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What To Do When Pulled Muscle In Lower Back

Strengthen Your Back Muscles To Prevent Future Injuries

Exercise for a Pulled Back Muscle

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 To Heal A Pulled Muscle In Your Back

A muscle strain, also called a pulled muscle, occurs when a muscle is overstretched or overworked, and small tears occur within the muscle.

A pulled muscle can take up to 6 weeks to heal completely.


You can speed your recovery in many ways:

Self Massage using a simple self-massage tool can promote blood circulation to the injury area in your back and speed up healing significantly.

Infrared Heat Therapy using an infrared heating pad, which emits deep-penetrating IR rays up to 3 cm inside your tissues, can relieve your pain without pills for more than 6 hours post-treatment.

I have the BioMat at home, which is my own personal in-house doctor, and I use it all the time:

How Can You Treat A Pulled Muscle In The Lower Back

April 13, 2020 by Dr. Clemens

Medical News Today

Pulled muscles, or strains, are common in the lower back because this area supports the weight of the upper body.

Anyone can get a lower back or lumbar strain, which can be very painful and make normal movement difficult.

In this article, we discuss the symptoms and causes of a pulled muscle in the lower back and explain what treatment options are available.


Symptoms of a pulled lower back include:

  • loss of function and restricted movement
  • difficulty walking, bending, or standing straight
  • swelling and bruising
  • sudden pain in the lower back

Overstretching or tearing ligaments, which are bands of tissue that hold the vertebrae of the spine in place, can cause a sprain. A strain is a tear in either a muscle itself or one of the tendons that attach the muscles to the spinal column.

Strains happen when a person stretches the muscles or muscle fibers beyond their normal range of movement.

Causes may include:

  • sports that require pushing and pulling, such as football or soccer

Other risk factors include:

  • bending the lower back excessively
  • a weak back or abdominal muscles
  • tight hamstrings


Anyone who strains a muscle in the lower back should rest to avoid further damage. However, they should not stop moving altogether. Gentle movements that cause no pain can help expedite the healing process.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, after a person pulls their lower back, they should:

Read Also: Can A Soft Bed Cause Back Pain

Relieving Pain Right After The Injury

  • 1Apply an ice pack to the area within the first 48 hours of the injury. Immediately after you pull a muscle, there is usually inflammation and swelling surrounding the injury. As soon as possible, apply ice to the area to fight this inflammation. Wrap the ice pack in a towel and hold it against the injured area for 15 minutes at a time. You can repeat this treatment at regular intervals throughout the day, up to 10 times in a 24-hour period.XResearch source
  • Pharmacies and supermarkets typically have gel ice packs that you can keep in the freezer and take out when needed.
  • If you dont have a gel ice pack, there are several methods to make your own at home.
  • 2Take NSAID pain relievers. For pulled muscles, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs work best because they are anti-inflammatory. This reduces the swelling and inflammation resulting from a pulled muscle and helps you heal faster. Visit a pharmacy and get a bottle of NSAID pain relievers, and start taking them right away. Ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen are all NSAIDs.XTrustworthy SourceMedlinePlusCollection of medical information sourced from the US National Library of MedicineGo to source
  • Don’t take NSAIDs for pain longer than 10 days in a row without consulting your doctor.XTrustworthy SourceCleveland ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
  • All pain relievers have slightly different instructions. Read and follow all instructions for any medication you use.
  • When Back Pain Isnt Going Away

    Lower Back Muscle Spasms: Treatment, Causes, Symptoms

    Back pain can come in mild waves, but it can also be debilitating. Even though some people may feel better after a few days of rest, thats not the case for everyone.

    Dr. Regan provides compassionate care for back pain, including muscle strains. He examines your back, assesses your range of motion, and checks for any areas of tenderness before recommending the right course of action for you.

    Think youre dealing with a strained muscle in your back? Say goodbye to back pain and schedule an appointment at our Beverly Hills or Santa Monica, California office today.

