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Should You Stretch if You Strained Your Back?

    Are you dealing with an injury from strained back muscles? Can stretching help treat the pulled muscles? Should you stretch if you strained your back? Or should you avoid stretching?

    Not every stretching is suitable for strained back muscles. Excessive stretches or hard exercise can worsen the injured muscle or prolong the recovery time. On the other hand, light stretching expedites the healing process by increasing the blood flow to the pulled area. 

    Should You Stretch if You Strained Your Back

    Read on as we explore the ten stretches for strained back muscles and some treatments for speeding up the healing.

    We’ll also offer some tips to prevent pulled back muscles. 

    See the table below if you are in a hurry to see the best products that provide relief from back pain and help you recover faster.

    Pix Product Name Pricing
    Trideer Extra Thick...image Trideer Extra Thick Yoga Ball Exercise Ball, 5 Sizes Ball Chair, Heavy Duty Swiss Ball for Balance, Stability, Pregnancy, Physical Therapy, Quick Pump Included (Black, L (58-65cm)) Check Price on Amazon
    Exercise Ball (55cm-95cm)...image Exercise Ball (55cm-95cm) Extra Thick Professional Grade Balance & Stability Ball- Anti Burst Tested Supports 2200lbs- Includes Hand Pump & Workout Guide Access (Grey, 65 cm) Check Price on Amazon
    Pure Enrichment® PureRelief™...image Pure Enrichment® PureRelief™ XXL (20" x 24") Electric Heating Pad for Back Pain and Cramps - 6 InstaHeat™ Settings, Machine Washable, Soft Microplush, 2-Hour Auto Shut-Off, & Storage Bag (Gray) Check Price on Amazon
    MIGHTY BLISS Electric...image MIGHTY BLISS Electric Heating Pad for Back Pain, Cramps, Arthritis Relief - Extra Large (XL 12"x24") - Auto Shut Off - Heat Pad with Moist & Dry Heat Therapy Options - Hot Heated Pad - Blue Check Price on Amazon
    TriggerPoint GRID Foam...image TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller for Exercise, Deep Tissue Massage and Muscle Recovery, Original (13-Inch), Black Check Price on Amazon
    THE ORIGINAL BODY...image THE ORIGINAL BODY ROLLER - High Density Foam Roller Massager for Deep Tissue Massage of The Back and Leg Muscles - Self Myofascial Release of Painful Trigger Point Muscle Adhesions - 13" Black Check Price on Amazon
    Back Support Belt...image Back Support Belt by Sparthos - Relief for Back Pain, Herniated Disc, Sciatica, Scoliosis and more! - Breathable Mesh Design with Lumbar Pad - Adjustable Support Straps - Lower Back Brace -Size Small Check Price on Amazon
    MODVEL Back Brace...image MODVEL Back Brace - Immediate Relief from Back Pain, Herniated Disc, Sciatica, Scoliosis | FSA or HSA eligible | Breathable Waist Lumbar Lower Back Support Belt with Removable Pad. Check Price on Amazon

     

    Strained Back Symptoms 😕

    Strained Back Symptoms

    Strained back muscles can be pretty painful. Here are some common symptoms that you might experience:

    • When you move, you feel more pain in your back, and when your stay still, you’ll feel less pain. 
    • The pain spreads to your buttocks but doesn’t extend to your legs.
    • Having trouble standing up or sitting down.
    • Difficulty in walking and bending. 
    • Muscle spasm in the back.

     

    What to Consider When Stretching With a Pulled Back 😦

    What to Consider When Stretching With a Pulled Back

    You may strain your back muscles either because you have low mobility and flexibility or because you weren’t careful during an exercise.

    You can perform light stretches to improve your flexibility, increase blood circulation, and speed up the healing process. 

    However, if you feel you can’t move your back easily or that stretching may worsen your issues, it’s better to consult your doctor.  

     

    Stretches for Pulled Back Muscles 😃

    Here are some muscle stretches for pulled back to help you ease tension in that area.

    Perform them slowly to avoid straining or worsening the issue.

    See our post on exercise ball stretches for the lower back for more stretches.

    If any of these stretches increase your back pain, stop and see a doctor. 

     

    Knee-To-Chest

    Knee-To-Chest Back Pain

    This movement stretches your hip and lower back and helps relieve the pressure on spinal nerves.

    Lie on the bed, keep your core tight, and grab the back of your knee to bring it to the chest.

