Risk Factors For Pulled Back Muscles
While that pulled back muscle may seem to come on suddenly, chances are it was a long time coming.
You could be ignoring some very important warning signs. Which means if youre not in pain now, you might want to sit up and pay attention.
Do you sit in a chair all day? Do you exercise incorrectly? Are you under tremendous stress? Are you dehydrated? Are you substantially overweight?
Did you honestly answer yes to one or more of those questions?
If so, then youre at greater risk of muscle imbalances, trigger point pain, and at higher risk for injuries like a pulled back muscle.
But when you do experience pulled back muscles what do you do?
Well cover that more in the next section.
Key takeaway: There are several risk factors that can make you more susceptible to pulled back muscles, including stress, poor posture, being overweight and even how hydrated you are.
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
Stretching Your Lumbar Muscles To Help With Strains Or Tears
Stretching can help your back strain in numerous ways! Although stretching sometimes can be overlooked, it can be the key to your recovery process if youve pulled a muscle in your back. Stretching helps improve flexibility, improve your physical performance, increase your endurance, reduce the chance of injury, and increase blood flow. Who wouldn’t want that right?
Stretching can be done in your house, at work, on the go – pretty much anywhere, so theres no excuse to skip over this regime! If youve pulled, strained, or torn your back, stretching can be the first step to a speedy recovery. Stretching for a sprained back will help promote healing as this injury typically can last for around 4-6 weeks or if severe enough, it might take up to 10 weeks.
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When Should You See A Doctor
Initially, lower back pain may be mild and go away on its own. However, if the pain becomes severe or does not go away, you need to see a doctor.
At first, you can try treating back pain using home remedies or over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen. If you dont address the symptoms, back pain can affect your normal daily activities. If you experience back pain for more than two weeks, it could be a sign that you need to see a doctor.
Signs that you need to see a doctor include:
Pain in the back after trauma
When back pain is associated with fever
Loss of control over your bladder and bowel
Loss of strength and sensation in your arms and legs
Night back pains
Pains associated with certain medical conditions, e.g., osteoporosis
You may want to see your primary care doctor for diagnosis and treatment. They might refer you to a specialist if your diagnosis is unclear or further treatment is required.
Tips For Treating Back Pain Quickly
One of the most important things to remember is back pain usually goes away if you start taking care of your posture and donât put too much stress on your spine.
However, this will depend on the type and severity of pain, where itâs localized, and how you treat it. Here are 5 tips for treating back pain fast!
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Try To Boost Your Mood
No, the lower back pain isnt in your head, but obsessing over it could be making it worse. Fear, anxiety, and catastrophizing can amplify pain, says Dr. Mackey. Because brain circuits that process pain overlap dramatically with circuits involved with emotions, panic can translate into actual pain. Start by accepting that you have pain, Dr. Mackey says. Then say to yourself, it will get better. If you struggle with overall mental wellbeingsay, you have anxiety or depressionin addition to your physical aches, it could be worth seeing a therapist to manage negative thought processes while exploring other lower back pain treatments.
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:
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Causes Of A Strained Back Muscle
Sometimes even simply pulling or twisting a tendon or muscles may result in a strained back. That means, even a single instance of overstressing the lower back muscles or improper lifting can cause back strain. If you have a long-term strain, it may be the result of repetitive, prolonged muscles and tendon use.
As we discussed above, a sprain may occur after a sudden twist, fall, or a blow to the joint, affecting its normal position. All these conditions can stretch the ligament beyond the normal movement range and cause injury.
In addition to that, there can be many factors that may put you at greater risk of getting a sprained or strained back. These can include:
-Curving your lower back excessively
-Having weak abdominal or back muscles
Usually, athletes and sports persons experience this problem as their daily routine involves a lot of pulling, pushing, and weight lifting. They are at higher risk of a lower back injury.
Ask About Prescription Medications
If your back pain hasnt resolved itself within four to six weeks, make an appointment with your doctor, who will examine your back and ask you to sit, stand, bend, walk, and lift your legs to see how your pain is affecting your mobility. Youll likely be asked to rate your pain on a scale of one to 10, and they may do imaging tests, like an X-ray or MRI. Then, he or she may recommend one of the following prescribed therapies:
- Muscle relaxants: Medications like cyclobenzaprine or baclofen can help relieve painful back spasms. If you go this route, just know that side effects can include fatigue and dizziness.
- Topical pain medications: These creams and ointments, like Voltaren gel, are meant to be rubbed directly on to the area thats hurting you.
- Cortisone shots: If other treatment measures fail, your doctor may recommend an injection of cortisone, a potent anti-inflammatory. There are risks, including thinning of nearby bone, and relief typically lasts just a few months, tops.
