A Pulled Muscle In The Back | What to Do?

A Pulled Muscle In The Back | What to Do?

Have you ever felt a sharp, throbbing pain after extending your body to reach something?

Or have you ever experienced a sore back after a strenuous workout followed by inflammation and swelling in the region?

Sadly, these symptoms are all indicative of a pulled muscle in the back, also known as a strain or sprain.

This pain can take a toll on your performance and even hinder your efficiency in everyday activities. Therefore, it is imperative to take immediate steps to relieve this pain before it gets unbearable.

The most effective way to recover from a pulled muscle in the back is to use ice or heat therapy, take pain relievers, use compression garments, and rest. These steps will help reduce swelling and inflammation of the pulled muscle tissue.

First, let's look at what a pulled muscle is, what it feels like, how to identify one, and what you can do to recover from it.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this article.

  • What Is A Pulled Muscle?
  • How Do I Know If I Have A Pulled Muscle?
  • What Is A Pulled Muscle In The Back?
  • Symptoms Of A Pulled Muscle Or Muscle Strain
  • Types of Pulled Muscles
    • Acute (Sudden)
    • Chronic (Long-Term)
  • What Does A Pulled Muscle Feel Like?
  • How to Prevent a Muscle Strain In Fitness Lovers and Athletes?
  • 5 Best Ways To Recover From A Pulled Muscle In The Back
    • Ice Packs/ Cold Therapy
    • Compression Garments
    • Rest
    • Heat Therapy
      • Hot Water Bottle
      • Hot Bath Or Shower
      • A Hot Pack
      • SUPMOGO Recovery Flex System Belt
    • Medication
      • NSAIDs
      • Muscle relaxants
      • Painkillers or OTC medicines

What Is A Pulled Muscle?

A pulled muscle occurs when your muscles are overworked and strained to the point of tearing or rupture of a tendon. The worst thing about this pain is that even a well-conditioned person can suffer.

Several causes can lead to muscle strain, such as,

  • Muscle fibers can be torn by sudden jerking or stretching
  • Repetitive movements or sudden and forceful contractions of the muscles
  • Overstretching your muscles or pulling them too hard
  • Bending for a prolonged period of time
  • Motions such as lifting or twisting

How Do I Know If I Have A Pulled Muscle?

If you have a pulled muscle, you will have some pain and tenderness in the affected area, along with swelling and bruising. You may also feel the inability to move your muscles, like your arms or legs.

Though it is not that serious, it can be pretty debilitating! Pain from a muscle strain can last up to weeks or even months before completely healing.

Fun Fact: This pain may also visit you occasionally, especially when you get injured in the same region.

The most common site for this injury is the lower back due to its vulnerability to sudden jerking and stretching motions. Below we have discussed in detail about pulling a muscle in your back.

What Is A Pulled Muscle In The Back?

Did I pull a muscle in my back? Oops!

You may have pulled a muscle in the back like every other person. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke says that every 4 out of 5 individuals experience lower back pain throughout their life.

There’s a good chance you will experience a pulled muscle in your back at some point in your life.

It can be caused by anything from an intense workout to just reaching for something on the top shelf at work. It can also occur as a result of sudden movements or lifting heavy weights.

The most common type is a strain of the iliopsoas, which is the muscle that connects your lower back to your thigh.

Symptoms Of A Pulled Muscle Or Muscle Strain

Based on how much of the muscle is torn, a pulled muscle in the back can have mild to severe symptoms.

According to Mayo Clinic, symptoms include pain and tenderness over the injured area, swelling, inflammation, weakness, limited mobility, and stiffness.

Types of Pulled Muscles

Pulled muscles are classified into two groups:

  • Acute (Sudden)

Acute injuries usually result from sudden movements, such as lifting something heavy or twisting too quickly.

  • Chronic (Long-Term)

Chronic injuries are usually caused by repetitive motions such as prolonged sitting at a computer or standing on your feet for long periods.

What Does A Pulled Muscle Feel Like?

The pain from a pulled muscle in the back will be felt on one side of the body and can range from mild to severe. The severity of the pain depends on how badly you have pulled it.

How to Prevent a Muscle Strain In Fitness Lovers and Athletes?

You may not know this, but athletes are at a higher risk for muscle strain.

There are many ways to prevent a pulled muscle in the back, including

  • Warming up before exercising
  • Stretching before and after exercising
  • Wearing proper footwear and clothing
  • Avoiding sudden jerky movements
  • Drinking enough fluids during exercise (especially if you’re exercising indoors or in high heat)
  • Eating properly before and after exercise (including foods that contain protein)
  • Maintaining a healthy weight (particularly if you are overweight)

5 Best Ways To Recover From A Pulled Muscle In The Back

The best way to recover from a pulled muscle in the back is to stay off it and apply cold therapy as soon as possible. This will help reduce inflammation, numb the area, and decrease pain.

