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Strained Back Muscle

Strained back muscle is one of the most common causes of back pain. This article provides some information about its causes and symptoms, and how to treat this condition.
HolisticZine Staff
Strained back muscles can also be described as pulled back muscles. This results in overstretching of one or more of the muscles and at times it can lead to tear in the muscles. This is often an extremely painful condition and badly affects the range of motion of the back. The affected person is unable to carry out the daily activities like bending, lifting objects, etc. Sometimes, it can be so severe that people find it difficult to even get out of their bed.

Causes

There are several causes that can lead to straining of the back muscles. When the back muscles are held in one particular position for a long period of time, then it leads to muscle fatigue and results in strain. Strained lower back muscle can occur after standing or sitting for long hours. This is because the muscles get strained while supporting the entire body weight for a long time. A poor posture forces the back muscles to work harder which leads to muscle strain.

Overuse of the back muscles by repetitive movements can strain them. One can get back muscle strain while doing back exercises, if the positions are changed too quickly. Quite often, back muscles get overloaded because of poor-lifting techniques or lifting of too heavy objects. A bad fall or abnormal twisting of the back can lead to the strain as well.

Symptoms

A sharp, stabbing back pain is the main indication of strained back muscles. In some cases, the pain is constant and in others it is felt when the back is in a particular position. When there is some kind of muscle damage then there is severe inflammation and a burning sensation. Then, the affected area is hot to touch as well. This happens due to increase in blood flow to the injury site.

Sometimes, just after the back muscles are injured, they tend to get contracted violently and results in muscle spasm. This spasm condition may last for few minutes or it can continue for a few hours. Muscle spasms in the back is annoying and causes a lot of discomfort and may turn serious and hence, it should be treated immediately. Pins-and-needles sensation is another symptom of strain in the back muscles. This condition arises when the injured muscles of the back are unable to circulate blood properly. Strain in the back muscles can make them severely weak.

Treatment

When you have experienced an injury that has caused strain in the back muscles, then the best treatment is bed rest. This will prevent any further injury to the muscles and at the same time take the load off the back. Thus, the muscles get some time to heal on its own. Depending on the severity of the injury, rest may be required for 4-7 days. For the first few days, application of ice is a nice way of soothing the pain and swelling. It should be done four to five times in a day and duration of each application should be 15-20 minutes.

Ice cubes should be applied after wrapping them up in a piece of cloth. Pain killers can be used to bring down the pain temporarily but will not heal up the damage. One should consult a doctor before taking such medicines. Drinking of plenty of water is essential for this treatment as it will help to keep the muscles in a lubricated condition. Moreover, the toxins released by the injured muscles that makes them stiff and painful can be flushed out too. Once the pain subsides, gentle stretches will help in faster recovery. If this rehabilitation program fails to provide back pain relief within the first three days, then the problem could be serious and medical intervention is a must. Then it is treated with medicines and physical therapy.

There is no doubt that strained back muscle gives a lot of pain. However, if treated on time, it will get cured and will not cause any major health problems in the long run. This kind of injury can be prevented if the muscles are made strong and flexible with the help of regular exercises.

Disclaimer: This HolisticZine article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.