How to Heal a Strained Back
Back pain is more common than you think. A strained back happens when the muscles that hold the bones in the spinal column stretch too far, causing tears in the tissues. Activities like improper lifting, intense exercise, and repetitive muscle movement can lead to a strained back. Other factors like poor posture and low fitness can also increase the risk of pulling your back muscles.
When you have a strained back, look out for signs like a reduced range of motion. The symptoms can make daily activities like sitting, walking, and sleeping uncomfortable. Since back strains make it strenuous to move, prolonged pain may lower your bone density and cause excessive weight gain. If you notice muscle spasms or increased pain with every movement, consult a chiropractor right away.
Are you wondering what to do after straining your back? With time and care, it's possible to alleviate the pain and recover from this injury. Follow these treatments on how to heal a strained back:
Compression for back strain
Swelling is a common symptom among people with strained backs. That is the body's typical response to muscle strain. After swelling, the new cells will slow down the recovery process. It also causes pain to the targeted area.
Compression reduces the severity of swelling and inflammation. Applying this pressure improves blood circulation to the muscles and transports toxins away from the strain. The blood also relieves the tension in the joints by preventing the buildup of harmful fluids. For treatment, wear braces to support your lower back. You can also wear compression socks, which help you stand properly and relieve the strained back pain.
Heat or ice for back strain
Swelling is the most common source of pain on a strained back. If you can reduce the swelling, you're on your way to relaxing the tense muscles. Afterwards, you can use ice and heat therapy with compression hosiery to tackle the inflammation.
Once you notice the strain, start with ice for two to three days before applying heat. You can use ice packs, cold water baths, or cold therapy systems for this back strain treatment. However, avoid placing ice directly on your body to prevent skin irritation.
When the swelling has reduced, switch to heat therapy. You can use heat pads, warm clothing, or hot water bottles for back strain relief. A hot bath can also suffice. However, remember to moisturize afterward so that your skin cells don't lose water.
Back strain exercises
Some exercises are notorious for causing back strain. However, some workouts can relieve muscle spasms and get you to your daily routine in no time. You can do movements like twists, knee pulls, and a few yoga poses to treat back pain.
For twists, lie on your back with your legs stretched in front of you. Place the right leg over the left side of your body and twist until you feel a stretch. Hold the position for 20 seconds and repeat the motion on the other side.
With knee pulls, start with your back flat to the ground and your toes pointed. Wrap your hands around your left knee and gently pull to your chest. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat the move on your right knee.
Another move is the cat-cow pose in yoga. With your back flat, stay on your hands and knees as you hold the pose. Breathe out and let your back curve downward. Take a deep breath in and extend your shoulders upwards. Hold each position for 15 seconds and repeat the move ten times.
Back strain stretches
You can't go wrong with stretching exercises, whether for back strain treatment or in your daily routine. Strained muscles tense up and limit blood supply to the cells. Muscle relaxing stretches can improve blood flow and relieve pain. However, consult a chiropractor to determine the stretching routine that suits your back pain. Be gentle, and don't overexert yourself with the stretches.
Massage therapy also relieves the pain from back pain. Many studies show that massages can improve back function and lower your need for anti-inflammation medication. Hold your fingers in a fist and rub against the injured area in a circle up to twenty times. If you still feel pain, book an appointment with a massage therapist for treatment.
Anti-inflammatory medication reduces swelling and inflammation triggered by prostaglandins. During injury, the cells produce chemicals that attempt to heal the body. However, the activity causes swelling and pain to the injured area. Taking non-steroidal medication can provide quick relief for the pain, reducing inflammation.
The medications are accessible over-the-counter, meaning that you don't need a doctor's prescription to purchase them. Painkillers like Advil will ease the back pain. However, some of these medications have side effects. They might cause kidney problems, ulcers, high blood pressure, allergic reactions, and cardiac arrest. Seek professional consultation before you consume any medication.
Occasionally, muscles strain due to overworking and repetitive movements. In some cases, sleeping and resting can provide fast relief for muscle spasms. However, bed rest is only recommended for a short period since it can trigger obesity and weaken the bones. For the best result, place a pillow under your knees on a bed or on the floor.
In addition to resting, a nutritious diet is also crucial to your back strain recovery. Eat healthy foods rich in calcium to strengthen your muscles. Some popular foods for back strain include spinach, kale, and broccoli.