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Pulled & Strained Back Muscle Treatment (Doctor’s 4 Tips)

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Curious about pulled and strained back muscle treatments? Look no further!

As a seasoned Doctor, I’ve witnessed countless cases; the good news is that most can find relief at home!

In fact, recent studies even show that with the right treatment approach, 90% of patients experience significant improvement within weeks [3].

Dive into this post to unveil the 4 easy tips to alleviate that back pain and get back to your active life.

Key Takeaways

  • Rest and ice treatment are crucial first steps for a pulled or strained back muscle, helping to minimize inflammation and provide initial relief.
  • Heat therapy and gentle stretching exercises can aid recovery by promoting blood flow and regaining mobility.
  • To prevent future injuries, strengthening exercises should be integrated into your routine once you’ve fully recovered.

Pulled & Strained Back Muscle Treatment (4 Quick & Easy Tips)

First, give your body some rest and apply ice to reduce inflammation. Within a couple of days, switch to heat therapy to promote healing.

Once the acute pain subsides, start with gentle stretching exercises. When you’re fully recovered, add strengthening exercises to your routine to prevent future injuries.

Here’s a breakdown of 4 quick & easy tips…

1. Rest and Apply Cold Therapy

When you feel the strain, your first action should be to rest.

According to Dr. Stephen Henry, a sports medicine physician at the University of Miami Health System’s Sports Medicine Institute in Florida, it is important to avoid movements that exacerbate pain. Still, complete bed rest isn’t ideal [1].

woman applying cold therapy

Gentle movements” and mild stretches, he writes, can assist in preserving mobility.

Additionally, applying an ice pack to the painful area for around 15 minutes multiple times daily can minimize swelling and alleviate pain [1].

2. Heat Therapy

After approximately 48 hours of cold therapy, switching to heat therapy is beneficial. Applying heat to the affected area can aid muscle relaxation and improve blood flow.

Techniques can include taking a hot bath, using a warm towel, or using a hot pack for roughly 15 minutes.

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3. Gentle Stretching

Once the sharp pain has lessened, you can begin incorporating gentle stretching exercises.

It’s important to remember that this is not a time to test your limits but to regain your mobility and flexibility slowly.

Engaging in low-impact activities such as gentle yoga can be highly beneficial in this stage.

4. Strengthening Exercises

The final tip for dealing with a pulled or strained back muscle, especially when experiencing lower back pain when bending over, is preventative – consider integrating strengthening exercises into your routine once you’ve fully recovered.

senior woman gently stretching at the park

Having strong back and core muscles is key to protecting your spine and preventing future injuries [2].

How about stretching? Scroll to the next section for 4 Charming stretches!

Stretches for Pulled & Strained Back Muscles (4 Charming Poses)

Stretching exercises are a pivotal first step when treating a strained back muscle.

These exercises improve flexibility, enhance physical performance, endurance, and blood flow, and can reduce the risk of future injuries.

Let’s explore some practical stretching exercises you can conveniently incorporate into your daily routine.

Remember, these stretches should not cause or exacerbate any pain.

It is essential to maintain each stretch for about 10 seconds, and you must perform them on both sides for balanced strength and flexibility.

#1. Chest to Knee Stretch

Start this stretch lying flat on your back with your toes pointing upwards. Gradually bend your left knee and draw your leg towards your chest.

Using your arms, secure your thigh or knee and gently pull closer to your chest. Repeat the procedure with the right leg.

#2. Double Knee to Chest Stretch:

Initiate this stretch in the same position as the previous exercise, but this time, slowly lift both knees towards your chest. Secure them with your hands and draw them closer to your chest.

#3. Hip Stretch

Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and step back with your right foot. While doing this, bend your left knee and shift your weight to your right hip.

Keeping your right leg straight, lean forward and reach down until you feel a stretch in your outer hip. Repeat this with your left leg.

#4. Cat-Cow Stretch

Begin on your hands and knees, ensuring your hands are directly below your shoulders and your knees are aligned with your hips.

