function.
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Rest And Ice Or Heat Therapy
The final step in this treatment process involves resting, using ice and heat therapy, and prevention methods to reduce the chance of straining your back again. Read more about the R.I.C.E. method here.) Its no surprise that the benefit of resting during the recovery process is to help give your muscles a break from the work they typically endure every day. But this part can be a tricky as most doctors suggest you do not completely do bed rest but that you lower the number of activities instead.
Ice and heat therapy is a crucial part of treatment for your back muscle relief. Using heat can help open up your blood vessels, which promotes healing in your tissues, tendons, and muscles. Ice, on the other hand, narrows your blood vessels, which helps to reduce any swelling that you might be suffering from. Using a heat and ice therapy wrap can help you easily switch from applying hot and cold to your lower back.
And finally, another aspect of this step involves prevention methods to help you avoid straining, pulling, or tearing your back in the future. There are many different ways to help prevent a pulled back muscle including:
- Sleep on your back or side
- Avoid smoking
- Correct your posture. Try using a posture brace like this one to train your muscles to remain in the right position
The Universal Guide To Lower Back Pain: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know Straight From The Experts
In This Article: Lower Back Anatomy | How Long Does Lower Back Pain Usually Last? | Common Causes | Other Causes | Home Remedies | Nonsurgical Treatments | Complementary, Alternative, and Emerging Treatments | Surgery | When Is Lower Back Pain an Emergency? | Lower Back Pain Prevention |
If youve ever had lower back pain stop you from doing what you want, youre not alone. Lower back pain is one of the most common medical problems in the world. It is a leading reason why people visit a doctor, affecting more than 80% of adults at some point in their lives. According to the Global Burden of Diseasea significant study published in the Lancet medical journallower back pain is also a leading cause of disability.
While severe lower back pain can cause worry, pain severity is not always an indication something is seriously wrong. Photo Source: Shutterstock.
You may not be able to prevent lower back pain, especially as you age and your back loses some strength and resilience. Fortunately, there are many ways you can get relief, no matter the cause of your back pain.
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When & How To Seek Medical Care
If low back pain lasts for longer than one to two weeks, seek medical care. First, make an appointment with your primary care physician.
Seek immediate medical attention if any of the following symptoms are present in addition to back pain:
- Severe abdominal pain
- Unexplained fever
- Loss of control of your bowels or bladder
S To Quickly Recover From A Pulled Back Muscle
Medically reviewed by Dr. Brian Paris, D.C on Nov. 6, 2018.
If you havent already, you probably will at some point experience a pulled back muscle. Theyre the most common cause of low back pain.
It could happen during a game of golf, while cleaning the garage, or even on the dance floor.
While we often tend to refer to any soft tissue pain in the back as a pulled back muscle, were really talking about two separate kinds of back injuries strains and sprains.
In this article, Ill show you the difference between those injuries and how to quickly recover from pulled back muscles without taking drugs like NSAIDs.
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What Are The Risk Factors For Developing Low Back Pain
Anyone can have back pain. Factors that can increase the risk for low back pain include:
Age: The first attack of low back pain typically occurs between the ages of 30 and 50, and back pain becomes more common with advancing age. Loss of bone strength from osteoporosis can lead to fractures, and at the same time, muscle elasticity and tone decrease. The intervertebral discs begin to lose fluid and flexibility with age, which decreases their ability to cushion the vertebrae. The risk of spinal stenosis also increases with age.
Fitness level: Back pain is more common among people who are not physically fit. Weak back and abdominal muscles may not properly support the spine. Weekend warriorspeople who go out and exercise a lot after being inactive all weekare more likely to suffer painful back injuries than people who make moderate physical activity a daily habit. Studies show that low-impact aerobic exercise can help maintain the integrity of intervertebral discs.
Weight gain: Being overweight, obese, or quickly gaining significant amounts of weight can put stress on the back and lead to low back pain.
Genetics: Some causes of back pain, such as ankylosing spondylitis , have a genetic component.
Smoking: It can restrict blood flow and oxygen to the discs, causing them to degenerate faster.
Backpack overload in children: A backpack overloaded with schoolbooks and supplies can strain the back and cause muscle fatigue.
Low Back Pain Fact Sheet
If you have had lower back pain, you are not alone. Back pain is one of most common reasons people see a doctor or miss days at work. Even school-age children can have back pain.
Back pain can range in intensity from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp or shooting pain. It can begin suddenly as a result of an accident or by lifting something heavy, or it can develop over time as we age. Getting too little exercise followed by a strenuous workout also can cause back pain.
There are two types of back pain:
- Acute, or short-term back pain lasts a few days to a few weeks. Most low back pain is acute. It tends to resolve on its own within a few days with self-care and there is no residual loss of function. In some cases a few months are required for the symptoms to disappear.
- Chronic back pain is defined as pain that continues for 12 weeks or longer, even after an initial injury or underlying cause of acute low back pain has been treated. About 20 percent of people affected by acute low back pain develop chronic low back pain with persistent symptoms at one year. Even if pain persists, it does not always mean there is a medically serious underlying cause or one that can be easily identified and treated. In some cases, treatment successfully relieves chronic low back pain, but in other cases pain continues despite medical and surgical treatment.
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Left Side Low Back Pain
Many people experience muscle pain on only one side of their back. This can be due to compensating for a sore joint, like a hip or knee. For example, if one of your hip joints is weak, you may be putting strain on the opposite side of your lower back to make up for that.
However, lower back pain on your left side may also be due to:
If you do pull a lower back muscle, there are several things you can help relieve the swelling and pain.