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    How Do You Know If Back Pain Is Muscle Or Disc

    While pain in your mid-back may be related to a disc, itâs more likely caused by muscle strain or other issues. Your symptoms feel worse when you bend or straighten up from a bent position. Movement can increase pressure on the herniated disc and the surrounding nerves, causing symptoms to increase.

    What To Do For A Pulled Back Muscle: 8 Early Signs And Symptoms

    A pulled muscle in your lower back, upper back, or neck is uncomfortable and can be inconvenient, especially if you are an athlete or lead an active life. Acute pain, unexpected muscle spasms, and the inability to move with full range of motion can significantly impact your daily life and prevent you from doing some of the things you love most.

    Recognizing the early signs of a pulled back muscle allows you to treat the injury and potentially prevent it from worsening. Treating a minor injury before it intensifies may save you days or weeks of discomfort and inconvenience.

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    What Can Cause Lower Back Pain

    Most acute low back pain is mechanical in nature, meaning that there is a disruption in the way the components of the back fit together and move. Some examples of mechanical causes of low back pain include:


    • Skeletal irregularities such as scoliosis , lordosis , kyphosis , and other congenital anomalies of the spine.
    • Spina bifida which involves the incomplete development of the spinal cord and/or its protective covering and can cause problems involving malformation of vertebrae and abnormal sensations and even paralysis.


    • Sprains , strains , and spasms
    • Traumatic Injury such as from playing sports, car accidents, or a fall that can injure tendons, ligaments, or muscle causing the pain, as well as compress the spine and cause discs to rupture or herniate.

    Degenerative problems

    • Intervertebral disc degeneration which occurs when the usually rubbery discs wear down as a normal process of aging and lose their cushioning ability.
    • Spondylosis the general degeneration of the spine associated with normal wear and tear that occurs in the joints, discs, and bones of the spine as people get older.
    • Arthritis or other inflammatory disease in the spine, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis as well as spondylitis, an inflammation of the vertebrae.

    Nerve and spinal cord problems

    Non-spine sources

    Apply Cold To The Pulled Back Muscle

    How to Exercise with low back pain after low back pulled muscle

    You should apply ice to your injury as soon as possible. The sooner you apply the ice the more it will help.

    The cold will cause nearby blood vessels to constrict and also help minimize swelling and painful inflammation.

    The cold also stimulates your body to rush more oxygen-rich blood full of antibodies and vital nutrients to repair the injury and carry away waste products as it attempts to warm the area.

    Use an ice pack, a Ziploc bag of crushed ice, or even a bag of frozen vegetables in a pinch.

    Apply the cold pack in a circular massaging motion to prevent the ice from resting in one place too long.

    Be sure to place a thin towel between the compress and your skin to help prevent frostbite.

    Ice can be applied up to 20 minutes at a time. Repeat over the course of the first few days, or after flare-ups.

    Also Check: Why Lower Back Pain Occurs

    Stretching Your Lumbar Muscles To Help With Strains Or Tears

    Stretching can help your back strain in numerous ways! Although stretching sometimes can be overlooked, it can be the key to your recovery process if youve pulled a muscle in your back. Stretching helps improve flexibility, improve your physical performance, increase your endurance, reduce the chance of injury, and increase blood flow. Who wouldn’t want that right?

    Stretching can be done in your house, at work, on the go – pretty much anywhere, so theres no excuse to skip over this regime! If youve pulled, strained, or torn your back, stretching can be the first step to a speedy recovery. Stretching for a sprained back will help promote healing as this injury typically can last for around 4-6 weeks or if severe enough, it might take up to 10 weeks.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Lumbar Strain

    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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    Recovering From The Injury

