A pulled back muscle can be quite a painful and annoying experience. This could have been caused by over stretching or simply a torn back muscle.
What Can Cause Pulled Muscles?
Typically, when the back is overloaded with too much weight, it becomes strained, resulting in a pulled back muscle. Another cause is over stretching. Many people stretch improperly and as a result, injure themselves.
Overusing a muscle also causes much pain. When the muscle is stretched too much it results in injury to the muscle. Improper posture, while working on a computer or watching T.V. can result in such pain and discomfort. When you overuse a muscle, it is almost guaranteed there will be at least some pain as a consequence. If you stretch a muscle too much, it can also result in injury.
One of the most common causes is bad posture while sitting at the computer for hours or watching television. It is important that you have proper posture while doing these activities.
Tip: Recent studies have shown that the best posture for sitting at the computer is at a 135 degree angle as shown below:
Other causes of pulled muscle in back:
- Improper lifting, lifting too heavy
- An unpredictable rotation of the back
- Falling down
- Sitting in one position too long.
Here are some symptoms you may experience:
- Weakness of the Muscle
- Back muscle spasms
- general back pain
- Stiffness of the back muscle
Support your back!
The first thing you need to do is make sure your back gets adequate support. Failure to do this may worsen the pain and cause more discomfort. Once the back is adequately supported, it will reduce the pain and inflammation.
I massage is a great way to relieve the tension and stiffness.
Apply Ice to the Area
Applying ice within 2 days of the injury can benefit you greatly. Also, have someone massage your back with ice to ease the pain.
Heat therapy is an alternative to cold therapy. It is recommended to do both treatments.
Giving your body proper nutrition with vitamins is important to accelerate the healing process. Your body needs nutrients in order to perform in the best way possible.
Light Exercising and Stretching
In order to strengthen the back muscles, light exercise can help. Gentle stretching can also help heal the affected area.
How long does it take to heal?
Generally it can take up to 6 weeks to fully recover. This really depends on the severity of the pulled muscle and many other factors.
1. See a doctor
First off, it is highly recommended that you consult with your doctor or personal trainer about your pulled muscle before carrying out these options on your own.
2. Rest and Relaxation
When you are relaxing your lower back, a heating pad can help releive the pain by creating circulation in the affected area. This will allow your back to be able to move much more effeciently.
3. Lower Back Supporting Muscle Exercises
When your lower back muscle has been pulled, the muscle is strained. Therefore, you do not want to stretch your lower back because it’s already strained. Instead, you should focus on the muscles around your lower back. You want to keep the surrounding muscles flexible because it will help compensate the lower back pain.
Exercising the abdominal region
Exercising your Abdominal region is a very effective way of taking pressure off of your lower back. There are deep muscles in your abdominals that help stabilize your spine. Exercising these muscles will releive the load on your lower back area. Many people have underdeveloped abdominal muscles so they tend to compensate with their lower back, resulting in a pulled muscle.
Before exercising your abs, you need to make sure your lower back has healed enough to allow you to perform these exercises. So make sure you consult with your doctor, and get adequate rest before doing exercises.
The Ab Brace – Basic Version
1. Drop to your knees and focus on keeping your stomach contracted. This means you will want to contract your abs as if someone is about to punch you in your stomach.
2. Lower to your forearms while keeping your abs contracted.
3. Draw your belly button in towards your spine. Do not suck your belly button in. This should be done by contracting the muscle. This will target the deep muscle that stabilizes your spine.
You can also perform the alternative version of this exercise. This may be more difficult for some to do. So stick with the basic version if you don’t think you can do it.
1. Lower your body to your forearms like you did in the basic version.
2. Instead of being on your knees, support yourself with your feet much like you would with a push up.
3. Contract your abs and draw your belly button in like you did in the basic version.
You will feel like your whole body is contracting, that’s a good thing. If you feel any pinching or any sharp pains, discontinue the exercise.
This exercise is a great way to strengthen supporting muscles so your injury will not come back again.
The tough part about lower back exercising is gauging how much you can actually do. It is easy to over or under estimate how much your should be doing. It is best to just estimate this part for yourself, and listen to your body.