What to Do for A Pulled Back Muscle: 8 Early Signs and Symptoms
Acute pain, unexpected muscle spasms, and the inability to move with full range of motion can all have a significant impact on your daily life. Recognizing the early signs of a pulled back muscle allows you to treat the injury and potentially prevent it from worsening.
Common Pulled Back Muscle Symptoms
According to Dr. David Attenborough, an expert in chiropractic surgery, a pulled back muscle is actually a strained muscle, which occurs when the fibers in one or more of the muscles that support the spine are overused or overstretched, which can lead to painful tearing and a long recovery if left untreated.
Some early symptoms of a pulled back muscle may include2:
Ignoring aches and pains associated with a pulled back muscle can slow recovery by delaying appropriate treatment or causing you to do things that aggravate the injury, such as bending over or sitting down.
How to Treat a Pulled Back Muscle
Consider these treatment options if you’re experiencing early signs of a pulled back muscle. A minor back muscle strain can often be treated at home or with the help of a physical therapist, but if you’re in severe pain, it’s always a good idea to consult with a physician.
Over-the-counter pain relievers may help with minor aches and pains caused by a pulled back muscle if used as directed and not for activities that would otherwise be painful. Because these treatments can have unwanted side effects, many people choose to use them only as needed.
Cold therapy, whether in the form of ice packs or a cold therapy system, can help control the inflammatory process and reduce pain. Physiotherapists say that applying therapeutic cold to a pulled back muscle can help reduce pain and swelling without the use of medication.
When heat is applied incorrectly while the inflammatory response is still active, it can lead to increased swelling and pain.
If you have ongoing problems with pulled back muscles, it’s a good idea to work with a physical therapist on a regular basis. They can help you strengthen muscles and increase range of motion, as well as show you proper form and techniques for avoiding future back injuries.
Massage can help relieve pain and increase range of motion if you have a pulled back muscle, and therapeutic massage can help relax tight muscles and increase circulation to promote healing. Be sure to let your therapist know if you are experiencing any discomfort so they can tailor their treatment accordingly.
The AARP recommends getting three to four hours of sleep each night and avoiding pain-inducing activities.
Experts say that keeping fit rather than resting can help you recover from an injury. American Association of Neurological Surgeons: Low-Back-Strain-and-Sprain. Nall: What causes morning back pain? Medical News Today: What do you need to know about low back strains?
How do you know if you pulled a muscle in your back?
The following are some early signs of a pulled back muscle:sup>2/sup>
- Local swelling.
- Muscle spasms.
- Tenderness when touched.
- Intense or dull pain.
- Pain with specific movements.
- Muscle tightness or stiffness.
- Pain relief in resting positions.
How long does it take for a pulled back muscle to heal?
A pulled muscle is usually easy to diagnose and treat compared to many other types of back injuries, and symptoms usually go away in 4 to 6 weeks, whereas some severe muscle injuries, such as a complete muscle tear, can take months to heal.
How do I treat a pulled muscle in my back?
8 Steps to Recovering from a Pulled Back Muscle
- Apply cold to reduce inflammation, which is the main source of pain in the first few days.
- Pain medication.
- Strength exercises.
- Get a massage.
- Apply heat.
Is it better to rest or exercise a pulled muscle?
u201cThe most important treatment for acute muscle strain is rest,u201d he says, adding that u201ccontinuing to stress a pulled muscle could result in further muscle damage and a much longer healing time.u201d Icing can help reduce swelling immediately after the injury and for the next two to three days.
Should you massage a pulled muscle?
Massage. Therapeutic massage helps loosen tight muscles and increase blood flow, which aids in the healing of damaged tissues. Applying pressure to the injured muscle tissue also aids in the removal of excess fluid and cellular waste products, according to a 2012 study.
Should I go to the doctor for a pulled back muscle?
Your primary care doctor can probably help if your back pain is caused by a recent strain or minor injury; however, if the pain is severe, persistent, or accompanied by other symptoms such as numbness or tingling in your arms or legs, it’s time to see a back doctor.
How do you know if back pain is muscle or disc?
1. Disc herniations hurt when you bend forward AND when you return from bending up to an upright position, whereas back strains or sprains hurt less when you bend forward and more when you return from bending forward.
Should I stretch a pulled muscle?
While it may seem counterintuitive, stretching a strained muscle will only make it worse. Your best bet is to avoid any movement that agitates the affected area and rest until the pain goes away. Light stretching can help with a minor strain, but only if done within a few days of the injury.
What is the fastest home remedy for back pain?
7 Natural Ways to Relieve Back Pain
- Every day, drink an anti-inflammatory beverage.
- Avoid prolonged static posture.
- Stretch your joints and soft tissues gently with yoga.
- Try mindful meditation.
- Support your body in a warm pool.
- Keep a self-activating heat patch on hand.
What is the best muscle relaxer for back pain?
Which Muscle Relaxants Are the Most Beneficial for Neck and Back Pain?
- 1) Methocarbamol ( Robaxin ) is a well-studied back pain medication.
- 2) Cyclobenzaprine.
- 3) Carisoprodol.
- 4) Metaxalone.
- 5) Tizanidine.
- 6) Baclofen.
- 7) Oxazepam and diazepam.
How can I speed up muscle recovery?
How to Quickly Recover Muscles
- Drink plenty of water after your workout.
- Have a post-workout snack.
- Take a workout supplement.
- Warm up before resistance training.
- Take time to cool down.
- Foam roll and stretch.
- Elevate your legs.
- Take a cool bath.
Should I exercise with a strained back?
Exercise, in addition to medicine, dietary supplements, and other treatments, can help you recover from a muscle strain. It’s a myth that you must rest for long periods of time and avoid activity after a back injury; in fact, this is usually not the case.
Is it OK to exercise with a strained muscle?
3 to 21 days after your injury: Begin slowly and regularly exercising your strained muscle to help it heal; if pain occurs, reduce the intensity of your workout.