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What To Do If I Strained My Lower Back

Tips For Managing Inflammatory Back Pain

Exercise for a Pulled Back Muscle

These approaches wont cure your condition, but they may help you manage the discomfort and prevent additional injury.

Also see a doctor if the pain is constant, wakes you up at night, and includes leg pain or follows an injury.For less-serious back pain symptoms, the best way to keep them at bay is to stay active, Dreisinger says. The natural response to pain is to do less, but the opposite holds true with back pain symptoms, he says. Thats because exercise helps muscles relax and increases blood flow to the area.Heres expert advice on what might work and wont for your back pain symptoms.1. Dont just lie there.Its tempting to rest until pain subsides, but taking to bed for more than a day or two may make your back pain symptoms worse, according to the National Institutes of Health .

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.

How To Treat A Pulled Back Muscle

In many cases, a minor back muscle strain can be treated at home or with the help of a physical therapist. If youre not sure what your injury is or if you are in extreme pain, its always a good idea to consult with a physician. If you are noticing the early signs of a pulled back muscle, consider these treatment options4:

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Common Causes Of Chronic Lower Back Pain

“Chronic lower back pain is less likely to be caused by injury to your muscles and ligaments and more likely to be due to issues with the lumbar disks, nerves, joints or vertebrae,” says Dr. Palmer. “There are several potential causes of chronic pain in the lower back.”

In general, osteoarthritis and degenerative disk disease are the underlying cause of many types of chronic lower back pain. However, lower back pain can also be caused by accident-related trauma and acute stress.

Causes Of A Pulled Neck Muscle

What To Do When You Strain Your Lower Back?

The anatomy of the neck is a wonderful design that is a compromise between protection of some very important structures and movement. The neck contains several vital structures:

  • Major blood supply to the brain.
  • Trachea or breathing tube to the lungs
  • Spinal cord.

In the end, the need to protect the blood vessels, respiratory passages and nerves has been balanced with the need for mobility and flexibility, making the neck rather vulnerable to the stresses and strains of everyday life to say nothing of direct injury.

The largest section of the spinal cord and the base of the brain are held within the neck. Those nerves that will eventually reach your toes, and every other part of your body, must pass through the neck. People are executed by being hung by the neck because everything important to life passes through it. In spite of the need to protect the blood supply to the brain, our ability to breathe, the spinal cord and all those important nerves, the neck must also be flexible. Our field of vision is dependent on the flexibility of the neck. To look up, down, right and left in almost a complete hemisphere of vision. This easy and extended movement of the neck almost encourages the head to twist farther than it should during an accident, and often allows the muscles that are attached to the shoulders, neck and skull to stretch and tear.

  • Carrying a tool box or suitcase, or all the groceries, only one side of the body
  • Posture and position at work .
  • Watch TV.
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    Sleep On A Quality Mattress

    Lower back pain sufferers usually benefit from sleeping on a medium-firm mattress. However, your preferred sleep position also should influence your mattress selection. To maintain good posture, side sleepers should select a softer mattress. Back and stomach sleepers should choose a firmer mattress. If you have lower back pain, its a good idea to avoid sleeping on your stomach altogether.

    If your lower back pain doesnt improve after 4 to 6 weeks of home care using these suggestions, you should see your doctor. You also should contact your doctor right away if you have any red flags, including:

    • A history of cancer or a recent infection
    • A recent fall or other accident
    • Extreme fatigue
    • Signs of infection, such as fever, chills, sweats
    • Nerve problems, such as shooting pain, numbness or tingling
    • Changes in bowel or bladder function

    Other options for treating lower back pain may include physical therapy, pain management with cortisone injections or, in certain cases, surgery. Although lower back surgery can be beneficial for patients who are experiencing nerve problems and injured discs, its not typically recommended for patients with other types of lower back pain.

    Download the Virtua Health Guide to Back Pain, or call to request a consultation with a Virtua back pain specialist.

    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.

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    How Is Lumbar Strain Diagnosed

    In addition to a complete medical history and physical exam, diagnostic procedures for low back pain may include the following. However, during many initial assessments and exams, specialized tests aren’t usually recommended.

    • X-ray. A diagnostic test that produces images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.
    • Computed tomography scan . This is an imaging test that uses X-rays and a computer to make detailed images of the body. A CT scan shows details of the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. A CT scan shows detailed images of bones, muscles, fat, and organs.
    • Magnetic resonance imaging . A diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body.
    • Radionuclide bone scan. A nuclear imaging technique that uses a very small amount of radioactive material, which is injected into the bloodstream to be detected by a scanner. This test shows blood flow to the bone and cell activity within the bone.
    • Electromyogram . A test to evaluate nerve and muscle function.

    When To See A Specialist For Lower Back Pain

    How to Treat a Pulled Back Muscle with Exercise

    If you’re experiencing lower back pain that’s not responding to rest and self-care, it’s time to consider seeing a spine specialist.

