If you look at the injury report of any professional sports team, you are bound to see a handful of players out with muscle strains. But, muscle strains are not just dealt with by athletes. They keep regular joes (and janes) on the sidelines as well.
A muscle strain is a loose way of saying damage to the muscle or attaching ligaments. Diagnosing of a muscle strain can be difficult as many tests will only show more serious structural damage like bulging or herniated discs. Muscle strains in the back are common and should be taken seriously. The last thing you want to do is ignore the problem and allow it to develop into something more serious.
If the home treatment options that we share do not help, it may be wise to see a doctor so that they can take a closer look. Once you rule out any serious condition, you can focus on treating the strain and preventing it from happening in the future.
Muscle strains usually occur when the muscles are over worked or overstretched. In most cases, the damage caused by muscle strains is treatable. Most doctors will recommend that you stay off of your feet for a day or so and may prescribe an over the counter pain pill.
If you believe that a certain repetitive activity is responsible for your pain, you may want to avoid that activity for at least a few weeks. For example, if you are a cyclist and are suffering from a muscle strain… you may want to give the bike a rest. Taking time off, will allow the inflammation to reduce naturally and the body can begin to heal itself.
Some of the more effective ways to deal with muscle strains are as follows:
Hot baths (or heating pads) – Heat can reduce inflammation and provide immediate relief from the pain.
Topical Pain Creams – Most creams contain numbing agents that will also help ease your pain
Water Therapy – Water therapy is a great way to rehab the injured area without the impact of other exercise.
Massage Therapy – Massage therapy may help with sore muscles, as long as it is relaxation based massage and not medical based massage.
Rest – Sometimes just a little rest can go a long way.
If your pain continues or gets worse, consult your physician as you may be dealing with something more serious than a muscle strain in the back.