How Do I Know If Ive Strained My Back
It’s no surprise that the anatomy of your back is very complex in of itself since you rely on it for many different things. But to understand what causes a strained back, let’s focus on three components: tendons, muscles, and ligaments. In order for you to move, run, and twist, you need all three of these components to work properly. Since they are constantly working to hold your body upright, they are very prone to injuries such as tearing, pulling, and over-stretching.
Its important to understand that muscles get strained and ligaments get sprained! These are both considered soft tissue injuries, and people often use them interchangeably, but they are actually different
A sprain occurs when a ligament stretches or tears.
A strain occurs when a muscle or tendon stretches or tears.
Already confused? Read more to see a breakdown of the anatomy of your ligaments, tendons, & muscles in your back.
The most common symptoms of a torn, strained, or pulled muscle include:
- Sore or tenderness in your lower back
- Pain that occurs suddenly
- Pain that increases when you stand, walk, or twist
- Stiffness in the back region
- Pain that radiates to your legs, buttock, or thigh areas
- Weakness in your muscles and tendons
Luckily for you, treating a back strain can be as simple as 1, 2, 3. Try doing these stretches, exercises, & prevention methods to help say goodbye to that annoying pain in your back!
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What Causes A Pulled Muscle In Your Back
You can end up with a pulled back muscle for any number of reasons. It could have happened suddenly from an injury. Or it may have developed gradually over time because of repetitive movements or overusesuch as lifting, exercising, or sitting hunched over for long periodsthat overstressed your back muscles.
Even poor posture can contribute to a pulled back muscle because slouching puts an added strain on the spine and the muscles that support it. Carrying excessive body weight is a culprit, too. Being overweight forces the back muscles to work harder than they should to support the extra load. Thats why people who are overweight or pregnant are more likely to have achy backs.
Other common causes of a pulled back muscle include:
- using poor technique when lifting a heavy object from the ground or lowering it from overhead especially if you twist while you do it.
- performing a forceful repetitive motion, such as that required by playing golf or other sports or perhaps swinging a hammer.
- failing to use good form while exercising.
- starting a new exercise routine, sport, or job activity that overworks a group of muscles that are not used to the force of the motion required.
- moving in any way that jars the muscles in the lower back, especially if you hit the ground hard or in an awkward position, such as movements that could occur in a fall or car accident.
- leading a sedentary lifestyle, which weakens back muscles.
How Are Back Injuries Treated
Your doctor will examine you to check whether the nerves from your spinal cord are working properly. Make sure you tell them if you have any problems with going to the toilet.
Most minor back injuries get better by themselves within 6 weeks. Usually you will not need any other tests or treatment. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists recommends that an x-ray for low back pain is only needed if you have other significant symptoms such as problems with bladder and bowel control, severe pain or weakness or numbness in one or both legs. For further information, visit the Choosing Wisely Australia website.
The most important thing you can do is to continue to stay active. A common myth is that bed rest will cure back pain. In fact, bed rest slows down the recovery period and can add to your pain.
You can help ease injuries to your back by:
- using cold compresses for 20 minutes at a time every 3 to 4 hours for the first day these will ease pain and swelling
- using warmth after the first day showers, baths or hot moist towels can help ease pain and help recovery
- avoiding activities involving bending, lifting and twisting until you feel better
Depending on your job, you may need time off work to allow your back to heal.
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What Can Cause Lower Back Pain
Most acute low back pain is mechanical in nature, meaning that there is a disruption in the way the components of the back fit together and move. Some examples of mechanical causes of low back pain include:
- Skeletal irregularities such as scoliosis , lordosis , kyphosis , and other congenital anomalies of the spine.
- Spina bifida which involves the incomplete development of the spinal cord and/or its protective covering and can cause problems involving malformation of vertebrae and abnormal sensations and even paralysis.
- Sprains , strains , and spasms
- Traumatic Injury such as from playing sports, car accidents, or a fall that can injure tendons, ligaments, or muscle causing the pain, as well as compress the spine and cause discs to rupture or herniate.
- Intervertebral disc degeneration which occurs when the usually rubbery discs wear down as a normal process of aging and lose their cushioning ability.
- Spondylosis the general degeneration of the spine associated with normal wear and tear that occurs in the joints, discs, and bones of the spine as people get older.
- Arthritis or other inflammatory disease in the spine, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis as well as spondylitis, an inflammation of the vertebrae.
Nerve and spinal cord problems
Can A Strained Muscle Cause Nerve Damage
According to the Mayo Clinic, nerve injury can happen due to stretching or pressing on the nerve, and also as a result of conditions that affect the nerves, such as diabetes.
A muscle strain can irritate the local nerves, but it most likely wont cause severe nerve damage, such as a complete cut of the nerve.
Nerve damage from a pulled muscle will heal on its own.
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When To See A Doctor
If the pain has not eased after 12 weeks, a person should see a doctor.
In some circumstances, a person may need to go to the emergency department or call 911. It is important to seek medical help if:
- a person hears a crack when they sustain the injury
- the injured part of the back is numb, discolored, or cold to the touch
- sit in a chair with lumbar support
The following tips may also be beneficial:
How Goodpath Can Help
A back strain can be a painful and frustrating situation. These movements are designed to lessen your discomfort from the injuries.
In addition to these exercises, there are other solutions that can help ease your back pain.
Take Goodpaths personalized assessment today. After analyzing your answers, we will build you a personalized treatment plan based on your medical history, your symptoms, and your lifestyle.
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