Fortunately, back muscle strains usually heal with time, with most healing within a few days and almost all resolving within 3 to 4 weeks. The large muscles in the low back have a good blood supply, which bring the necessary nutrients and proteins for healing to take place.
Initial Treatments for Pulled Back MusclesTypical first line treatments include some combination of:
- Pain medication (such as acetaminophen), to interrupt transmission of pain signals to the brain
- See Pain Medication
- Anti-inflammatory medication (such as ibuprofen, or possibly oral steroids), to reduce the local inflammation that is a cause of the pain
- See NSAIDs
- Muscle relaxants, which may be prescribed on a short-term basis to relieve severe lower back pain associated with muscle spasms.
- See Muscle Relaxants
- Massage, which can help promote blood flow in the lower back (to help with healing), loosen tight lower back muscles, and release endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers.
- Chiropractic. Gentle manual manipulation is an option to help loosen tight back muscles and promote healing in the lower back.
- Ice or cold packs. Application of some type of cold pack can help reduce inflammation, which is helpful immediately following the injury.
- Heat therapy. Application of heat to the lower back is helpful longer term to stimulate blood flow and healing to the injured area.
- See Heat Therapy
In This Article:
Back Exercises as Muscle Strain Treatments
- For further reading: Exercise and Back Pain
- Extensors (back muscles and gluteal muscles)
- Flexors (abdominal muscles and iliopsoas muscles)
- Obliques or Rotators (side muscles)
- More about Exercises for the Back and Abdominals