Back muscle strains typically heal with time, many within a few days, and most within 3 to 4 weeks. Most patients with mild or moderate lumbar strains make a full recovery and are free of symptoms within days, weeks, or possibly months.
Sprains and strains usually cause a broad, aching pain across the lower back. The pain may be limited to one side or the other. You may have trouble bending your back or standing up completely straight. You may also have an occasional muscle spasm, especially when moving around or while sleeping.
Walk At A Moderate Pace
The simple movement of walking is one of the best things we can do for chronic lower back pain. Ten to fifteen minutes of walking twice a day will help ease lower back pain. Substitute this activity for a more vigorous type of exercise if you prefer and/or are able.
Bending, twisting, lifting, standing or walking can make it worse.
You can begin stretching after an injury as soon as possible, as long as it is within a comfortable pain-free range. Stretching should be a mild to moderate sensation without pain. “Movement and stretching early leads to a better recovery,” says Penny.
Research shows that: Lying down longer than a day or two day isn't helpful for relieving back pain. People can recover more quickly without any bed rest. The sooner you start moving, even a little bit, or return to activities such as walking, the faster you are likely to improve.
While a lumbar strain may not sound like a serious injury, it can be the source of surprisingly severe pain. Lumbar strains are among the most common causes of lower back pain, and the reason for many emergency room visits each year. A lumbar strain can occur at any age, but it is most common in those in their forties.
Your spinal disc is at the bottom of your back, so if you have pain in your lower back, you may assume it is a slipped disc. Furthermore, the feeling of pain will differ between the two. Muscle pain will feel like post-workout soreness, while disc pain will feel debilitating and tingly.
If your back pain is from a recent strain or mild injury, your primary care doctor can probably help. But if the pain is severe, ongoing, or accompanied by other symptoms such as numbness or tingling in your arms or legs, it may be time to see a back doctor.
If you're experiencing back pain when sitting, your impulse may be to lie down and then try to slowly progress back to sitting, says Dr. Atlas. But this is the wrong approach. You should lie down to relieve the pain, but the goal should be not to return to sitting, but rather to regain your ability to stand and move.
DO NOT do activities that involve heavy lifting or twisting of your back for the first 6 weeks after the pain begins. DO NOT exercise in the days right after the pain begins. After 2 to 3 weeks, slowly begin to exercise again. A physical therapist can teach you which exercises are right for you.
Twisting, bending and lifting puts a large amount of pressure on your spine. This pressure occurs from these actions regardless of whether you lift an item.
The symptoms of mild to moderate muscle strains usually go away within a few weeks. More severe strains may take months to heal.
In many cases, new or flare-up of long-standing back problems should begin to settle within 6 weeks without the need to see a healthcare professional. For most back pain problems, you'll not normally need an X-ray or MRI scan.
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.
Herniated disc symptoms
The bulging or herniated part of the disc presses on nerves as they exit the spine, resulting in pain and other symptoms. Since herniated discs involve nerve compression, the symptoms they cause can feel a lot different from the symptoms associated with muscle strain.
If your herniated disk is in your lower back, besides pain in your lower back, you'll typically feel pain in your buttocks, thigh and calf. You might have pain in part of the foot as well. For a herniated disk in your neck, you'll typically feel the most pain in your shoulder and arm.