    Keep your neck straight and push your knee with your hands toward your chest. 

    Hold the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds, then switch sides. 

    Repeat 5 to 10  times on each side.

     

    Trunk Rotation

    This stretch targets the muscles that flex the torso and spine and relieve the tension in the lower back.

    Lie on your back and bring your knees toward your chest. 

    Extend your arm to your sides with your palm on the ground. 

    While keeping knees together and hands on the ground, slowly rotate your bend knees to the right side and hold the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds. 

    Then switch sides. 

    Repeat 5 to 10  times on each side.

    This short video explains how you can do the stretch properly: 

     

    Child’s Pose 

    This soft stretch targets back muscles, hips, thighs, and ankles. It can ease tension in your back.

    Child pose

    Start this activity with your knees and hands on the mat.

    Spread knees to the sides of the mat, let your belly rest between thighs, then place your forehead on the mat.

    Relax your shoulder, jaw, and eyes and hold the position for 10 to 15 seconds.

    Then slowly put your hand on your ankles and return to the sitting position. 

     

    Spine Twist Stretch

    The movement is an excellent stretch for any tightness and pain in the lower back and mid-back and helps open up the hips.

    Lie on the back with your legs straight on the ground. 

    Keep your hands and palms on the floor, slowly bend your right knee to 90 degrees and cross it to your left side.

    With your hand, slowly push your knee toward the floor. 

    Feel the stretch throughout your back, hold it for 10 to 15 seconds, then switch sides.

    Repeat the movement 3 to 5 times for each side.

    This video helps you know how to do the stretch correctly:

     

    Pelvic Tilt

    Lie flat on your back with your knees bent on the floor and engage your deep core by drawing your belly button towards your spine.

    Make your spine flat against the floor, hold for 10 seconds, then relax. 

    Repeat 5 to 10  times. 

    This video shows your five lying pelvic tilt exercises:

     

    Seat Forward Bend

    Sometimes tight hamstrings are the reason for lower back strain.

    Seat Forward Bend

    This movement stretches the hamstrings and releases the tension in your spine. 

    Sit on the floor with your back straight and stretch your legs fully in front of you. 

    Slowly bend your hips so that your belly is near your hips. 

    Walk with your hands alongside each leg and reach your hands as far as possible. 

    Hold that position for ten seconds, then gently return to the starting position. 

    Repeat this process 5 to 10 times.

     

    Supported Bridge

    This pose is more common in yoga.

    Supported Bridge

    It engages your abdominal, back, and hip muscles without putting any pressure on your back.

    To perform the Supported Bridge, you need a yoga block, a small-sized stability ball, or a folded blanket about six inches thick. 

    See below our top three recommended stability balls you can use for this exercise and many others if you don’t have one already.

    Preview
    Overall Best
    Trideer Exercise Ball, Extra Thick Yoga Ball Chair, Heavy Duty Stability Ball Supports 2200lbs, Birthing Ball with Quick Pump (Office & Home & Gym)(Black, L(58-65cm))
    Best Value
    Exercise Ball (55cm-95cm) Extra Thick Professional Grade Balance & Stability Ball- Anti Burst Tested Supports 2200lbs- Includes Hand Pump & Workout Guide Access (Grey, 65 cm)
    Best Price
    BalanceFrom Anti-Burst and Slip Resistant Exercise Ball Yoga Ball Fitness Ball Birthing Ball with Quick Pump, 2,000-Pound Capacity, Blue, 58-65cm, L
    Product Name
    Trideer Extra Thick Ball
    Live Infinitely Exercise Ball
    BalanceFrom Anti-Burst Ball
    Anti Burst
    Slow Deflation
    Secure Grip
    Material
    High Quality Extra Thick
    Gym Grade Extra Thick
    Thick and durable material
    Pump Included
    Foot Pump
    Hand Pump
    Foot Pump
    Extras
    Two air stoppers and detailed instructions.
    Two air plugs, valve remover tool, downloadable digital exercise guides, and online training workouts.
    Two year Warranty
    Overall Best
    Preview
    Trideer Exercise Ball, Extra Thick Yoga Ball Chair, Heavy Duty Stability Ball Supports 2200lbs, Birthing Ball with Quick Pump (Office & Home & Gym)(Black, L(58-65cm))
    Product Name
    Trideer Extra Thick Ball
    Anti Burst
    Slow Deflation
    Secure Grip
    Material
    High Quality Extra Thick
    Pump Included
    Foot Pump
    Extras
    Two air stoppers and detailed instructions.
    Interested?
    Best Value
    Preview
    Exercise Ball (55cm-95cm) Extra Thick Professional Grade Balance & Stability Ball- Anti Burst Tested Supports 2200lbs- Includes Hand Pump & Workout Guide Access (Grey, 65 cm)
    Product Name
    Live Infinitely Exercise Ball
    Anti Burst
    Slow Deflation
    Secure Grip
    Material
    Gym Grade Extra Thick
    Pump Included
    Hand Pump
    Extras
    Two air plugs, valve remover tool, downloadable digital exercise guides, and online training workouts.
    Interested?
    Best Price
    Preview
    BalanceFrom Anti-Burst and Slip Resistant Exercise Ball Yoga Ball Fitness Ball Birthing Ball with Quick Pump, 2,000-Pound Capacity, Blue, 58-65cm, L
    Product Name
    BalanceFrom Anti-Burst Ball
    Anti Burst
    Slow Deflation
    Secure Grip
    Material
    Thick and durable material
    Pump Included
    Foot Pump
    Extras
    Two year Warranty
    Interested?