    “A spine specialist will likely perform a physical exam as well as one or more imaging scans to diagnose the root cause of your lower back pain. Depending on your diagnosis, he or she will then design a treatment plan aimed at alleviating your pain and preventing it from disrupting the everyday activities you enjoy,” says Dr. Palmer.

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    Signs And Symptoms Of A Pulled Muscle In Neck Tissue Or Something More

    What is important about knowing and understanding common signs and symptoms of a simple neck strain, is knowing when other signs indicate that the problem might be more serious. What might first appear to be a neck strain might actually be an early indicator that a larger and more serious problem is going on.

    Findings and complaints associated with a pulled neck muscle:

    Sometimes neck pain or a stiff neck is just the start or the first sign of a larger problem.

    Be cautious and suspicious of symptoms suggesting more than a simple strain of the neck or nerve injury. Findings and complaints not commonly seen and not usually associated with a pulled neck muscle, that might suggest fracture or nerve injury:

    • Weakness of the neck or arms.
    • Numbness in the arms or hands.
    • Tingling in the arms or hands.
    • Dizziness.
    • Difficulty swallowing.
    • Difficulty breathing.

    Contact your primary care doctor or chiropractor if you experience any of these last listed signs and symptoms.

    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.

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    Stop What Youre Doing

    When your back pain suddenly flares up, discontinue the physical activity that youre doing. It is important to protect your lower back from further injury. Dont push through your workout or continue to do chores around the house.

    Overusing a strained back muscle may worsen the damage and delay the recovery.

    Comfortable What Doctor Do You See For Low Back Pain Price

    Treatment For A Pulled Lower Back Muscle

    Over-the-counter pain medications often help reduce back pain as does the application of cold or heat to the painful area. When Its Severe Pain If your pain is severe and ongoing its time to see a specialist such as an orthopedist or a physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor which is sometimes called a physiatrist Dr. What doctor do you see for low back pain.

    What Doctor Do You See For Low Back Pain, Researchers and several research papers claim people who were in front of a TV or workstation for 15 hours or more in the day are likely to get trapped in the cycle of back pain. Whenever you are in the same position for an hour you are putting your low back under tension and your back muscles get pressurized. Summary Lower back pain is very common and there is not always an obvious cause. You should see a rheumatologist if you have back pain thats isnt due to an injury and doesnt go away in a few days or pain that comes back after treatment.

    Some doctors refer back pain sufferers to a physical therapist right away. Back pain is commonly associated with. A physiotherapist is a healthcare professional who specialises in maintaining and improving movement and mobility. This may be helpful for back pain.

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    Find A Comfortable Position To Sleep Or Rest

    Infographic:Pillows for Neck Pain

    A back muscle strain can make it difficult to sleep. For a more comfortable position to rest or sleep, try to keep your spine naturally aligned:

    • For people who prefer sleeping on the back, place a pillow underneath your knees to reduce stress on your lower back.4
    • For people who prefer sleeping on the side, place a pillow between your knees to help maintain balanced hips and natural spine alignment.

    When resting during the day, it may be uncomfortable to sit. Consider using a recliner instead, which puts less stress on your lower back.

    How Long Does Lower Back Pain Usually Last

    Lower back pain can be categorized as acute, subacute or chronic. Acute episodes of lower back pain usually last from a few days to 4 weeks and subacute lower back pain lasts between 4 to 12 weeks. However, according to the National Institutes of Health, about 20 percent of people with acute back pain go on to develop chronic back paindefined as pain that lasts 12 weeks or longer. Even in these cases, there are many different treatment options to help relieve lower back pain symptoms.

    When your back is really killing you, you might worry something is seriously wrong. The same goes for back pain that seems unending. The good news is that while back pain is a major inconvenience, it is rarely an urgent medical issue. In fact, most of the time you dont have to treat it. Back pain usually resolves on its own unless you have a major underlying issue.

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    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

    How To Treat A Muscle Strain

    How to treat a pulled muscle in lower back | B Episode 43

    The good news is that most back strains heal with time.

    Healthcare providers recommend modified activity as the quickest way to get over a mild to moderate back strain. Your practitioner may advise you to avoid heavy lifting or activities like running for the first few days after your back strain.

    You can also ice the area and take an anti-inflammatory medication to reduce inflammation.

    If the pain lingers past 10 days or so, you should talk to your healthcare provider about it. If your back spasms make it difficult to move or exercise, your practitioner may recommend physical therapy and/or prescribe a muscle relaxant for you.

    Muscle relaxers do not repair the injury, and they often cause sedation, which can interfere with your ability to drive and manage your day to day activities. But they may relax your muscles so you can stretch them and use them more effectively during physical therapy.

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    Pulled Muscle In Lower Back Exercises

    There are several exercises you can perform to help your lower back heal. Not only will they help the muscle spasms you may be having, they make your back stronger so its not as likely to become injured again.

    Here are a few easy stretching exercises. Take them slowly and move gradually into each position. If any of these make your back pain worse, stop and see a doctor.

    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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