Strengthen Your Back Muscles To Prevent Future Injuries
The second step to recovery for your pulled back include exercises to help strengthen your back, abdomen, and shoulders. You may be already aware of the benefits of exercising to strengthen your back such as loosening up your ligaments and tendons, preventing you from future injuries, repairing your muscles, and helping support your spine. The list could go on and on but you get the point. If youve sprained your back, strengthening your abdomen, shoulders, and back are all important as these components are what help support your spine.
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.
Is My Back Weak
Weak back and especially core and abdomen muscles will be unable to support the back sufficiently leading to pain and tiredness.
Symptoms of a weak back include pain, tiredness, and stiffness in the lower back, which gets worse during the day, especially if you are standing for a long period of time as well as pain in the lower back after lifting.
A weak back can give pain in the lumbar region of the back. It is caused by the muscles in the back and abdomen not being strong enough to do their job of supporting the spine properly. Poor posture is also a contributory factor putting more strain on back muscles than is necessary. Back strengthening exercises, core strengthening, pilates, and improving posture are all options for improving back strength.
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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.
What Is A Herniated Disc
There are discs between the vertebrae, so when one starts to come out from between those bones, it is called a herniated disc. Because of the location of these discs, the protrusion may also impact some nerves. The pain associated with this kind of injury is typically not from the disc, but from the nerves being compressed by the ruptured disc. Herniation of the lumbar discs can occur from both physical activity and trauma, as both can cause excessive pressure on the disc. Symptoms of a herniated disc include:
- Numbness in the limbs
- Pain that radiates into the limbs
- Pain with spinal movement
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Bird Dog Hip Extension
Why its beneficial:
The bird dog hip extension helps to stabilize your lower back as well as your abdominal muscles.
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.
If this causes any discomfort, lift your leg only several inches off the ground rather than reaching full extension.
Sleep In A Fetal Position
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What Are The Signs Of A Back Injury
Signs you may have injured your back include:
- pain or tenderness
- pain that worsens with movement, coughing, sneezing or laughing
- stiffness or difficulty moving
- pain that radiates down one or both legs
It is important to find out the cause of your symptoms so they can be treated properly.
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.
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Can Back Pain Be Prevented
Recurring back pain resulting from improper body mechanics may be prevented by avoiding movements that jolt or strain the back, maintaining correct posture, and lifting objects properly. Many work-related injuries are caused or aggravated by stressors such as heavy lifting, contact stress , vibration, repetitive motion, and awkward posture.Recommendations for keeping ones back healthy
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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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.
When Will My Lower Back Strain Feel Better
Recovery time depends on how serious your low back strain is. Mild cases may resolve in a couple of days. It can take many weeks for more serious strains. Remember that everyone heals at a different rate.
Once the back pain is gone, your doctor will probably want you to start a regular exercise routine. This will get your back muscles stronger and more limber. It will help you recover, and reduce your odds of low back strain in the future. Your doctor will probably want you to take up low impact sports, like swimming or using a stationary bike.
Whatever you do, don’t rush things. Don’t try to return to your previous level of physical activity until:
- You can move as easily — without stiffness — as you did before your injury.
- You feel no pain when you bend, twist, walk, run, and jump.
If you start pushing yourself before your low back strain is healed, you could end up with chronic back pain and permanent injury.
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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.
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.
Pulled Muscle In Lower Back Recovery Time
You should limit normal activity for the first few days after your injury but resume it as soon as you can after that time. Wait a few weeks before going back to an exercise regimen or sport.
Most people will be fully recovered within two weeks of the injury, but if the pain isnt getting better after a weeks time, see a doctor.
There are several things you can do to prevent straining your lower back, some that help strengthen it and others that are precautionary. These include:
- stretching and strengthening exercises
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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.
Sprain And Strain Risk Management And Support Groups
Basic self-care and routine cooldown exercises are some of the best ways to avoid active sprain and strains. Aside from reducing the amount of inflammation after physical exercise, these exercises can also help alleviate strained nerves and allow the body to recover from fatigue. It also accelerates the healing process from strenuous physical activity.
You should also be aware of other, unexpected factors that can affect your likelihood of developing a strain or sprain. Improper stretching is one of the most probable causes, either due to weight lifting or just moving around. While stretching is a great way to avoid developing sprains and strains, improper stretching is also their most likely cause.
Doctors may also recommend that their patients join a support group for their back pain. These support groups can help patients engage in physical activities or provide a network to consult if the doctor isnt available. Most support groups can be found online, like The American Chronic Pain Association.
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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.
Lower Back Pain Treatment Options
, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke . Discomfort in the lower back can be chronic or ongoing. It can also be a sudden and brief condition known as acute pain.
Causes of lower back pain include:
Treatment options for lower back pain range widely according to the cause of the condition. Read on to learn more.
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Stretching And Exercising Your Lower Back
How Do I Know If Its Back Sprain
Sprains are sudden and forceful misalignments of your joints, which cause tearing in the muscles and ligaments surrounding it. This kind of back pain is acute and can often worsen shortly after the incident occurs. The pain isnt limited to your lower back if a big enough muscle is torn, it can cause acute pain from your buttocks to your calves.
Common symptoms of sprains will include:
- Bruising and other discoloration
- Swelling or tenderness around the joint
- Difficulty moving the area around the joint
- Acute pain that worsens when the area is touched or move
- Numbness or moderate discomfort
Sprains can be prevented with mindful movement, correct body posture, and a healthy lifestyle. Avoiding situations where you are likely to injure your joints is an excellent way to avoid spraining, though it is also possible to get a sprain by going about your day-to-day activities.
Strains can be a secondary effect of a more serious problem like a bone fracture. While the bone fracture is undoubtedly the more serious problem that needs to be treated, alleviating the inflammation that accompanies the sprain is just as important. This allows the body to focus healing the bone fracture itself instead of the inflammation and gives the patient significant relief from the pain.
Other causes of sprains include:
- Lifting heavy objects or intensive weight training
- Accidents like falling, tripping, or other forceful impacts
- Improper form when walking or running
- Injuries from contact sports
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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.