     

    Lie on your back and put your feet wide with your ankles in line with your shoulders.

    Put your arms comfortably, either on your belly or beside your hips. Tighten your core muscles and lift your pelvis. 

    Then slide the block or ball underneath your pelvis to support your back.

    Rest for 5 to 10 seconds, go up, remove the support and slowly lower your back. Do 10 to 15 reps.

    If you experience any pain with this move, stop doing it and see a physician or fitness expert. 

    Here’s a short video showing how to do the pose: 

     

    Other Treatments for Strained Back 😀

    Other Treatments for Strained Back Tips

     

    Besides light stretching, there are a few other ways that you can alleviate your back muscle strain:

     

    Heat Therapy 

    Heat Therapy

    You’ve probably heard that putting a hot towel on your back can reduce soreness. You may have tried it yourself and felt a minor relief. 

    When you apply heat to a sore muscle, it increases blood flow to the area. As a result, your muscles receive more oxygen, while some inflammatory toxins and lactic acid are removed.  

    Most people complain about towels and hot water bottles quickly getting cold. 

    An electric heating pad is a more effective solution because it maintains the heat. 

    However, you need to be careful with the temperature and duration of use

    Otherwise, you may burn yourself if you use it for a long time or fall asleep while wearing it. 

    We recommend the heating pads below for back pain for optimal results and safety.

    They warm up your back and provide superior blood flow.

    You can use these heating devices on any part of your body, including your back, shoulders, arms, and legs. 

    Preview
    Overall Best
    Pure Enrichment PureRelief XXL (20" x 24") Electric Heating Pad for Back Pain and Cramps - 6 InstaHeat Settings, Machine Washable, Soft Microplush, 2-Hour Auto Shut-Off, & Storage Bag (Gray)
    Best Alternative
    MIGHTY BLISS Electric Heating Pad for Back Pain, Cramps, Arthritis Relief - Auto Shut Off - Heat Pad with Moist & Dry Heat Therapy Options - Hot Heated Pad - Extra Large (12"x24")
    Best Budget
    Heating Pad, Comfytemp Electric Heating Pad for Back Pain Relief, 12 x 24In XL Soft Heat Pad - 9 Heat Levels, 11 Timers with Countdown, Stay on, Backlight for Neck, Shoulders, Cramps, Machine Washable
    Product Name
    Pure Enrichment® PureRelief™
    MIGHTY BLISS Electric Heating Pad
    Comfytemp Electric Heating Pad
    Colors
    Two
    One
    One
    Instant Heat
    Pain Relief
    Soft Microplush Fiber
    Machine Washable
    Multiple Heat levels
    Overall Best
    Preview
    Pure Enrichment PureRelief XXL (20" x 24") Electric Heating Pad for Back Pain and Cramps - 6 InstaHeat Settings, Machine Washable, Soft Microplush, 2-Hour Auto Shut-Off, & Storage Bag (Gray)
    Product Name
    Pure Enrichment® PureRelief™
    Colors
    Two
    Instant Heat
    Pain Relief
    Soft Microplush Fiber
    Machine Washable
    Multiple Heat levels
    Interested
    Best Alternative
    Preview
    MIGHTY BLISS Electric Heating Pad for Back Pain, Cramps, Arthritis Relief - Auto Shut Off - Heat Pad with Moist & Dry Heat Therapy Options - Hot Heated Pad - Extra Large (12"x24")
    Product Name
    MIGHTY BLISS Electric Heating Pad
    Colors
    One
    Instant Heat
    Pain Relief
    Soft Microplush Fiber
    Machine Washable
    Multiple Heat levels
    Interested
    Best Budget
    Preview
    Heating Pad, Comfytemp Electric Heating Pad for Back Pain Relief, 12 x 24In XL Soft Heat Pad - 9 Heat Levels, 11 Timers with Countdown, Stay on, Backlight for Neck, Shoulders, Cramps, Machine Washable
    Product Name
    Comfytemp Electric Heating Pad
    Colors
    One
    Instant Heat
    Pain Relief
    Soft Microplush Fiber
    Machine Washable
    Multiple Heat levels
    Interested