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More Advanced Care Options
Surgery When other therapies fail, surgery may be considered to relieve pain caused by worsening nerve damage, serious musculoskeletal injuries, or nerve compression. Specific surgeries are selected for specific conditions/indications. However, surgery is not always successful. It may be months following surgery before the person is fully healed and there may be permanent loss of flexibility. Surgical options include:
Implanted nerve stimulators
- Spinal cord stimulation uses low-voltage electrical impulses from a small implanted device that is connected to a wire that runs along the spinal cord. The impulses are designed to block pain signals that are normally sent to the brain.
- Dorsal root ganglion stimulation also involves electrical signals sent along a wire connected to a small device that is implanted into the lower back. It specifically targets the nerve fibers that transmit pain signals. The impulses are designed to replace pain signals with a less painful numbing or tingling sensation.
- Peripheral nerve stimulation also uses a small implanted device and an electrode to generate and send electrical pulses that create a tingling sensation to provide pain relief.
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.
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What Does Low Back Strain Feel Like
Symptoms of low back strain include:
- Pain and stiffness in the back.
- Pain in the buttocks and the legs, often in the back of the thigh.
- Pain that worsens when bending, stretching, coughing, or sneezing.
Since some symptoms of low back strain are similar to those of more serious conditions, it’s important to get checked out by a doctor. Any numbness and weakness in your legs, or bowel and bladder problems, can be a sign of nerve damage — and that needs immediate medical attention.
To diagnose low back strain, your doctor will give you a thorough exam. You may also need X-rays, MRIs , and CT scans. These extra tests may only be needed if your pain doesn’t go away on its own or with conservative treatment.
Should You Exercise Through Lower Back Pain
Posted on by OrthoNYin Back, News, Physical Therapy, Spine
According to the American Physical Therapy Association, two thirds of Americans have lower back pain sometime during their lives. Its what to do with and about that pain that matters. Should you exercise through lower back pain? The common sense answer to you now may be: if it hurts when you do this, then dont do it.
All joking aside, chronic lower back pain can result in a lot of adults losing time at work, and it can interfere with normal day to day activities. The last thing you want to do is exacerbate the injury and increase the pain.
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Home Remedies For Fast Back Pain Relief
Lower back pain is a widespread problem, causing more global disability than any other condition. Up to 80 percent of adults will experience low back pain at least once in their lives.
People can also experience pain in other areas of the back, including the middle and upper back.
The back muscles and spine support much of the bodys weight. A person uses the muscles for everyday movements, including sitting, standing, and walking.
Over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, may help relieve pain. For those who wish to try home remedies, some of the following treatments might help:
See Your Doctor If The Pain Is Persistent
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% Of People Will Experience Back Pain At Some Time But There Are Ways To Find Relief
As people enter middle age, they are more likely to experience bouts of low back pain. In fact, according to the Harvard Special Health Report Men’s Health: Fifty and Forward, back pain affects about four in five Americans at some point in their lives and equally strikes men and women.
Age is often the culprit. Over time, the bones and joints in your lower back begin to change. Your discs tend to wear out and sometimes become fragmented. These structural alterations sometimes cause pain.
Another cause of low back pain, although it occurs less often, is a herniated disc. Sometimes, a disc pushes outside the space between the bones and compresses a nerve at the point where it branches off the spinal cord. When the sciatic nerve that leads into the buttocks and leg is affected, the pain is called sciatica.
Yet, most cases of low back pain stem from strain or sprain due to simple overuse, unaccustomed activity, excessive lifting, or an accident. In most cases the best move is to wait and see if the pain resolves on its own. If the pain does not improve after three to four days, then it’s time to see a doctor.
However, depending on the source of your back pain and its severity, you might try a few home remedies for low back pain to help ease the pain until your back returns to normal. Here are several options to consider:
Complementary therapies. Several types of complementary therapy may be helpful for relief from low back pain. These include:
Who Can Get A Back Strain
Does your back hurt? You are not alone. Most people at one time or another will suffer from a slight back problem. In the United States, back pain is one of the most common medical problems.
Back injuries often occur during sports, tasks at work, or home projects. When the lower spine muscles become swollen and inflamed, this is known as a strain. A strain can lead to muscle spasms and pain. Though less complicated than a fracture, the healing process depends on the cause and treatment.
Over a lifetime, more than eighty percent of people will have low back pain. It is seen more commonly among people ages 40 to 80, and in women. Over 100 billion dollars are spent each year in the United States because of low back pain factoring in decreased wages and absence from work.
A few people are more likely to develop a back strain. Risk factors include a family history of back pain, long periods of sitting, lifting of heavy items, and diseases such as arthritis or osteoporosis.
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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.
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.
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How Is Lumbar Strain Treated
Specific treatment for a lumbar strain will be discussed with you by your healthcare provider based on:
- Your age, overall health, and medical history
- Extent of the injury
- Your tolerance for specific medicines, procedures, and therapies
- Expectation for the course of the injury
- Your opinion or preference
- Ice packs and/or heat and compression applied to the back
- Stretching and strengthening exercises
- Education regarding the use and wearing of appropriate protective equipment
Medicines, such as anti-inflammatories and spinal injections, may also be used to relieve pain and inflammation.