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What is a back strain?

A back strain or 'pulled' muscle in the lower back is a frequent source of back pain characterised by stretching of tearing of a muscle.

What causes a back strain?

A back strain can be caused by strenuous activity like lifting a heavy object in an incorrect manner by bending the back rather than the knees, sharp sudden twisting movements, or even due to standing for long periods of time.

The spine is held upright by muscles and ligaments and the over-stretching or tearing of these muscles can occur if the muscle suddenly contracts or is stretched too far. When a back strain or sprain occurs, there is inflammation of the soft tissue that causes pain and possibly back spasms. Back strains and sprains can also be caused by poor posture, poor muscle tone in the back and abdomen, emotional stress or excessive weight or pregnancy.

Our physiotherpaist providing a passive stretch to help improve range of motion following a strainAbove: Our physiotherpaist providing a passive stretch to help improve range of motion following a strain

What are the symptoms/effects of a back strain?

People with a back strain frequently feel pain that can appear either side of the back or in the upper buttocks and can get worse with muscle spasms as they occur.

Diagnosis of a back strain

Diagnosis of a back strain can be confirmed by a physiotherapist or doctor, who will conduct a thorough subjective and objective assessment.

Physiotherapy for a back strain

It is important to consult a physiotherapist following your injury hasten your recovery and for the best possible outcome.

At Manchester Physio, we provide individualised physiotherapy treatment which will facilitate healing, reduce pain and stiffness and get you back to work and your hobbies sooner.

Your physiotherapist at Manchester Physio will initially assess your current symptoms, range of movement, muscle strength and function in order to develop a progressive rehabilitation program.

Physiotherapy treatment for a muscle strain may include:
  • Advice on how to modify your activity to support and protect the muscles and prevent any further damage
  • Gentle active range of movement exercises to loosen up muscles and reduce pain
  • Ice therapy to minimise inflammation and swelling
  • Ultrasound to promote healing
  • Heat therapy and soft tissue massage to increase circulation and relax muscle spasms
  • Progressive and individualised exercise program, for the abdominal or 'core' muscles and back muscles to increase strength and stability of the spine.
Your physiotherapist at Manchester Physio will develop a progressive rehabilitation program to ensure you return to activities safely and effectively.

Physiotherapy treatment at Manchester Physio will hasten the recovery process and get you back to the daily and sporting activities you enjoy as quickly as possible.

If you would like more information about physiotherapy for a back strain, or to book an appointment please call 0161 883 0077.

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