Back Muscle Strain Facts

Back Muscle Strain

Back muscle strain is defined as minor soft tissue tearing which occurs in the muscles themselves or in any of the connecting ligamentous structures.    Minor strains are common to many physical activities and are actually a purposefully-enacted part of a proper resistance training program. Controlled strains are what cause new muscle cells to grow, making muscular mass larger and more defined.

Many factors can cause back strain by increasing localized soft tissue stress. Muscles are strong and able to handle most of the tasks we ask of them. Sometimes we just push too hard, or do repetitive tasks, which can cause a muscle or ligament injury.

Back muscle pain is a miserable but rarely serious form of spinal complaint.   However, when pain is severe and chronic, it is highly unlikely to be caused by a mild strain condition and is probably related to another structural or nonstructural causation.

This article focuses on detailing the most common origins of muscular back strain.


Back Muscle Strain Causes

Sports injuries can source minor back strain issues. Football, baseball, rowing, golf, tennis, martial arts and weight lifting are all notorious causes of back muscle pain. Almost any sport can cause muscular injury and care should be exercised to always use indicated safety equipment and proper technique.

Auto accidents often cause symptomatic strain. Whiplash injuries can affect the neck and upper back muscles. Impact can injure the lower and upper back muscles. Sometimes, these injuries do not become apparent until hours after the car accident.

Lifting anything heavy or repetitively can create back strain. Lifting can be an actual or perceived cause of mostly lower back muscle injuries. Always lift with a straight back, using your legs. Lifting with a bent back puts huge amounts of force on your lumbar spine. A muscle injury is kind compared to the possible occurrence of a herniated disc.

Repetitive stress can cause tiny muscle tears to accumulate with time. People who do physical work may suffer from overused muscles. People who sit at a desk may suffer from weak and underused muscles. Either condition can cause back strain injuries. Try to balance your life and activity as much as possible.

Backpacks or heavy bags can strain particular muscle groups. Carrying a heavy briefcase all the time, especially in the same hand, can cause minor muscle injury. Wearing a backpack, especially over only one shoulder, can also cause muscular problems in the upper back and neck.

Sudden movements may provide the ideal circumstances to experience back strain. Lifting, bending or twisting after long periods of inactivity are a common cause of muscle pulls. Warm up and stretch before attempting any vigorous physical activity.

Obesity strains the entire anatomy, not just the back. Increased weight means increased stress on your muscles, joints and bones. More stress increases the chance for all types of injuries, including muscular. Is that extra helping of lasagna really worth the pain?

Poor muscular condition can contribute to an increased risk for strains. Inactive people have weak muscles. Weak muscles are easier to injure and take longer to recover.

Smoking is proven to be bad for your muscles, joints and bones. Nicotine interferes with several processes used to build strong bones, heal wounds and create healthy muscles. We all know smoking is bad, so please, stop already.

Stress exponentially increases risk for any type of injury. Increased mental or emotional stress have been scientifically proven to increase muscle tension. Tight back muscles are more prone to injury.
Relaxed person = Relaxed muscles. Tense person = Tense muscles.
Tense back muscles = injured muscles.

Childbirth can cause back muscle injuries, especially from repetitive pushing during vaginal births.


Back Muscle Strain Assistance

You have to live your life and work. I understand that. You can’t stop your job because of some back muscle strain. You can, however, work smarter. Use the best technique and be careful with your body. Alternate activity as much as possible. Break up your day. Try not to do the same thing hour after hour.

Stay healthy and in shape. Don't smoke. Exercise regularly and don’t overdo it, especially when you are injured. Try to stay focused on your activity.

Most of all, learn to handle stress. It is the #1 killer in the world. Many cases of back muscle strain are actually related to emotional stress in some capacity. All back ache is aggravated by stress. Don’t forget the increased risks for heart disease and hypertension.  

I learned that stress can play a much bigger role in back pain than most people know. That knowledge has helped me to cope with my own suffering, as well as help many others to discover how to better manage their own life stresses.



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