     

    Anti-inflammatory Medication And Antioxidant Fruits

    Anti-inflammatory Medication And Antioxidant Fruits

    Anti-inflammation supplements like ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve) can help reduce swelling and inflammation and ultimately relieve the pain in the pulled muscle.

    While these medications are very effective, they also have many side effects and should not be taken for long periods.

    Also, Antioxidant-rich fruits like pineapple and watermelon increase blood flow in muscle tissues.

    As a result, they can reduce inflammation and have pain-relieving effects.

     

    Massage

    Self-Massage can help relax your muscles, and the manipulation prevents tension buildup. 

    Here are two kinds of massage therapy that you can do:

     

    1. Foam-Rolling 

    Foam Roller For Back Strain

    Foam-rolling also reduces the pulled area’s tension and soreness and helps relieve back pain.

    It’s a kind of self-massage that uses a foam roller.

    This video shows you how to do foam rolling for back pain relief:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7wSCpnbfB4 

     

    See our top three recommended foam rollers below. They can be used for back pain and assist with various exercises.

    Preview
    Overall Best
    TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller for Exercise, Deep Tissue Massage and Muscle Recovery, Original (13-Inch), Black
    Best Alternative
    321 STRONG Foam Roller - Medium Density Deep Tissue Massager for Muscle Massage and Myofascial Trigger Point Release, with 4K eBook - Orange
    Best Budget
    THE ORIGINAL BODY ROLLER - High Density Foam Roller Massager for Deep Tissue Massage of The Back and Leg Muscles - Self Myofascial Release of Painful Trigger Point Muscle Adhesions - 13" Black
    Product Name
    TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller
    321 STRONG Foam Roller
    The Original Body Roller
    Item Dimensions
    3.94 x 5.12 x 5.12 inches
    12.5 x 5.5 x 5.5 inches
    12.5 x 5.25 x 5.25 inches
    Colors
    Eight
    Fifteen
    Five
    Material
    Foam
    Ethylene Vinyl Acetate
    Foam
    Overall Best
    Preview
    TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller for Exercise, Deep Tissue Massage and Muscle Recovery, Original (13-Inch), Black
    Product Name
    TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller
    Item Dimensions
    3.94 x 5.12 x 5.12 inches
    Colors
    Eight
    Material
    Foam
    Interested?
    Best Alternative
    Preview
    321 STRONG Foam Roller - Medium Density Deep Tissue Massager for Muscle Massage and Myofascial Trigger Point Release, with 4K eBook - Orange
    Product Name
    321 STRONG Foam Roller
    Item Dimensions
    12.5 x 5.5 x 5.5 inches
    Colors
    Fifteen
    Material
    Ethylene Vinyl Acetate
    Interested?
    Best Budget
    Preview
    THE ORIGINAL BODY ROLLER - High Density Foam Roller Massager for Deep Tissue Massage of The Back and Leg Muscles - Self Myofascial Release of Painful Trigger Point Muscle Adhesions - 13" Black
    Product Name
    The Original Body Roller
    Item Dimensions
    12.5 x 5.25 x 5.25 inches
    Colors
    Five
    Material
    Foam
    Interested?

     

    2. Deep Tissue Massage  

    Although the name may sound scary and painful, this massage technique is quite helpful with cramped or strained muscles.

    In this approach, the masseur applies sustained pressure to break up adhesions in the lower layers of your muscles. 

