Treating A Pulled Back Muscle In 8 Steps
No matter where a pulled muscle is in the body, the steps to treat it are generally the same. However, its important to talk to a medical professional before treating an injury because symptoms of other injuries, such as disc problems or a broken bone, may resemble strains and sprains. After talking to a professional, try the following steps:3
Apply cold. Cold helps reduce inflammation, which is the primary source of pain in the first few days. The faster you can apply cold to a pulled back muscle, the faster you may reduce pain, help control swelling, and start the healing process. Apply a cold pack for 15-20 minutes as soon as the injury occurs. Take a break of at least 20 minutes between each cold application.
Use compression. Applying compression bandages or using an active compression system may help reduce swelling and edema so the damaged tissues can repair themselves more quickly.
Rest. Right after a muscle strain, it is important to limit your activity level and avoid movements that increase pain. After the initial pain subsides, returning to previous level of activity may help prevent the muscles from growing weak.
Stretch. According to Kojo Hamilton, MD, as you return to activity, gentle stretching exercises may improve tissue healing by bringing more blood flow to the injured area. Applying heat to the area prior to stretching may also be beneficial. Ask a doctor about the right stretches for your condition.
Consciously Try To Relax Your Muscles With Slow Deep Breaths
Seriously, I know this much easier said than done, but you NEED to do it.
If you learn to breathe the right way, it wont hurt so easily. Breathing poorly will move your rib cage too erratically and might trigger your back muscles again.
Try to relax your muscles when they are in spasm with slow, deep and controlled breaths. Its pretty painful to breathe deeply when you have a full attack, but it will get you to focus more.
We tend to breathe very quickly and shallow when we are in pain. Shallow breaths or even holding your breath is a natural reaction, but will only add to the discomfort.
How Can You Get An Upper Back Pain Diagnosis
When you go to a doctor for your upper or mid back pain, youll start with a conversation. Expect the doctor to ask you about any events that may be directly responsible: A fall, a car accident, or any changes or increases to your fitness routine.
You might be asked to rank your pain on a scale of 0-10. You should also be prepared to talk about how your pain does, or does not, interfere with the activities of your daily life. Can you cook dinner, get dressed, take a shower?
Then comes the physical exam: the poking and prodding part of your visit. The doctor wants to see how your upper back pain affects your movement. Expect to sit, stand, reach, and bend in the exam room. After that, youre likely to get an X ray.
If symptoms persist or you have red flags such as a progressive weakness or bowel or bladder control problems, you may get more advanced testing, Dr. Knight says. He explains that MRI would be the likely choice.
Heres a look at several types of advanced testing for upper back pain.
Recommended Reading: Advil Or Ibuprofen For Back Pain
Initial Treatments For Low Back Muscle Strain
Most cases of a pulled back muscle are treated using standard self-care or non-invasive treatments. Some typical first-step treatments for a pulled low back muscle include:
- Anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen reduce inflammation, which often contributes to pain. Anti-inflammatory medicines are available over-the-counter or with a prescription.
- Over-the-counter pain medicines, such as acetaminophen, minimize pain by interfering with the way the brain interprets pain signals. Acetaminophen may also be included as an active ingredient in prescription medications, such as in combination with an opioid.
- Muscle relaxants may be prescribed on a short-term basis to reduce muscle spasm. Most muscle relaxants do not affect muscles directly, but rather dampen pain receptors in the central nervous system. These medications have many side effects, and muscle relaxants also carry risk of addiction.
- Ice packs reduce inflammation that can occur shortly after a muscle is injured. Typical recommendations include applying a cold or ice pack for 10 – 20 minutes at regular intervals throughout the day, and using a towel or other barrier between the ice and the skin to prevent an ice burn.
Apply Cold To The Pulled Back Muscle
You should apply ice to your injury as soon as possible. The sooner you apply the ice the more it will help.
The cold will cause nearby blood vessels to constrict and also help minimize swelling and painful inflammation.
The cold also stimulates your body to rush more oxygen-rich blood full of antibodies and vital nutrients to repair the injury and carry away waste products as it attempts to warm the area.
Use an ice pack, a Ziploc bag of crushed ice, or even a bag of frozen vegetables in a pinch.
Apply the cold pack in a circular massaging motion to prevent the ice from resting in one place too long.
Be sure to place a thin towel between the compress and your skin to help prevent frostbite.
Ice can be applied up to 20 minutes at a time. Repeat over the course of the first few days, or after flare-ups.
Don’t Miss: Advil Or Aleve For Back Pain
Find A Natural Way To Treat Lower Back Muscle Strain Backrack Spinal Decompression Treatment
Backrackis a unique spinal decompression device that has been carefully engineered bythe brightest minds on Harley Street to treat back pain associated with musclestrain. It is safe for at-home use, requires no supervision, and the best part?There are no side effects associated with this form of treatment.
