BPS 13: What is Lower Back Strain/ Pulled Back Muscle?

Most cases of lower back pain occur due to a damage to the soft tissues. The damage occurs in the soft tissues that support the lower spine. This includes tendons, muscles, and ligaments. The lower back spine depends on these soft tissues to hold the body straight.

The soft tissues that support the weight can get injured if they are put under too much stress. This results in lower back strain or pulled back muscle. The resulting pain can be severe that normally require medical attention.

About Lower Back Strain/Pulled Back Muscle

A pulled back muscle may seem like a minor injury. But it usually results in serious pain and muscle spasms.

Muscle strain happens when muscle fibers wear and tear due to being overused and overstretched. This is also known as a pulled muscle. Due to wear and tear, ligaments that are fibrous tissues that connect the bones become torn. The back is prone to the strain due to involvement in movements such as bending, twisting, and moving.

Inflammation or swelling is the normal response to a lower back injury. The blood is rushed to the injured tissue as part of the natural healing process. The inflamed muscle may feel tender to the touch and contract resulting in severe pain.

An individual may feel pain in the buttocks or legs due to the pulled back muscle or lower back strain. The pelvis, hip, and hamstring muscles help the lower back muscle in providing support to the lumbar spine. So, when the muscles are injured, the pain can be felt across the lower back into the buttocks and hip.

Symptoms and Treatment of Lower Back Strain / Pulled Back Muscle

The pain is generally more severe during the initial few days. The individual experience pain in certain positions and movements. Pain may occur due to bending backward, forward, or standing up straight. Moderate stiffness and pain are felt for about a week or two as the muscle heals.

Pain occurs as a result of sitting or standing for prolonged periods. Anything that puts pressure on the spine can result in pain.

Unlike other types of back injuries, a lower back strain /pulled back muscle is relatively easy to treat. The symptoms in most cases resolve after about four to six weeks. However, if the condition occurs due to a muscle injury, it can take months to recover.

Bed rest is suggested in case of acute pain. This usually lasts from one to three days. The rest should be short as prolonged rest can result in muscle weakness that could add to the discomfort and pain. For pain relief, doctors generally recommend anti-inflammatory medications.

Physical therapy may also be recommended in some cases. The therapist evaluates the condition and designs an appropriate therapy for lower back pain. Therapy may include ice and heat therapy, gentle massage, pelvic traction, ultrasound, and stretching exercises. Muscle relaxant and pain medication may also be prescribed to be used along with the physical therapy.


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Robin BackPainExpert

Physiotherapists & Back Pain Expert

Twenty years ago I was lucky to survive a serious hockey injury. In a sport where big men zoomaround on hard ice and solid wood sticks are slung furiously, a difficult back injury is what every player fears.
It took a long time for me to climb back to a normal life. But when I did, I was determined to spend the rest of his life helping back pain victims everywhere.
As a physiotherapist and back pain expert I have treated thousands of patients over 20 years, built a respected back pain clinic, created the site BackPainSecrets.Com and authored the book “Back Pain Secrets.”
Learn more about me here.