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How To Treat Lower Back Muscle Strain

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How to Treat a Low Back Muscle Strain at Home

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

Diagnosis And Treatment Of Lumbar Strains

In order to determine if your back pain is indeed caused by a lumbar strain, you should seek medical advice. Your doctor might first perform a physical examination exam. If he/she finds anything that represents a cause for concern he/she may refer you to have an MRI scan.

Treatment of the lumbar spine can be done with some simple steps. But thats not as easy as it seems. The actual treatment is time-consuming as it becomes difficult to find relief and symptoms usually last for weeks and even months. But some aspects of the treatment can ensure fewer episodes of the injury in the future.

This isnt to say that you cant do anything to reduce pain in the short term.

For the time being, to temporarily relieve pain you may want to try:

· A sensible amount of bed rest

· Applying an ice pack on the affected area

There are also things you can do to relieve pain in the long term, such as:

· Staying active

· Performing muscle stretching exercises to release any tension inside the affected muscles

· Performing muscle strengthening exercises that will help prevent future injury

· Engaging in physical therapy for which it is recommended that you use a medical device to go with it

Taking any kind of muscle relaxants or anti inflammatory over-the counter medication is not recommended, however, as they can be highly addictive and can cause a series of side effects.

What Is Muscle Strain Treatment

Overexerting your body can lead to numerous injuries. A muscle strain, or pulled muscle, occurs when your muscle is overstretched or torn. This can be minor and like soreness after an intense workout, or it can be so severe that it needs medical attention.

Muscle strains are a very common injury. Most people who participate in sports have experienced it at some point in their lives. Poor conditioning, fatigue, and an improper warmup can lead to a muscle strain.

When muscle strain occurs, people often report a popping or snapping sensation. This is the feeling of the muscle tissue being stretched until it snaps. This is often a very painful experience. Strains most commonly occur in the:

  • lower back
  • shoulder
  • hamstring muscle, which is located in the back of the thigh

There are several different ways to treat muscle strains. The extent of the treatment depends on the extent of the strain.

Diagnosing and treating a muscle strain:

  • alleviates pain and inflammation
  • reduces the risk of further injury
  • helps you regain full use of your body
  • gives your body a chance to rest and heal properly

Without proper treatment, you may experience recurring injuries or pain and weakness in the muscle during everyday use. It can be especially painful during exercise and athletic activities.

In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair a muscle thats torn as opposed to one thats strained. A doctor will

With proper treatment, all of these devices are temporary.

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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!

Bird Dog Hip Extension

How to Treat a Pulled Back Muscle or Lumbar Strain

Why its beneficial:

The bird dog hip extension helps to stabilize your lower back as well as your abdominal muscles.

Try it:

  • Kneel on a mat with both hands down and arms shoulder-width apart.

  • Start by engaging and tightening your core muscles.

  • Slowly straighten one leg behind you while maintaining a flat back.

  • Return the straightened leg back to the starting position.

  • Repeat on the other side.

  • Perform 10 repetitions, while holding each for 20-30 seconds.

  • Modification:

    If this causes any discomfort, lift your leg only several inches off the ground rather than reaching full extension.

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    What Does Pulled Strained Or Torn Muscle In Back Feel Like

    The symptoms of a strained, pulled, or torn muscle depend much on the cause of the injury and the extent of muscle damage. Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that a strained muscle will feel painful and sore and you may notice some swelling around the injured area.

    Dr. Lawrence Gulotta, a sports injury specialist, says that muscle injuries can be divided into 3 grades:3

    Grade 1 strained back muscle. This will cause mild pain as just a small percentage of muscle tissue is damaged. You will only have minimal loss of motion in your back. Injuries that strain back muscles take about 2-3 weeks to heal if they are treated properly.

    Grade 2 pulled back muscle. Severely pulling a back muscle will result in intense pain and can also cause some of the back muscles to tear. A severely pulled trapezius, rhomboid, or latissimus dorsi muscle will take between 2 and 3 months to completely heal.

    Grade 3 torn back muscle. If the back muscle gets completely torn or ruptures, this will cause you to feel severe pain and discomfort. It will take many months to heal the torn muscle and in some cases, may take surgery to repair the muscle tear.

    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.

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    How Qi Treats Lower Back Muscle Strain

    With the help of DSA, the spine specialist will recommend lower back muscle strain treatment aimed to target the weak and affected muscles. After an in-depth evaluation, the spine specialist may suggest physical therapy and medical movements specific to reduce pain and also strengthen your weaker muscles. You may also be advised a few movements or exercises to continue even after recovery to maintain good spine health.

    Try Doing Gentle Back Stretches

    Pulled Muscle In Low Back? 3 DIY Treatments
  • Go slow and stop immediately if you feel any pain. Try a back flexion stretch by lying down on your back, pulling both of your knees to your chest, and flexing your head forward until you feel a nice stretch. Another option is a knee-to-chest stretch, which you can do by lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor. Then, place both of your hands behind 1 knee and gently pull it to your chest until you feel a stretch. Slowly release the stretch and repeat it with the other leg.XResearch source
  • Hold each stretch for about 10 seconds or so.
  • Your doctor may also recommend specific stretches for you to try.
  • Dont try to push through any pain or you could make the strain worse. If a stretch starts to hurt, stop right away.
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    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.

    When Should I Contact My Healthcare Provider About A Back Strain Or Sprain

    • You have severe pain and cannot walk more than a few steps.
    • You have numbness in the area of injury or down your leg.
    • You have injured your lower back several times before.
    • You have a lump or area with an unusual shape.
    • You have pain that interferes with sleep.
    • You have obvious weakness in an extremity after an injury.

