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How To Treat Lower Back Pulled Muscle

How Are Back Injuries Treated

How to Treat a Pulled Back Muscle with Exercise

Your doctor will examine you to check whether the nerves from your spinal cord are working properly. Make sure you tell them if you have any problems with going to the toilet.

Most minor back injuries get better by themselves within 6 weeks. Usually you will not need any other tests or treatment. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists recommends that an x-ray for low back pain is only needed if you have other significant symptoms such as problems with bladder and bowel control, severe pain or weakness or numbness in one or both legs. For further information, visit the Choosing Wisely Australia website.

The most important thing you can do is to continue to stay active. A common myth is that bed rest will cure back pain. In fact, bed rest slows down the recovery period and can add to your pain.

Simple pain relief, such as paracetamol or anti-inflammatories, may help. You can talk to your doctor or pharmacist, or call healthdirect for advice on 1800 022 222.

You can help ease injuries to your back by:

  • using cold compresses for 20 minutes at a time every 3 to 4 hours for the first day these will ease pain and swelling
  • using warmth after the first day showers, baths or hot moist towels can help ease pain and help recovery
  • avoiding activities involving bending, lifting and twisting until you feel better

Depending on your job, you may need time off work to allow your back to heal.

S To Quickly Recover From A Pulled Back Muscle

Medically reviewed by Dr. Brian Paris, D.C on Nov. 6, 2018.

If you havent already, you probably will at some point experience a pulled back muscle. Theyre the most common cause of low back pain.

It could happen during a game of golf, while cleaning the garage, or even on the dance floor.

While we often tend to refer to any soft tissue pain in the back as a pulled back muscle, were really talking about two separate kinds of back injuries strains and sprains.

In this article, Ill show you the difference between those injuries and how to quickly recover from pulled back muscles without taking drugs like NSAIDs.

Low Back Muscle Strains

The spine is supported by large muscles called the paraspinal muscles. These muscles both support the spinal column as well as the weight of the upper body. The five lumbar vertebrae are connected by tough ligaments that help to maintain the position of the spinal column.

These muscles, ligaments, and bones all work together to provide control and strength for nearly all activities. The lumbar spine and its muscles are needed for most all movements and activities. For this reason, the lumbar spine is prone to injury, and when an injury has been sustained, people have difficulty performing many activities.

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Preventing Pulled Muscle From Coughing

Since coughing is an involuntary action taken by the body to clear the airway, it may not be possible to prevent a pulled muscle from coughing.

While you cannot stop yourself from coughing, especially when you have a severe cold, flu, or respiratory infection, you can prevent muscle injury or trauma caused by other activities. Sports and strenuous exercises are common causes of muscle injury.

A pulled muscle can take weeks or months to completely heal, depending on the severity of the muscle damage.

To avoid being out of the game for a while, the following steps can help protect your muscles from strain or tear and reduce the risk of pulled muscle from coughing.

Sleep In A Fetal Position

Treatment For A Pulled Lower Back Muscle
  • 1Place a pillow between your legs for extra support. Sleeping on your back could put additional stress on your back strain. Lie on your side with your knees curled up towards your chest. Add a pillow between your knees to make yourself more comfortable.XTrustworthy SourceMedlinePlusCollection of medical information sourced from the US National Library of MedicineGo to source
  • If youre a back-sleeper, you can place a pillow or a rolled-up towel under your knees to reduce the pressure on your back.
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    How Can Back Sprains And Strains Be Prevented

    It is not possible to prevent all back injuries, but you can take some steps to help lower the risk of a sprain or strain:

    • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet to keep your bones and muscles strong.
    • Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight puts added stress on the structures of the lower back.
    • Exercise regularly, including stretching, to keep your joints flexible and your muscles in good condition.
    • Practice safety measures to help prevent falls, such as wearing shoes that fit properly, and keeping stairs and walkways free of clutter.
    • Use good body mechanics when sitting, standing and lifting. For example, try to keep your back straight and your shoulders back. When sitting, keep your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Dont over-reach, and avoid twisting movements. When lifting, bend your knees and use your strong leg muscles to help balance the load.
    • Stop smoking. Nicotine interferes with blood flow to the muscles.

