A pulled muscle occurs when a muscle in the lower back is stretched or torn, report physicians at the Mayo Clinic. Lower back muscle strains prevail and typically can be treated at home. Serous tears often need surgery to fix the injury. There are a number of simple steps you can take to treat a pulled lower back muscle.
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Typical Causes of a Pulled Back Muscle
Lower back pain from muscle strain generally is caused by any type of movement that puts undue stress on the lower back. Frequent causes include lifting a heavy item, lifting while twisting, or an unexpected motion or fall.
Sports injuries are also a frequent cause of a pulled back muscle, especially with sports that involve twisting (such as golf), or any types of sudden impact or disconcerting motions.
How to Treat a Pulled Lower Back Muscle
- Apply ice to the spot that hurts as soon as you can after you feel the muscle pull. Wrap ice in a towel and or use a ready-made ice bag. Lie on your stomach and place the ice over your lower back. Leave the ice in place for 15 to 20 minutes every three or 4 hours.
- Alternate the ice treatment with a heating pad for about 20 minutes. Ice reduces inflammation, and heat can help to relax tight muscles that respond to a pull by tightening, according to iytmed.com.
- Wrap a flexible plaster around your waist to incapacitate the pulled muscle to give it time to heal while you move. Start the wrapping at the base of your back and cover up. Loosen the bandage if it feels painful. If the wrap does not relieve a few of the pain, use a stiffer brace to hold the muscle in place.
- Rest as much as you can and prevent using your back muscles up until the pain dissipates. Avoid getting things and bending over as much as possible. Lie on the floor with your knees bent over a high pillow or resting on a chair to take weight off your back. Doctors at the American Academy of Family Physicians suggest walking around every couple hours to prevent weakening the muscles too much.
- Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain relievers such as ibuprofen or aspirin to relieve the pain and to assist reduce swelling.
- Begin using your back gradually after a couple days of ice, rest and compression. Bend at the waist in small increments till it feels back to normal. Mayo Clinic physicians report that it can take as long as 4 to 6 weeks for a sprain to recover completely, so avoid any major lifting or flexing while your drew back muscle heals.
Have somebody look at your back when you use ice to make sure you don’t get frostbite. If the area turns white, that might indicate frostbite, report Mayo Clinic medical professionals. Likewise, if you are diabetic or have any sort of vascular disease, do not use ice till you check with your doctor for proper treatments and length of icing time because you may not feel when it gets too cold.
If an episode of low back pain lasts for more than two weeks, the muscles might start to weaken. Since using the lower back muscles hurts, the natural tendency for the majority of patients is to prevent using them. However, lack of activity causes disuse atrophy (muscle wasting) and subsequent weakening, which in turn causes more low back pain since the muscles are less able to help hold up the spinal column.
Include exercises into your workout routine that will enhance your abdominal area and leg muscles if you have weak back muscles that tend to end up being pulled easily. Secure your back muscles using the stronger muscles that surround the back instead of counting on your back for lifting and flexing.
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