Urgent Advice: Ask For An Urgent Gp Appointment Or Get Help From 111 If:
You have back pain and:
- a high temperature
- you’ve lost weight without trying to
- there’s a lump or swelling in your back or your back has changed shape
- the pain does not improve after resting or is worse at night
- the pain is made worse when sneezing, coughing or pooing
- the pain is coming from the top of your back , rather than your lower back
How Are Back Sprains And Strains Diagnosed
Mild strains and sprains can usually be diagnosed based on a medical historyincluding a review of the symptoms and how the injury occurredand a physical examination by a healthcare provider. In cases of more severe strains and sprains, especially when there is weakness or loss of function, an X-ray may be taken to rule out a fractured or herniated disc as the cause of the back pain.
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.
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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:
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Exercise #: Cat & Cow
The cat and cow is a great spine mobility exercise that you can do to help energize your low back muscles.
How to do it:
- Begin by kneeling on all fours with your hands positioned under your shoulders and your knees positioned directly below your hips.
- Exhale and arch your spine gently.
- Inhale and tighten your core muscle while you round your back.
- Aim for 10 repetitions.
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How Is Back Pain Treated
Acute back pain usually gets better on its own. Acute back pain is usually treated with:
- Medications designed to relieve pain and/or inflammation
- analgesics such as acetaminophen and aspirin
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen may be sold over the counter some NSAIDS are prescribed by a physician
- muscle relaxants are prescription drugs that are used on a short-term basis to relax tight muscles
- topical pain relief such as creams, gels, patches, or sprays applied to the skin stimulate the nerves in the skin to provide feelings of warmth or cold in order to dull the sensation of pain. Common topical medications include capsaicin and lidocaine.
Exercising, bed rest, and surgery are typically not recommended for acute back pain.Chronic back pain is most often treated with a stepped care approach, moving from simple low-cost treatments to more aggressive approaches. Specific treatments may depend on the identified cause of the 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
What Causes A Back Strain Or Sprain
Twisting or pulling a muscle or tendon can result in a strain. It can also be caused by a single instance of improper lifting or by overstressing the back muscles. A chronic strain usually results from overuse after prolonged, repetitive movement of the muscles and tendons.
A sprain often occurs after a fall or sudden twist, or a blow to the body that forces a joint out of its normal position. All of these conditions stretch one or more ligaments beyond their normal range of movement, causing injury.
In addition, several factors can put a person at greater risk for a back strain or sprain, including:
- Curving the lower back excessively
- Being overweight
- Having weak back or abdominal muscles, and/or tight hamstrings .
Playing sports that involve pushing and pullingsuch as weightlifting and footballalso increases the risk of a low back injury.
Other Exercises For Strengthening Your Back
You can also check my other exercises to improve your posture.
Low back pain can also be caused by your sciatic nerve. If you have pain in your lower back and pain down your left leg or right leg, then why not try some great yoga stretches to relieve sciatic pain, tennis ball massage therapy, and foam roller exercises for sciatic and back pain. All these exercises include video or detailed illustrations for easy implementation at home.
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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.
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.
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How Can You Treat A Pulled Muscle In The Lower Back
April 13, 2020 by Dr. Clemens
Medical News Today
Pulled muscles, or strains, are common in the lower back because this area supports the weight of the upper body.
Anyone can get a lower back or lumbar strain, which can be very painful and make normal movement difficult.
In this article, we discuss the symptoms and causes of a pulled muscle in the lower back and explain what treatment options are available.
Symptoms of a pulled lower back include:
- loss of function and restricted movement
- difficulty walking, bending, or standing straight
- swelling and bruising
- sudden pain in the lower back
Overstretching or tearing ligaments, which are bands of tissue that hold the vertebrae of the spine in place, can cause a sprain. A strain is a tear in either a muscle itself or one of the tendons that attach the muscles to the spinal column.
Strains happen when a person stretches the muscles or muscle fibers beyond their normal range of movement.
