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Common Conditions

Pulled Back Muscles And Joint Irritation

25/09/2020

A pulled back muscle may happen suddenly while lifting a squirming child or overexerting at the gym. It may also appear over time as weak muscles steadily debilitate and trigger injuries. A pulled muscle in the back refers to one of two injuries: a sprain or a strain. A sprain is when the ligaments that hold bones together are torn or stretched whereas a strain is when muscles are stretched or torn. Both injuries may have similar symptoms, with the primary one being pain. The most common location for a pulled back muscle is in the lumbar spine, which is the lower back area. This painful injury is the most common cause of disability and lost work time among people under the age of 45.

A pulled muscle occurs when tearing or overstretching some of the muscle fibers. This can happen due to the muscle being overworked or twisted too hard. Pain, swelling with the area will be tender to the touch, will also be noticed. A pinched nerve, or nerve compression, happens when the pressure in an area causes the nerve impulses to become partially blocked. While a pulled muscle in the lower back could potentially cause a pinched nerve, this can also be caused by a herniated disc in the spine.

The soft tissue in the lower back may become damaged for many different reasons, but some of the most common may include twisting the spine, using poor form while lifting a heavy object, falling in a way that puts too much pressure on the spine, poor posture that stresses the connective tissues in the spine, sports injuries caused by pivoting, twisting, or physical impact or a sedentary lifestyle followed by sudden intense exercise, since weak muscles and ligaments are more vulnerable to injury.

A sprain or strain in the back may cause symptoms such as dull aching pain in the lower back, difficulty standing, sitting, and twisting, stiffness in the lower back, muscle spasms and pain that radiates to other areas. Lower back sprains and strains may radiate to the hips or buttocks, while injuries in the upper back can cause neck or head pain.

Although the vast majority of pulled back muscles do not require surgery, physical therapy can help with treating pulled back muscles. Treatment will focus on muscles that have been affected by the injury and have been weakened, as well as the small muscles that help stabilize and protect the spine. Manual therapy, pain management techniques, heat therapy, ice therapy and exercises are recommended to strengthen and stretch the affected muscles. If in doubt, seek professional advice.