If you don’t get the proper treatment and instructions for recovery from a pulled back, you may find that your life is changed forever. You stop doing the activities you love for fear of re-injuring your back. You may even begin to gain weight. While a pulled back muscle usually isn’t serious enough to warrant drastic treatment, without a firm diagnosis and the right kind of care, you can develop a loss of muscle strength, flexibility and even bone density. Rather than try to self-medicate, visit the New Jersey experts in pain management at Redefine Healthcare. They can put you on the right path to recovery from the back pain caused by a pulled back muscle.
Whenever you walk, run, twist or jump, you put a lot of strain on your lumbar spine, as well as the muscles and other soft tissues that support it. Because your back goes through so much wear and tear, it’s no surprise that lower back injuries happen to people of every age. One of the most common causes of lower back pain, in fact, is a pulled muscle in the back.
A pulled back is another term for a muscle strain in the back. While it seems like such a minor injury, it can cause symptoms like moderate to severe pain and reduced mobility.
At Redefine Healthcare — with offices in Edison, Union, Paterson and Clifton, New Jersey — you get effective pulled lower back muscle treatment to help you resume your normal day-to-day activities as soon as possible.
Symptoms of a Pulled Muscle in the Back
When you have a pulled muscle or muscle strain, your muscle fibers are stretched and torn. This causes the injured muscle to have a myriad of symptoms:
- The area feels sore, tight or achy.
- Pain intensifies with movement and may lessen when resting.
- It feels tender to the touch.
- It feels stiff, making movement more difficult.
There may be visible swelling and inflammation. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may also experience muscle spasms during either rest or activity. The pain may refer to other areas, such as the lower back, leading to immobility. You may feel middle back pain, upper back pain or neck pain, causing muscle spasms in your neck.
Causes of a Pulled Muscle in the Lower Back
Symptoms of a pulled back can set in suddenly after an injury. If they develop over time, you may not notice them right away. If you overuse certain muscles by performing repetitive motions, a pulled back may take years to cause pain. Some possible causes of muscle strain in the lower back include:
- Heavy lifting
- High-impact sports
- Sudden twisting
- An impact from a car accident or fall
You may be at increased risk of experiencing a muscle strain in the back if you lead a sedentary lifestyle or have poor posture or weak abdominal muscles. Smoking and obesity are additional factors that increase your risk of pulling a muscle in your back.
Diagnosing and Treating a Pulled Back Muscle
Your specialist in pain care can usually diagnose a muscle strain based on a physical exam, medical history and a review of how the injury occurred. Your doctor checks for spinal abnormalities and reduced range of motion during your exam. If there’s concern about an additional injury, such as a herniated disc or pinched nerve, you may need additional imaging tests.
Your pain doctor may recommend that you take a break from sports activities or from a job that involves a lot of heavy lifting. Applying ice for 15 minutes several times a day to the area helps reduce any swelling.
Pain can be controlled with over-the-counter medications such as naproxen, aspirin or ibuprofen. If your pain isn’t relieved with this approach, your doctor may prescribe muscle relaxants or prescription pain medication.
Physical therapy is often recommended to help your body rebuild strength and flexibility. Your physical therapist teaches you exercises that strengthen and stretch the area that hurt. Massage or electrical muscle stimulation help loosen tight muscles. You should move as much as possible 24 hours after the onset of pain. Although it may seem counterintuitive, extended rest prolongs your symptoms and slows down your recovery.
Expert Help for a Pulled Back
If you believe you have a pulled muscle in the lower back, have your injury evaluated if symptoms don’t improve within a couple of days. Don’t ignore severe or worsening pain, swelling or discoloration. There’s no need to wait longer than a couple days, especially if the pain makes it difficult for you to move or you’re unable to do your normal daily activities.
Contact Redefine Healthcare in New Jersey for expert evaluation of your pulled back muscle or any other back pain or back injury. With state-of-the-art treatment options, you’ll be back on your feet in no time.
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In-network, tier-one facility
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Central & Northern NJ
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Non-surgical, interventional pain care in Edison, NJ & Union, NJ