Exhale deeply, slowly arching your spine, and then inhale while rounding your back. Repeat this cycle around 10 times.

Hop into this video for some fantastic tips:

NEXT UP: Let’s jump to some helpful exercises you (and your back) will love!

Strengthening Your Back Muscles (4 Simple Exercises)

The second stage in treating a strained back muscle involves strengthening exercises.

By bolstering your back, abdomen, and shoulder muscles, you can help support your spine, reduce the risk of future injuries, and facilitate healing.

Here are a few practical exercises you can incorporate into your routine:

1. Wall Sit

Position yourself against a wall and slowly lower into a seated position. Maintain this pose for 30 seconds or as long as you feel comfortable, then repeat.

2. Bridge Pose

Start lying on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and shoulder-width apart.

Gradually lift your back off the ground until it forms a 45-degree angle with the floor. Hold this pose for 20 seconds before repeating.

3. Partial Curl

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

Engaging your core muscles, lift your shoulders off the ground for about 1-2 seconds, then lower them back down.

Perform this exercise 15 times using your abdominal muscles, not your neck.

4. Press-Up

Begin by lying on your stomach with your hands beneath your shoulders. Press your shoulders off the ground and hold for 10 seconds.

Repeat this exercise to strengthen your back muscles.

Each step plays a vital role in treating a strained back muscle. Consistent and mindful practice can lead to a smoother and faster recovery.

For more clever tips, scroll to the next section!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long does recovering from a pulled or strained back muscle take?

Recovery time can vary depending on the severity of the injury, but typically, minor strains heal within a few weeks. For those dealing with strains, incorporating back support can aid in the healing process and provide relief. However, severe strains may take several months to recover fully.

2. Can I exercise with a pulled or strained back muscle?

During the acute phase, it’s best to rest and avoid any activities that cause pain. Once the initial pain subsides, gentle exercises and stretches can help you recover.

3. When should I see a doctor for a pulled or strained back muscle?

If the pain is severe, doesn’t improve after a week, or other symptoms like numbness or weakness accompany it, it’s crucial to seek medical attention.

Now that you’ve learned Pulled and strained Back Muscle Treatments, you’re excited to get going! First, let’s go over the basics…

In fact, dealing with a pulled or strained back muscle doesn’t have to be daunting.

Implementing the correct Pulled and strained Back Muscle Treatment steps can facilitate recovery and reduce discomfort.

You can manage your symptoms effectively and even prevent future injuries by understanding the importance of rest, ice and heat therapy, stretching, and strengthening exercises.


1. Barger TS. What Kind of Doctor Treats Muscle Pain? [Internet]. Health Central. 2023. Available from: https://www.healthcentral.com/article/what-kind-doctor-treats-muscle-pain

2. Understanding the RICE Protocol and How It Can Help You Heal Faster: Bonaventure Ngu, MD: Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon [Internet]. www.premierspineinstitute.com. [cited 2023 Jul 25]. Available from: https://www.premierspineinstitute.com/blog/understanding-the-rice-protocol-and-how-it-can-help-you-heal-faster

3. Acute Mechanical Back Pain | Cleveland Clinic [Internet]. Cleveland Clinic. 2015. Available from: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/4879-acute-mechanical-back-pain

About Author

Lamia A Kader, MD
Lamia A Kader is a Medical Doctor and a Medical Research Professional with a Ph.D. in Clinical Research. ISMMS, USA. She had enhanced her medical knowledge of medical devices and equipment development and innovation by attending clinical meetings, local national courses, journal clubs, and conferences, in addition to e-learning, subscribing to major medical journals and keeping an eye on latest trends in medicine and keeping an eye on clinical trials industry and healthcare marketing current trends. She had participated in several medical device innovation projects by conducting clinical research studies, developing clinical trial protocols, writing patient safety narratives and “Medical Device Risk Assessment Reports” to transform new medical technologies into real products that save and improve lives. Follow her on LINKEDIN. Read her LATEST POSTS. Learn more about her HERE.

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