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How To Recover From Lower Back Strain

What Are The Symptoms Of A Strained Back

How to recover from a lower back injury so you can run again

Symptoms of a strained back include:

  • Stiffness in the lower back with range of motion reduction
  • Muscle spasms at anytime
  • Low back pain that can spread to the buttocks
  • Stiffness and pain that prevents normal posture
  • Pain that lasts for up to two weeks

Other conditions may mimic back strain symptoms. Infection in the lower back caused by osteomyelitis or an abscess can seem like back strain. Also, kidney conditions like kidney stones can cause back pain. Inflammation of the prostate in men and pelvic inflammatory disease in women can also mimic strained back pain. You should visit your doctor if your symptoms do not resolve in a few weeks.

What Are The Symptoms Of Serious Back Injury

Severe back injuries include fractures , wounds, extensive bruising and damage to your spinal cord and internal organs.

Any of the following symptoms could indicate a severe back injury. You should see a doctor right away if you have:

  • difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • problems with urinating or passing stool
  • numbness or pins and needles to the arms, legs, hands or feet
  • fever
  • paralysis
  • blood in the urine

Seek medical assistance immediately by calling an ambulance on triple zero . Do not move the person unless they are in danger and advise the person to not move their back. Support their head, neck and spine and prevent twisting or bending movements.

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
  • Exercises
  • 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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Symptoms Of A Pulled Back Muscle

Symptoms of a pulled back muscle depend on where the injury is. The spine is divided into three major sections: the neck, upper back and shoulders, and lower back.

For a pulled muscle in the neck, you might experience:3

  • Pain in the neck and upper back area
  • Limited range of motion in the neck
  • Stiffness in the neck
  • Pain radiating to the shoulders or arms
  • Headache

Pulled muscles in the shoulders and upper back may cause:

  • Pain in the area between the spine and shoulder blade
  • Muscle spasms in the upper back
  • Knots and tightness in the upper back and shoulders
  • Pain when moving the shoulders

In lower back strain injuries, many people experience symptoms such as:3

  • Aching and stiffness in lower back muscles
  • Pain that worsens with movement
  • Pain that radiates to the hips and legs
  • Limited range of motion
  • Muscle spasms in lower back area
  • Pain when sitting, standing, or walking

Pulled Back Muscle And Lower Back Strain

Lower Back Injury From Squats

Lower back strain, also referred to as a pulled muscle, is caused by damage to the muscles and ligaments of the lower back. Watch:Lower Back Strain Video

The lower spine, also called the lumbar spine, depends on these soft tissues to help hold the body upright and support weight from the upper body. If put under too much stress, the low back muscles| or soft tissues can become injured and painful.

While a pulled back muscle or strain may seem like a minor injury, the resulting pain and muscle spasms can be surprisingly severe.

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Work With A Professional For Low Back Pain

Finally, seeking the assistance of an appropriately trained and licensed health professional for back rehabilitation and exercise is highly recommended. The back is a complicated structure, and specialists have a defined protocol to identify the cause of back pain. And its always important to see a physician if the lower back pain lasts for more than a few weeks or a month or if there are any symptoms that cause concern, as the continued pain and/or symptoms may signify a serious medical condition.

Ultimately, participating in developing and maintaining an active rehabilitation and exercise program for low back pain should help patients heal faster and have fewer recurrences of back pain.

Common Lower Back Injuries From Deadlifting

The deadlift is an exercise that has a relatively wide range of motion and incorporates several different joints in the body. That said, most injuries suffered during deadlifts are non-specific low-back injuries, meaning theyre usually sprains or strains.

However, it is possible to suffer more serious injuries during a deadlift, such as a herniated disc. But, if you use proper form during the lift, the risk of herniated discs is relatively low.

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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.

Pulled Back Muscle Symptoms

Lower Back Injury Recovery Length | HOW TO SPEED UP HEALING TIME

The soft tissue in the lower back may become damaged for many different reasons, but some of the most common may include3:

  • Twisting the spine or using poor form while lifting a heavy object
  • Falling in a way that puts too much pressure on the spine
  • Poor posture that stresses the connective tissues in the spine
  • Sports injuries caused by pivoting, twisting, or physical impact
  • A sedentary lifestyle followed by sudden intense exercise, since weak muscles and ligaments are more vulnerable to injury4

A sprain or strain in the back may cause symptoms such as5:

  • Dull, aching pain in the lower back
  • Difficulty standing, sitting, and twisting
  • Stiffness in the lower back
  • Muscle spasms
  • Pain that radiates to other areaslower back sprains and strains may radiate to the hips or buttocks, while injuries in the upper back can cause neck or head pain

Although sprains and strains are different injuries, the treatment and symptoms are similar.

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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.

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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How To Recover From A Back Injury

This article was co-authored by Scott Anderson, MA, ATC, SFMA, DNSP. Scott Anderson is the Chief Clinical Officer at SyncThink, an award winning startup founded out of Stanford University. Scott previously served as the Director of Sports Medicine/Athletic Training for Stanford University for over ten years from 2007 to 2017. Scott has over 18 years of clinical and management experience, and is a recognized international speaker on topics of clinical specialization, which include developmental kinesiology, neuroscience/concussion, and movement dysfunction. He is a certified Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization Practitioner , Sports Safety Specialist and is certified to conduct Selective Functional Movement Assessments , and Functional Movement Screenings . He earned a BS in Athletic Training from Washington State University in 2000 and an MA in Athletic Administration from Saint Mary’s College in 2002. This article has been viewed 118,269 times.