    Strained Or Pulled Upper Back Muscles Can Happen Because Of:

    • Improper posture
    • Overuse of the back muscles
    • Bad conditioning
    • Not warming up enough before beginning strenuous exercise
    • Sudden loss of motor control leading to strain, possibly due to muscle fatigue
    • Heavyweight lifting
    • Participating in strenuous exercises such as tennis, golf, and rowing, which can lead to chronic muscle strain due to repetitive movements.

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    Living With Lumbar Strain

    Cold reduces swelling. Both cold and heat can reduce pain. Protect your skin by placing a towel between your body and the ice or heat source.

    • For the first few days, apply an ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes .
    • After the first few days, try heat for 15 minutes at a time to ease pain. Never sleep on a heating pad.
    • Over-the-counter medicines can help control pain and swelling. Try aspirin or ibuprofen.

    Treatment Of A Strained Or Pulled Muscle

    Pulled Muscle In Low Back? 3 DIY Treatments

    Grade II and grade III muscle strains should be attended by a doctor who may or may not refer to a therapist for follow-up. A grade I pulled back muscle usually can be treated at home with simple home care remedies, such as applying rest, ice, compression, elevation . This format of therapy for a minor muscle tear is usually sufficient and should result in gradual and consistent improvement on a daily basis if daily progress is not noted or regresses without a good reason, a grade I muscle pull should be seen by a doctor for evaluation.

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    Ways To Treat Pulled Leg Muscles

    A pulled leg muscle can be exceedingly painful and traumatic. A pulled leg muscle could occur in the calves, quads or the hamstrings. This is a common fall out of over training or doing too much too soon. Doing sudden sprints and weight training with very heavy weights and improper technique are some of the causes of a pulled leg muscle.The leg muscle is large and a strain to it can make walking very difficult. A pulled leg muscle requires extensive recovery periods in order to help it heal. Here are some of the ways to treat a pulled leg muscle.

    Apply Ice For The First Few Days After A Strain

  • 1Itll help reduce swelling. If youve just strained your back, start with cold. Use an ice pack or place a towel over the strained area to protect your skin. Place the ice pack on top of the towel and leave it in place for 15-20 minutes.XTrustworthy SourceJohns Hopkins MedicineOfficial resource database of the world-leading Johns Hopkins HospitalGo to source
  • Controlling the initial swelling can help with the pain.
  • Ice your back up to 3 times a day: in the morning, in the late afternoon, and about 30 minutes before bedtime.XResearch source
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    Stretching And Strengthening Exercises

    Youll want to be very careful your first couple of days, but some light stretching can often reduce pain from a pulled muscle in your lower back by relieving tension. Include both strengthening and stretching exercises.

    Try this easy stretch while lying in bed. Gently raise your knees from the bed to your chest, then put a slight pressure on your knees for a light stretch in your lower back.

    This stretch can help relieve muscle spasms in your back faster than waiting for them to resolve on their own. The stretch should not add to your pain.

    Remember to listen to your body.

    Sometimes, back support compression braces can be useful during the healing process. This help keeps your spine stable and can help you from further irritating your lower back when you twist or bend throughout the day.

    Compression can also assist in reducing swelling after an injury, so compression braces may be useful.

    I dont recommend you wear a compression brace all day, though just for a few hours or when you know youll be most active.

    Keeping it on for too long can keep you from healing fully, as you need to be able to strengthen those muscles in order to recover.

    Key takeaway: To help your body recover more quickly and reduce pain from a pulled back muscle, alternate cold and heat therapy, use natural anti-inflammatories, get some rest and try gentle stretches.

