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What are the Most Common Symptoms of a Back Strain?

Even if you do your best to prevent a back strain, you can suffer this injury at any time. Maybe you strain a muscle when working out. Or maybe it happens when you bend over to pick something up. Or perhaps you wake up feeling as if you strained your muscle while sleeping.


Regardless of how it happens, it’s important to understand the primary symptoms of a strain. This allows you to identify the problem, treat it, and hopefully get back to normal within a week or two.


Here are the most common symptoms:


• Pain that worsens when you attempt to use the muscle (or even when you move)

• Decreased range of motion

• Discomfort even when you are lying still

• Muscle spasms or cramping


While uncommon, you may feel a tear or pop when the injury occurs. Since this can be the sign of a more serious injury, you’ll want to treat it as such.


No two people respond identically to treatment, but here are some ideas to consider:


• Rest (especially immediately following the injury)

• Ice for the first day or two after the injury

• Heat and compression therapy after ice

• Massage therapy


Most people make a full recovery within two weeks. If your symptoms continue to linger, consider seeking medical treatment as to ensure that you’re not dealing with something more serious.


Jennifer Ferdinand, owner of Serendipity Wellness Studio in Burke, VA, has been practicing massage therapy and esthetics since 2006. She is nationally certified through NCBTMB, and licensed in Virginia for both Massage Therapy and Esthetics.

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