Rest. Ice packs and/or heat and compression applied to the back. Exercises (to strengthen the abdominal muscles) Stretching and strengthening exercises (for the lower back as it heals)
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.
Take Time to Rest
Take a few days to allow the initial swelling to resolve, which will help calm some of your symptoms. We recommend avoiding heavy lifting or strenuous activity, including excessive exercise. These types of activities can worsen your pain, especially if you do too much too soon.
If you're chomping at the bit to stretch your pulled muscle, just make sure to rest it for at least two to three days after the injury occurred. Once the acute pain has decreased, you can begin with gentle stretching before working on strengthening.
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.
Walking, cycling, and swimming are some good options for staying active while recovering from lower back muscle strains. After recovering from a pulled back muscle, help prevent future injury by practicing good posture and properly warming up before activity.
Back pain can range from a muscle aching to a shooting, burning or stabbing sensation. Also, the pain can radiate down a leg. Bending, twisting, lifting, standing or walking can make it worse.
When the lumbar (lower) spine is strained or sprained, the muscles and tissues become swollen. This inflammation causes pain and may cause muscle spasms.
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.
The best sleeping position for lower back pain is on your side with a partial bend in the knees. View Source . Keeping the knees bent helps balance the body and reduces pressure on the lumbar spine. Many people find it helpful to put a small pillow between their knees to make this position more comfortable.
Sit with a back support (such as a rolled-up towel) at the curve of your back. Keep your hips and knees at a right angle. (Use a foot rest or stool if necessary.) Your legs should not be crossed and your feet should be flat on the floor.
Symptoms of a Pulled Back Muscle
If you have pulled a muscle in your back, you will probably feel it as a sudden sharp pain when you lift, bend, or twist. The pain can range from mildly irritating to intense and debilitating depending on how badly the muscle is strained.
Move gently. Mild movement is better than bed rest. Any lengthy bed rest can prolong your back pain. When you are ready, engage in slow, easy stretching such as pulling your knees toward the chest.
Therapeutic massage may help relax tight muscles and increase circulation to promote healing. If you feel the early signs of a pulled back muscle, massage may help relieve pain and increase range of motion.
Apply heat for 20 minutes to the affected area, alternating with ice if desired. Take over-the-counter pain medication as directed. Continue to move as much as possible. Be active in your daily routine and perform low-impact exercises like walking.
“'High-quality' evidence shows that paracetamol is ineffective for low back pain ... We also found 'high-quality' evidence that paracetamol increases the risk of having an abnormal result on liver function tests by nearly four-fold, although the impact of this on clinically relevant patients is unclear,” they say.
Going on walks: Initial research suggests that going on a walk or brisk walking (Nordic walking) can help relieve back pain if done regularly – for instance, every two days for 30 to 60 minutes.
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.
Even laying on your side is appreciably more stress than laying flat. At the other end of the spectrum, sitting while leaning forward and lifting weight puts the most strain across your back.
Lying with your knees bent; slowly rock both knees to one side whilst keeping your shoulders on the floor. Take your knees as far as you can to the floor or until a comfortable stretch is felt in your low back. Hold for one inhale and one exhale. Repeat 5 times on each side.
Sitting for prolonged periods of time can be a major cause of back pain, cause increased stress of the back, neck, arms and legs and can add a tremendous amount of pressure to the back muscles and spinal discs.
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.
Laying on your back creates the least amount of pressure. Just by standing straight you put 4 times the amount of pressure on your lower back as compared to laying on your back. And bending forward while standing will increase the pressure on your lower back by another 50% as compared to standing straight.