    Pulled Back Muscle Symptoms

    7 Foolproof Ways to Fix Pulled Muscle In Lower Back

    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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    What Can I Do To Help The Pulled Muscle In My Low Back

    A pulled muscle, no matter where it occurs, is just another name for a muscle strain. A muscle pull or strain occurs when all or an isolated portion of a muscle is stretched beyond its normal limits. This results in some degree of muscle tear, from a few micro-tears of muscle fibers to a massive ripping of an entire muscle . Regardless of the location of the muscle strain, treatment does not differ much a pulled back muscle should receive treatment that is fundamentally the same for a muscle tear in the leg or neck.

    How Long Does A Pulled Muscle Take To Heal

    A pulled muscle or a muscle strain is a painful condition that occurs as the muscles are overstretched or torn. This condition generally occurs when the muscles are exposed to excessive physical activities, over usage, fatigue, or improper use of the particular muscle. It can occur in any muscle, but it has been seen that it is more common in muscles on lower back, shoulder, neck, and hamstrings. Pulled muscle causes pain and discomfort over the affected area. Pain intensity increases with activities and movements. The muscle pulls limits mobility and the ability to carry out daily activities. Muscle injury is classified as mild, moderate, and severe injury.1 Mild to moderate muscle pull can be treated at home with adequate rest, ice application, heat compresses, and over the counter anti-inflammatory medications. Muscle pull of severe kinds may require further radiological and ultrasound studies to conclude the extent of the injury. Such a condition should be evaluated for treatment by qualified and an experienced physician. Muscle injury is also classified as non-structural injury or structural injury.2 The mild or grade I muscle injury is non-structural muscle injury and moderate or grade II as well as severe or grade III muscle injury is considered structural muscle injury.

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    Your Pain Becomes Worse With Certain Movements

    Pulled muscle pain will usually be more intense within the first few hours of sustaining this type of injury. You may also notice pain that gets worse with certain movements. For instance, discomfort may suddenly worsen if you bend, get up from a seated position to a standing position, or even with certain sleeping positions.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Serious Back Injury

    Exercise for a Pulled Back Muscle

    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.

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    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.

    See Your Doctor If The Pain Is Persistent

  • 1They may prescribe you medication or refer you to a specialist. If after a week, you havent noticed any improvement in your back pain, make an appointment to see your doctor. Theyll be able to examine you and run tests to figure out what the problem is. They may also prescribe medication for pain and inflammation or they may send you to a specialist who can more effectively treat your back.XTrustworthy SourceJohns Hopkins MedicineOfficial resource database of the world-leading Johns Hopkins HospitalGo to source
  • See your doctor right away if youre unable to stand or walk, you have numbness in your leg, you have a high fever, or if you have severe pain in your abdomen.
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    Pulled Abdominal Muscle Symptoms And Treatment

    An abdominal muscle strain, also called a pulled abdominal muscle, is an injury to one of the muscles of the abdominal wall.

    A muscle strain occurs when the muscle is stretched too far. When this occurs, the muscle fibers are torn. Most commonly, a strain causes microscopic, or tiny, tears within the muscle. Occasionally, in severe injuries, the muscle can rupture or break from its attachment.

    Here’s a closer look at the symptoms of an abdominal muscle strain, along with tips for preventing and treating this type of injury.

    What Is A Pulled Back Muscle

    How to treat a pulled muscle in lower back

    Back pain is incredibly common in our society. 80% of the population will experience an episode of low back pain at some point in their life. True muscle strains in the lower back are rare. Most muscle pain in the lower back is due to muscle spasms from other lumbar spine injuries. Disk injuries are more likely because they are more easily injured.

    The quick answer is a muscle strain or “pulled” muscle in the back can happen if the back muscles become overstressed or stretched to the point in which fibers are damaged. Unlike a hamstring strain, lumbar strains are not very common, but they can happen with improper lifting or trauma. Muscles in the lower back have a good blood supply, so they typically heal well. Recovery may vary when considering sprains vs. strains.

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    Exercises To Prevent Pulling Or Straining Your Back Muscles:

  • 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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