If you have injured your back, either at work or otherwise, it can be a debilitating and challenging condition to recover from. However, with the right lifestyle modifications, lots of rest, and appropriate medical care, you can give yourself the best possible chance for full recovery. Note that if your back pain persists or does not start to get better shortly after the injury, it is always best to see a physician for professional advice on how to proceed.

What Are The Risk Factors For Developing Low Back Pain

Pin on Herniated Disc

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.

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How Squatting Can Lead To Lower Back Injuries

In any exercise, your technique is key. In fact, incorrect form is a sure-fire way toward increasing your risk of injury and pain. Thus, being aware of your form throughout the entirety of each exercise is crucial to preventing pain.

When it comes to squatting, this means keeping your chest up and your back in a neutral position during the descent and ascent. Ideally, you want to brace your core, which means activating your abdominals before beginning the exercise and continuing to keep them engaged throughout the movement.

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Ideally, you want to activate your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, core, and postural muscles during the squat.

Another key piece many individuals overlook is the activation of the upper back. You want to engage the lats to prevent rounding or hunching. Again, this also loads the correct muscles, protecting your low back.

Other reasons back pain may occur during your squat include a lack of ankle mobility, adding too much weight too quickly, or poor footwear. Ankle mobility limits your squat depth. It may also cause your knees to protrude past your toes, which can create some issues as well. Additionally, too much weight means your body has not been able to adapt. This is why progressive overload for weight lifting is important. Your body needs time and a gradual increase in load to get stronger.

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So, what muscles are you activating during your squat?

Conservative Treatments For Lower Back Pain

Conservative treatment is basically alleviation of lower back pain without any surgical means. Conservative treatments for lower back pain include the following:

  • Physical therapy for lower back pain is a type of treatment is administered to strengthen your back muscles. This therapy ranges from water therapies to more specialized massage techniques.
  • Medications for lower back pain is the most effective way of reducing inflammation, controlling pain and calming of muscle spasms.
  • Injections are whereby the lumbar epidural steroid Injections are administered to help in strengthening of the back to reduce pain. A set of two to three injections will be administered into the Lumbar Spine.

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How Long Does It Take For A Pulled Back Muscle To Heal

A pulled back muscle may happen suddenly while lifting a squirming child or overexerting at the gym. It may also appear over time as weak muscles steadily debilitate and trigger injuries. A pulled muscle in the back refers to one of two injuries:

  • A sprain, which is when the ligaments that hold bones together are torn or stretched.1
  • A strain, which is when muscles are stretched or torn.1

Both injuries may have similar symptoms, with the primary one being pain. The most common location for a pulled back muscle is in the lumbar spine, which is the lower back area. This painful injury is the most common cause of disability and lost work time among people under the age of 45.2

Phase : Manage Pain And Restore Mobility

Low Back Pain Recovery Step 1: Spine Sparing Movement

In order to get back to moving correctly and reduce your pain, you will have to stop doing the activities that cause it. Pain is your bodys way of saying it doesnt like you moving a certain way. After an injury, even proper movement can still hurt, if the tissue hasnt healed and the surrounding muscles have locked down to protect it.

In this phase, I cut out all jumping, deadlifts, squats, burpees, running , rowing, kettlebell work, basically any spinal flexion, standing overhead presses, and performed no metcons or circuits with my lower body. I know it seems excessive, but reinjuring yourself while recovering is an issue thats probably all-too-familiar for a lot of you. I only performed upper-body movements, cycling, swimming, water exercise, walking, using a stepmill, and plenty of hip and leg mobility.

For my back-specific rehab, my go-to movements were:

  • Single leg toe touches to drill proper hip hinging
  • Clamshells, fire hydrants, and other gluteus medius work
  • Hip raises and other gluteus maximus work
  • Plank variations to work on midline stability
  • Reverse hypers, and light back extensions to reintroduce some movement in my back, as long as they didnt hurt that day.

During this time I also purchased a dual transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and electric muscle stimulation unit. The TENS setting was used to provide immediate relief to the pain, while the EMS later on allowed me to provide some bloodflow to the area, since I wasnt able to move it.

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Phase : Strength Endurance

The third phase was freeing for me, because I was able to reintroduce barbell lower body work and even running. I still stayed away from jumping, high velocity kettlebell lifts, and fast hip and spinal flexion. I still performed circuits only with upper body lifts.

My rehab continued with tons of planks, back extension and reverse hyper holds, and band antirotation drills to make sure I was holding a stable midline during all movements. My hips were loosening up, so the volume of my hip drills went down, since at that point I was able to squat lower and lower and work on my lower body lifts without pain . Rehab drills are great, but theres no substitute for full range of motion, functional movements.

With phase three, SMR is used less as a pain management tool, and more as a method to restore resting length of the muscles, now that they are being challenged in higher repetition ranges at moderate loads. I was also able to add in more mobility and stretching drills, now that my entire posterior chain was starting to feel more human and less like steel. Even if you dont have pain, recognize the importance of mobility and SMRs role in it.

While the TENS/EMS unit was helpful before, once I started being able to challenge my entire body in the gym, I found I used it less and less as my lifts got better. You could still use it if you have the time to, but I didnt see much of a difference on the days when I used it as opposed to the days when I didnt.

Extend Your Lower Back

A 2013 study published in Spine shows that this exercise, performed with a large or small range of motion, will help reduce your lower back pain and caused by your injury. Yoga Journal reveals that back extension or Locust pose is contraindicated for people with a serious back injury but is recommended as a therapeutic application for general lower back pain.

How to: Lie completely flat on the floor, stomach side down, and lift your head and shoulders off the mat using your lower back muscles. Your arms should be by your sides the entire time, not helping you lift yourself up.

Read more:Back Hyperextensions

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