A muscle pull is a condition where the muscles of the back are injured due to a traumatic pulling of the fibers. This tearing of the fibers is known as a muscle strain.
A sudden or abrupt movement that causes the muscles to stretch the muscles past their point of elasticity usually causes these injuries. While some back strains are the result of a high velocity impact (an example is a car accident that causes whiplash), other types of pulls are caused by repetitive strain. For example, a person who maintains improper posture at a computer on a regular basis, or a tennis player who uses improper form may have their muscles tighten to the extent that something as simple as reaching for a salt shaker can cause them to pull a muscle. To add to the pain of a pulled muscle, the surrounding muscles react to the tear by stiffening to protect the injured muscle from further harm
On average it takes about six weeks to recover from a muscle pull with some relief being felt after about three weeks. Scar tissue will continue to form past six weeks in some cases and as long as a year in severe back strains.
The first line of treatment is to support and protect the muscles, help them to loosen up and lessen the pain and minimize any inflammation. After the scar tissue has begun to accumulate, it will be important to perform procedures that help break down the scar tissue in the muscle so as to let the muscle regain it’s normal flexibility and lessen the chance of further injury. This is done through ultrasound, massage, and gentle chiropractic adjustments. After three weeks, the muscle strain usually benefits from a program of mild exercise.