Soif youre ready to take your recovery from back pain to the next level, jointhousands of people who have already achieved that thanks to the Backrack.
Inhale Slowly And Deeply For A Count Of 5 Seconds Pause 1 Second And Exhale 3
Visualization will help by imagining a tight knot being unraveled as you inhale. Picture the muscles extending as you inhale to stretch your rib cage fully.
As the muscles are contracting intensely, they are also over contracting, making it counter-productive.
Since you have already stopped moving, you are now trying to shut off the muscles need also to do this. Breathing deeply is key to relaxing a muscle which is becoming progressively shorter and more painful.
As you try to relax, avoid any movements that allow the muscle to shorten
Because of the intensity, duration and source of the injury, it is natural to react and to contract your body further. Even unwillingly.
To avoid this, focus on slowly inhaling while at the same time minimizing your movements. When in contraction, the reduced circulation and the build up of lactic acid makes you feel much worse.
Also Check: Does Aleve Help With Back Pain
What Does A Muscle Knot Look And Feel Like
Muscle knots can usually be felt under the skin.
When you press them, the pain gets worse. Muscle knots are often a bit swollen and feel hard when you touch them.
If you have an active trigger point, the area causes pain even when you dont touch it.
If you have a latent trigger point, it is only painful when you press on it.
The most common area of muscle knots is the trapezius muscle, which starts in the neck and goes to the middle of the back and shoulders, forming a trapezium shape.
Heres a video showing how a muscle knot looks like:
Gently Stretch Your Joints And Soft Tissues Through Yoga
Yoga is an effective way to stretch your back, improve the health of muscles and joints, enhance distribution of healing nutrients through blood circulation, and increase the flexibility of the spine.12
When you start, perform the stretches slowly and advance only if you feel comfortable without pain. Gradually, you will be able to add more stretches to your routine. An ideal time for yoga is early morningto help loosen your spine and also reduce stiffness and aches in your back.
You May Like: Is Aleve Good For Lower Back Pain
Things You Should Know
Ideas about back pain have changed a lot over recent years. It is a good idea to read more about back pain as you may be surprised to discover that some of the things you thought were bad for the back are actually not a problem . Examples include:
- sitting is not bad for the back
- poor posture cannot injure the back
- the back is designed to bend, twist and lift
- moving and using the back makes it more healthy.
What Can I Do About Acute Back Or Neck Pain
The key to recovering from acute back or neck pain is restricting your activity and taking over the counter medications, because most back pain is related to muscle strain. In most cases, acute back pain will go away on its own over a period of days. Here are some tips that will help you recover:
1. Take it easy If you think you’ve hurt your back, ease up on the pressure you’re putting on your back. Many people actually have little choice in the mattertheir back pain will force them to drop to their knees or “freeze” in a bent-over position. Others will be able to function somewhat normally, but with uncomfortable pain. Contrary to popular belief, studies on acute back pain actually show that a few days of restricting your activity, and taking the appropriate over-the-counter medication, is all that many people really need to allow the strained muscles to relax and unbind. However, it is important to talk with your health care provider before taking any medication, especially if you are taking other medications or have a chronic medical condition.
2. Ice, then heat Remember this rule: “Ice first for 48 hours, then heat.” Ice and heat can alleviate local pain that comes from muscle and ligament strain. Ice slows swelling and inflammation and acts as a local anesthetic, but after 48 hours, it loses its effect. Using heat afterwards increases blood flow to the deep tissues and relaxes muscle spasms.
Recommended Reading: Tylenol Or Aleve For Back Pain
When Will My Lower Back Strain Feel Better
Recovery time depends on how serious your low back strain is. Mild cases may resolve in a couple of days. It can take many weeks for more serious strains. Remember that everyone heals at a different rate.
Once the back pain is gone, your doctor will probably want you to start a regular exercise routine. This will get your back muscles stronger and more limber. It will help you recover, and reduce your odds of low back strain in the future. Your doctor will probably want you to take up low impact sports, like swimming or using a stationary bike.
Whatever you do, don’t rush things. Don’t try to return to your previous level of physical activity until:
- You can move as easily — without stiffness — as you did before your injury.
- You feel no pain when you bend, twist, walk, run, and jump.
If you start pushing yourself before your low back strain is healed, you could end up with chronic back pain and permanent injury.
What’s The Treatment For Low Back Strain
Low back strain can be a painful and depressing injury. But the good news is that most cases heal on their own, given time. To speed the healing, you should:
- Ice your back to reduce pain and swelling as soon as you injure yourself. Do it for 20-30 minutes every 3-4 hours for 2-3 days. You can also ice your back after physical activity.
- Apply heat to your back — but only after 2-3 days of icing it first. Use heat on your back only after the initial swelling has gone down. You could use an electric heating pad or a hot water bottle. Or you could just soak in a hot bath.