    Similar to many other treatments, deep massages increase blood flow to the area, alleviate muscle pain, and prevent tension buildup.  

    Here’s a short video to give you more information: 

     

    Compression

    Wearing a compression garment prevents muscle soreness from worsening and repairing muscle injury.

    It also enhances blood circulation, accelerating recovery.

    You can get full-body pressure garments or muscle-specific pieces. 

    Note for lower back pain, your compression should have a back brace.  

    Check out our top recommended products below if you don’t have one. These Back Brace garments, available on Amazon, have a supported belt in the back and relieve back pain immediately. 

    Remember not to wear it too tightly; your muscles need blood flow to heal.

    Preview
    Overall Best
    Back Support Belt by Sparthos - Relief for Back Pain, Herniated Disc, Sciatica, Scoliosis and more! - Breathable Mesh Design with Lumbar Pad - Adjustable Support Straps - Lower Back Brace -Size Small
    Best Alternative
    MODVEL Back Brace - Immediate Relief from Back Pain, Herniated Disc, Sciatica, Scoliosis | FSA or HSA eligible | Breathable Waist Lumbar Lower Back Support Belt with Removable Pad.
    Best Budget
    FREETOO Air Mesh Back Brace for Men Women Lower Back Pain Relief with 7 Stays, Adjustable Back Support Belt for Work , Anti-skid Lumbar Support for Sciatica Scoliosis (S(waist:27''-36''), Black)
    Product Name
    Back Support Belt by Sparthos
    MODVEL Back Brace
    FREETOO Air Mesh Back Brace
    Color
    Black
    Black
    Black
    Material
    Polyester
    Natural Rubber, Neoprene, EVA Foam
    Aluminum, Plastic
    Various Sizes
    Relive Back Pain
    Overall Best
    Preview
    Back Support Belt by Sparthos - Relief for Back Pain, Herniated Disc, Sciatica, Scoliosis and more! - Breathable Mesh Design with Lumbar Pad - Adjustable Support Straps - Lower Back Brace -Size Small
    Product Name
    Back Support Belt by Sparthos
    Color
    Black
    Material
    Polyester
    Various Sizes
    Relive Back Pain
    Interested?
    Best Alternative
    Preview
    MODVEL Back Brace - Immediate Relief from Back Pain, Herniated Disc, Sciatica, Scoliosis | FSA or HSA eligible | Breathable Waist Lumbar Lower Back Support Belt with Removable Pad.
    Product Name
    MODVEL Back Brace
    Color
    Black
    Material
    Natural Rubber, Neoprene, EVA Foam
    Various Sizes
    Relive Back Pain
    Interested?
    Best Budget
    Preview
    FREETOO Air Mesh Back Brace for Men Women Lower Back Pain Relief with 7 Stays, Adjustable Back Support Belt for Work , Anti-skid Lumbar Support for Sciatica Scoliosis (S(waist:27''-36''), Black)
    Product Name
    FREETOO Air Mesh Back Brace
    Color
    Black
    Material
    Aluminum, Plastic
    Various Sizes
    Relive Back Pain
    Interested?

     

    Rest

    Resting helps your muscles repair themselves and recover.

    So, letting your body rest and giving more time to your muscles to heal is an effective way to ease the pulled area.

    Lying on your back with a pillow under your knees will also help. 

    While resting may soothe your pain, we only recommend it for brief episodes. Too much resting can weaken your muscles. 

     

     

    How to Prevent Pulled Back Muscles 🤔

    How to Prevent Pulled Back Muscles

    Here are some tips that can help you prevent back muscle strain. Some of them strengthen your back muscles, and others are precautionary. 

    • Stretch before and after exercise.
    • Do light workouts like walking and swimming. 
    • Do exercises that strengthen your back muscles
    • Wear supportive and low-heel shoes.
    • Shed some weight.
    • Improve your posture when sitting and standing.
    • Sleep on your side.

     

    Bottom Line 🤗

    Pain is temporary

    Many people experience back pain from strained muscles at some point. 

    The pain will disappear within days. 

    However, some stretches and treatments can expedite the healing process.

    If the back pain doesn’t go away within several days, or if you have symptoms like fever or weakness, you must see a doctor. 

    Last update on 2022-05-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    nv-author-image

    James Wright

    James (36) has been working out since he was 15 years old. He has a home gym where he pumps iron, does bodyweight workouts and boxing. He likes sharing his experiences with others who want to build a better physique.

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