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/09/2018.


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    Lower Back Muscle Strain Treatment

    Lower back muscle strain can be painful but it heals mostly on its own with time. The initial lower back muscle strain treatment consists of self-care measures listed below that can be done at home.

    • Ice therapy Apply ice to your back for 20-30 mins every 3-4 hours to reduce pain and swelling. Ice helps in reducing inflammation.
    • Heat therapy After 2-3 days of icing, you can apply heat once the initial swelling has gone down. Heat pack increases blood circulation which enhances healing and also relieves tension from strained muscles.
    • Physical therapy Try to stay active and dont take complete bed rest. Complete bed rest might worsen the pain. Consult with your doctor about which physical activities are safe to do. Consider short, frequent walks to keep your spine healthy.
    • Over-the-counter medicines Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help you in reducing inflammation and pain. Sometimes, muscle relaxants may also be prescribed by your doctor.

    How Is Low Back Pain Diagnosed

    3 Quick Steps to Recover from a Sprained &  Torn Back Muscle

    A complete medical history and physical exam can usually identify any serious conditions that may be causing the pain. Neurologic tests can help determine the cause of pain and appropriate treatment. Imaging tests are not needed in most cases but may be ordered to rule out specific causes of pain, including tumors and spinal stenosis. Occasionally the cause of chronic lower back pain is difficult to determine even after a thorough examination.

    Tests include:

    Blood tests are not routinely used to diagnose the cause of back pain but might be ordered to look for signs of inflammation, infection, cancer, and/or arthritis.

    Bone scans can detect and monitor an infection, fracture, or bone disorder. A small amount of radioactive material is injected into the bloodstream and collects in the bones, particularly in areas with some abnormality. Scanner-generated images can identify specific areas of irregular bone metabolism or abnormal blood flow, as well as to measure levels of joint disease.

    Discography involves injecting a contrast dye into a spinal disc thought to be causing low back pain. The fluids pressure in the disc will reproduce the persons symptoms if the disc is the cause. The dye helps to show the damaged areas on CT scans taken following the injection.

    Electrodiagnostics can identify problems related to the nerves in the back and legs. The procedures include:

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    Pulled Back Muscle Treatment

    Learn about muscle anatomy and the symptoms of lower back strain. WatchLower Back Strain Video

    Aggressive chiropractic manipulation should be avoided at the onset of treatment. It is best to restore health in a very gradual and dedicated process, watching for worsening symptoms versus improvement.

    Ultimately, the severity of a muscle injury will determine what kind of treatment is necessary.

    How Are Back Strains And Sprains Treated

    The treatment for strains and sprains is similar, and often takes place in two phases.

    The goal of the first phase is to reduce the pain and spasm. This may involve rest, and the use of ice packs and compression , especially for the first 24 to 48 hours after the injury. An over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, such as ibuprofen , may be recommended to help reduce pain and swelling.

    After the first 24 to 48 hours, returning to normal activities, as tolerated, is advisable. Extended bed rest or immobility simply prolongs symptoms and delays recovery.

    Most people with lumbar strain/sprain symptoms improve in about 2 weeks. If symptoms continue for more than 2 weeks, additional treatment may be required.

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    How To Treat Lower Right Back Muscle Strain

    The initial pain from a muscle strain may be severe, but it will likely subside over a few days. Read:A Guide to Lower Right Back Pain

    Muscle strains occur when a muscle is pulled beyond its normal limit, causing the muscle fibers to overstretch or have small, microscopic tears. While this type of injury is typically minor and heals without complications1, the pain may be severe and your back may be markedly stiff.

    See Lower Back Muscle Strain Symptoms

    A back muscle strain is usually the result of an indirect injury1,2 such as from swinging a golf club or twisting the right side of your back to lift a child off the floor. Sometimes, you may also strain a tendon along with the muscle.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Lumbar Strain

    Lower Back Pain Relief – Back Strain Stretches and Exercises

    The following are the most common symptoms of a lumbar strain. However, each person may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

    • Sudden lower back pain
    • Spasms in the lower back that result in more severe pain
    • Lower back feels sore to the touch

    The symptoms of a lumbar strain may resemble other conditions and medical problems. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

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    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.

    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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    Avoid Laying Down For Long Periods Of Time

  • Some physical activity can help you heal. While it is important that you take it easy, lying down for too long can actually slow down your healing time and can make your symptoms last longer. Try to get up and walk around for at least a few minutes every hour or so. Feel free to do activities that dont cause you too much pain. Stay as active as you can to help speed up your recovery time.XTrustworthy SourceCleveland ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
  • Try getting up at least once every hour. You could also take short walks every now and then to keep from lying down for too long.
  • Exercises To Prevent Pulling Or Straining Your Back Muscles:

    Lower Back Strain: Treatment, Prevention, Symptoms, Causes
  • Wall Sit:

    Stand with your back against a wall and slowly lower yourself down to a sitting position. Hold this for 30 seconds then repeat.

  • Bridge Yoga Pose:

    While laying on the ground, bend your knees and place your feet shoulder width apart on the ground. Slowly start lifting your back off of the ground at about a 45-degree angle. Hold this position for 20 seconds then repeat.

  • Partial Curl:

    Lie on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Using your core muscles, slowly raise your shoulders off the floor. Hold this position for around 1-2 seconds then lower your shoulders back down. Try not to use your neck to hold your shoulders up but your ab muscles instead. Repeat this motion around 15 times.

  • Press Up:

    Lie on the floor on your stomach with your hands under your shoulders. Push your shoulders off the floor using your hands and hold this position for 10 seconds. Then repeat.

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