  • 1Resume normal activities 24 to 48 hours after the injury. While you should rest for the first few days after a back injury, return to normal activities as well as you can after this initial rest period. Prolonged immobility can cause your muscles to tighten and actually make recovery more difficult. Studies have shown those with low back pain recover faster when they remain active. Get up and walk, carry out household tasks, and run errands if you can. This keeps your muscles active and prevents future strains.XTrustworthy SourceCleveland ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
  • Walking is a great way to stay active. Even walking for 3-5 minute stretches several times a day can help reduce your stiffness and discomfort. Movement helps to relieve muscle spasms and prevents loss of muscle strength.XResearch source
  • Do not, however, start exercising or doing any heavy lifting yet. This can re-injure your back and delay recovery.
  • 2Ask your doctor about muscle relaxers. If over the counter pain relievers havent worked, muscle relaxers might help your pain. Keep in mind that muscle relaxers can cause drowsiness and are probably no better than ibuprofen in relieving pain. They are prescription-only, so consult your doctor for a prescription if other medications arent working.XResearch source
  • Muscle relaxers come with a risk of addiction, so only take them as prescribed. Stop taking them when your injury has improved.
  • What Are All The Muscles Of The Lower Leg

    24 best images about Exercise For Back Muscles on Pinterest


    • Gastrocnemius. The gastrocnemius muscle is one of the main muscles of the lower leg.
    • Soleus. The soleus muscle is a flatter muscle lying just beneath the gastrocnemius.

    Why does the back of my calf hurt when I walk?

    Possible Causes Claudication: Narrowed arteries can prevent your calf muscles from receiving enough blood, which deprives them of oxygen. Intermittent claudication can cause muscle pain when you exercise or walk. Its especially common in people who smoke or who have diabetes or PAD.

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    How Goodpath Can Help

    A back strain can be painful and frustrating. These movements are designed to lessen your discomfort from the strain.

    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.

    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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    Urgent Advice: Ask For An Urgent Gp Appointment Or Get Help From 111 If:

    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

    How Is Back Pain Treated

    Low Back Pain? Pull A Muscle in the Low Back? It’s Likely The QL -MoveU

    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.
  • Heat and/or ice may help ease pain, reduce inflammation, and improve mobility for some people
  • Gentle stretching upon advice by your healthcare professional
  • 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.

    Read Also: How Do You Relieve Middle Back Pain

    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.

    Pulled Muscle In Lower Back Symptoms

    If you pull a muscle in your lower back you may experience a range of symptoms from a dull, nagging ache, to debilitating pain, including:

    If you pull a muscle in your lower back you may experience varying intensities of pain, from a dull, nagging ache, to sharp pain.

    These symptoms can include:

    • Acute Lower back pain that persists for up to 6 weeks.
    • Lower back pain that is usually localized, that may radiate into your buttocks, but usually does NOT radiate into your legs.
    • Lower back may be tender to the touch.
    • Restricted lower back range of motion.
    • Lower back stiffness.
    • Abnormal posture due to pain and stiffness in the lower back.
    • Muscle spasm at rest or with activity.
    • Guarding of the surrounding muscles.

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    Use Cold First Then Switch To Heat Therapy

    During the initial few days after the strain injury, your muscle tissues begin to repair. The healing process causes inflammation to occur within the healing muscle fibers. The use of cold and heat therapy can help reduce inflammation in the following ways:

    • Cold therapy is surprisingly effective in reducing pain, muscle spasm, swelling, and inflammation.1,3,4 An ice pack, ice cubes wrapped in a towel, or a bag of frozen vegetables can be used to cool down your muscle fibers.
    • See Benefits of Heat Therapy for Lower Back Pain

    It is best to use cold therapy during the initial day or two after your injury followed by heat therapy. Avoid using cold therapy for too long, because excessive cooling may slow down the natural healing process of the muscle tissue.1,3,4

    See How to Apply Heat Therapy

    It is important to use heat and cold as tolerated, intermittently for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, and with a 2-hour break in betweento avoid skin and/or nerve damage. Heat therapy can be used for longer, provided the heat is a low-level, such as with a commercial heat wrap.


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