Causes may include:
- sports that require pushing and pulling, such as football or soccer
Other risk factors include:
- bending the lower back excessively
- a weak back or abdominal muscles
- tight hamstrings
Anyone who strains a muscle in the lower back should rest to avoid further damage. However, they should not stop moving altogether. Gentle movements that cause no pain can help expedite the healing process.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, after a person pulls their lower back, they should:
Initial Treatments For Low Back Muscle Strain
Infographic:Lower Back Pain
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.
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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.
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.
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Causes And Diagnosis Of A Pulled Back Muscle
Trauma, stress, and tension may all cause strains and sprains. Some of the most common causes include:
- Falling, especially if you hit the ground hard or fall in an awkward position.
- Repetitive movements that stress and irritate the back muscles.
- Unsafe lifting, lifting while twisting, or lifting a very heavy object. Parents sometimes injure their backs throwing or playing with children.
- Excess weight that puts excess strain on back muscles. People who are overweight, people who suddenly gain weight, and pregnant women are more vulnerable to pulled muscles.
- A sedentary lifestyle. This may weaken the back, increasing the risk of injuries.
- Poor posture when sitting or bad form when doing athletic activities.
A medical professional may suspect a strain or sprain based on symptoms and your medical history. If another injury, such as a broken bone or herniated disc, is possible, the provider may do other tests, such as an x-ray or MRI scan.3
Causes Of Strain In Lower Back Muscles
As one of the most common injuries among adults, lower back strain can occur due to a broad range of causes, including:
- Sudden impact from a fall, collision, or athletic activity
- Repetitive motion that causes stress on the muscles and joints
- Lifting while twisting, or lifting an object that is too heavy
- Poor posture or incorrect form when performing activities
- Weak or imbalanced muscles in the back and abdominals
- Excess weight that causes stress in lower back muscles
Lower back muscle strain is typically diagnosed by a medical professional after performing a physical examination and evaluating your history of injury. In cases of severe pain, other tests such as an x-ray or MRI might be performed to rule out other types of injuries.
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Takeaways About Pulled Back Muscles
Key takeaway #1: Pulled lower back muscles can be extremely painful, but rarely require medical intervention.
Key takeaway #2: Several lifestyle factors could put you at greater risk for developing a pulled muscle in your back.
Key takeaway #3: Prescription and over-the-counter medications can often do more harm than good when treating a pulled back muscle.
Key takeaway #4: You can speed up recovery and reduce pain with a few simple at-home remedies: cold and heat therapy, natural anti-inflammatories, rest and stretching.
Key takeaway #5: To reduce your risk of pulling a back muscle in the future, focus on cleaning up your diet, reducing stress levels and making sure your back is properly supported.
Editors note: This article has been reviewed by a member of our medical advisory board. The content provided is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult with your physician if you have any questions about your health.
How To Prevent Pulled Muscles In The Future
There are many ways to pull a muscle not just in sports or exercise, but daily life too. Maybe you tried to pick something heavy up too quickly, maybe you pushed a little too hard in your workout, or maybe you performed a movement with improper form. To prevent pulled muscles or muscle strains in the future, always practice good form when exercising and lifting heavy objects. Engage your core, keep your straight back and drive the power through your legs. Doing a proper warm up before any strenuous workout is always smart. Listen to your body and take rest days if your muscles are tired.
To learn proper exercise form, and browse our exercise library. Exercises are demonstrated by coaches in video form and include a step-by-step list as well.
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Back Muscle Strain When To See A Doctor
According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, in most cases, you can treat pulled and strained back muscles at home. Home remedies help to improve the healing time and you should be pain-free quicker.
However, there are some conditions that require you to seek medical advice for your pulled upper back muscle or low back pain.17, 18 These are:
- Tingling or numbness in your back, arms, or legs.
- You suffer intense back pain after a severe trauma like a car accident or falling.
- You notice weakness or pain in your legs.
- You have signs of a fever.
- You lose control of your bladder or bowels.
- Severe back pain, especially low back pain that wakes you up in the middle of the night.
Read my other related articles:
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 Instituteâs 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 patientâs medical history.
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