- Take painkillers or other drugs, if recommended by your doctor. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , like Advil, Aleve, or Motrin, will help with lower back pain and swelling. However, these drugs may have side effects. They should be used only occasionally, unless your doctor specifically says otherwise. Prescription painkillers and muscle relaxants are sometimes necessary.
- Use support. Ask your doctor or therapist first, but consider getting a belt or girdle to add support to your back. Use it only short-term or for support with heavy or repetitive lifting.
- Get physical therapy to build up strength, if your doctor recommends it. Do not stay in bed or on the couch all day. That will make it worse.
- Maintain good muscle tone in your abdominal and lower back muscles.
Recommended Reading: Will Aleve Help Back Pain
What Is The Outlook For People With Back Pain
The prognosis for complete recovery is excellent. Most people with acute mechanical back pain respond very rapidly to treatment. About 90% of people with acute low back pain are symptom-free in one to two weeks. Many of the remaining estimated 10% recover within three months.
Recurrences of back pain are common. Continuing your home exercise program may help reduce your risk of another episode.
What Research Is Being Done
The mission of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is to seek fundamental knowledge of the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease. NINDS is a component of the National Institutes of Health , the leading supporter of biomedical research in the world.
As a primary supporter of research on pain and pain mechanisms, NINDS is a member of the NIH Pain Consortium, which was established to promote collaboration among the many NIH Institutes and Centers with research programs and activities addressing pain. On an even broader scale, NIH participates in the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee, a federal advisory committee that coordinates research across other U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agencies as well as the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.
Read Also: Is Motrin Good For Back Pain
What Is Inflamed Upper Back Muscles Or Inflamed Cervical And Thoracic Muscle Attachments
Muscles in the body are attached to the spine with the help of tendons. At times, due to overuse and strenuous activities these tendons get inflamed, especially the upper back muscles of the cervical and thoracic spine which are more susceptible to inflammation due to overuse mainly as a result of poor posture. In some cases tendon degeneration may also cause inflammation.
Upper back muscle that is the cervical and thoracic back muscles are divided in three layers. Superficial layer is formed by Splenius Capitis and Splenius Cervicis muscles. The intermediate layer is formed by Iliocostalis, Longissimus and Spinalis muscles. The deeper layer of muscles is made by Semispinalis muscles, Multifidus muscles and Rotatores muscles
Is It Normal To Have Back Pain After Deadlifts
Having acute muscle pain during and just after performing a deadlift set, or having a tight back is normal as the deadlifts are mostly done with heavier weights than many other lifts. This type of lower back pain from deadlift is your bodys normal response to the overload it is subjected to during the exercise.
When you work out after a break, change the workout routine or push your limits, you are likely to get a sore lower back a day or two after the workout session. This delayed onset muscle soreness is also normal after the heavy deadlifts.
If you continue working on a set workout routine for a long period of time while making small progressions, you will be making progress in terms of muscle mass and strength gain without feeling any muscle soreness, and that is normal too.
Having a sharp lower back pain after deadlifts or the pain that runs through your spine and vertebrae is not normal. It is either due to some underlying old injury or an injury you got in the last workout session.
Also Check: Back Pain Advil
Exercises To Fix Back Pain At Home
After stretching the area and getting an understanding of your individual range of motion and pain tolerance the next step to fixing back pain at home is to strengthen the surrounding musculature.
This is important to reduce the likelihood of injury again and restore full range of motion in the future â pain-free.
Hamstring And Hip Flexor
For immediate back tension relief, you can rely on continuous hamstring and hip flexor stretches.
It not only loosens your stiff lower back but also improves your posture.
As hip flexors are the key muscles in moving your lower body, hip flexor stretch will help prevent tearing of muscles because of being too tight or due to a sudden movement.
Steps to Perform Hamstring Pose:
1: Lie down on your back.
2: Loop a towel or resistance band around your left toe and hold the ends with both hands.
3: Slowly pull the band and lift your leg straight up, keeping your right leg on the floor.
4: Bring your left leg up until you feel a stretch in your back and calf.
5: Hold it for a minimum of 15 seconds then relax.
6: Switch legs and repeat at least 5 times.
Steps to Perform Hip flexor:
1: Kneel on both knees with the bottom on your heels.
2: Press your arms on the mat while leaning forward.
3: Place your hands shoulder-width apart and avoid elbow locking by bending it slightly.
4: Bring your left knee forward between your arms and place the left foot on the ground making a 90-degree angle.
5: Straighten your upper body and use your hands to balance.
6: Stretch your right leg backward and press the right knee into the mat.
7: Rest the top of your right foot on the mat.
8: Slowly try to lean forward a little and maintain it for 20 seconds.
9: Return to the starting position and repeat it with the opposite leg.
Also Check: How Does A Diuretic Help Back Pain