Below is a comprehensive look at the most efficient ways to recover from a pulled muscle in the back.

1. Ice Packs/ Cold Therapy

Using cold therapy is a proven way to relieve pain and inflammation from pulled muscles. They can be used for acute injuries as well as chronic muscle strain. [1]

You should also try to ice your back for about 10 minutes every hour until it starts feeling better. Do not apply ice packs for a longer duration since research theorized that prolonged use of ice therapy on injured muscles reduces blood flow to the target area, causing tissue death or permanent nerve damage. [2]

2. Compression Garments

Compression garments are clothing designed to compress the wearer's skin, muscles, and joints. Athletes often wear them to reduce their risk of injury and speed up recovery.

Compression garments also help with muscle strain by supporting the muscles to recover faster and reducing pain after an injury. These garments should be worn for at least 6 hours a day for the first few days after an injury.

3. Rest

Resting is one of the simplest ways to treat and prevent muscle strain in the back. It helps reduce inflammation and relaxes tense muscles. When you rest, try not to lie on your stomach for more than 30 minutes at a time. This position puts pressure on your lower spine, which can make things worse.

It is recommended that you stay at rest for a few days after this injury happens to avoid aggravating it. If you have chronic back pain, there are treatments available from physiotherapists and chiropractors that may also help with this injury.

4. Heat Therapy

According to research, heat therapy is a very effective way to treat muscle strain and spasms in the back. It is a natural remedy that has been used for many centuries. There is evidence that heat therapy can reduce inflammation, pain, and stiffness in muscles. [3]

There are several ways in which heat therapy can be used, including:

  • Hot Water Bottle

Fill a hot water bottle with warm water and apply it to the sore area of the back.

  • Hot Bath Or Shower

Take a hot bath or shower to soothe your muscles.

  • A Hot Pack

Place it on your sore area of the back for 10 minutes at a time.

  • SUPMOGO Recovery Flex System Belt

Don't want to get out of bed? The SUPMOGO Belt can provide instant relief and rehab for your pulled-back muscles. This ground-breaking invention generates heat naturally by integrating EMS technology with EMF radiation and anti-static properties. It treats the root cause of pain and delivers immediate relief by targeting the deepest muscle layers. So the next time you get a pulled muscle in the back, make sure to use your SUPMOGO Recovery Flex System Belt as the first line of defense!

If you are still confused about whether you should use ice or heat for lower back pain, check out our blog here and find the answer for yourself!

5. Medication:

The pain usually goes away in a few days, but you may need to take medication to help with the pain, swelling, and stiffness. If you have urgent work and resting is not an option, then taking pain relief medications might be your only shot.

There are three types of medications that can be used for a pulled muscle in the back:

  • NSAIDs

According to Spine Health, anti-inflammatory medications, also known as NSAIDs, can be used to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation. Ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin can be taken until the pain subsides.

  • Muscle relaxants

Muscle relaxants, as the name suggests, help to relax muscle spasms and inhibit pain receptors in the brain. Unlike magnesium supplements, this medication does not directly impact the muscles but instead influences the central nervous system.

  • Painkillers or OTC medicines

Painkillers like Acetaminophen can be used to inhibit pain receptors in the brain and reduce the severity of pain.

The Final Takeaway!

If the pain persists and is not subsiding. It is better to seek medical attention immediately for a pulled muscle in your back. If left untreated, this can lead to serious complications like nerve damage, spinal cord compression, and even paralysis.

Still questioning what the best treatment is for a pulled-back muscle?

Grab your SUPMOGO Recovery Flex System Wearable today and find an easy solution to all your back pain problems! 

[1] Singh, D. P., Barani Lonbani, Z., Woodruff, M. A., Parker, T. J., Steck, R., & Peake, J. M. (2017). Effects of topical icing on inflammation, angiogenesis, revascularization, and myofiber regeneration in skeletal muscle following contusion injury. Frontiers in physiology, 8, 93.

[2] Wang, Z. R., & Ni, G. X. (2021). Is it time to put traditional cold therapy in rehabilitation of soft-tissue injuries out to pasture?. World journal of clinical cases, 9(17), 4116.

[3] Freiwald, J., Magni, A., Fanlo-Mazas, P., Paulino, E., Sequeira de Medeiros, L., Moretti, B., ... & Solarino, G. (2021). A role for superficial heat therapy in the management of non-specific, mild-to-moderate low back pain in current clinical practice: A narrative review. Life, 11(8), 780.

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