Back pain due to muscle strain

Assuming a sharp constant pain in the back is due to simple muscle strain, is there anything a doctor’s going to be able to do other than prescribe pain medications?

(Again, this is assuming there’s nothing ripped or torn or otherwise injured in there–just, like, a really sore back from unusual strenuous lifting situations or whatever…)

Physical Therapy.
Many health insurance cover PT, so the doc might prescribe that for you.

Nope. Muscle relaxants and rest. I had a lower back sprain in 2006 and have been carrying happy pills around with me ever since, just in case I twist the wrong way or get up out of bed too fast.

Rest in contraindicated.

Avoid anything that strains your back. Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, are helpful, as is walking around and maintaining general good posture and light activity without rest.

Eat right! Fluids and those with electrolytes (A PowerAde) would be supreme right now, as are foods high in potassium, such as a white potato, raisins, papaya and… just google the other.

ETA: once well, adopt some long-term rehab type exercises that strengthen the back and abs. A few minutes of core work will change your life, because back pain comes back. You can reduce the # of times and reduce the duration of the events.

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Why is it that rubbing and/or gentle pressure eases the pain of a strained / sore muscle?

Should be: Rest is contraindicated

Meh, I strained my back last weekend. No rest for the weary though. I just took a few extra Motrins a couple of times a day and went about my normal workweek. All better within a few days. Pain just means you are still alive.

Rest is the wrong advice. While it may be painful, you should try to move as much as possible, but not to the extent where you may re-sprain it. Sitting in a puddle will just prolong recovery and allow your muscles to become flaccid.
ETA: missed Philster’s post first time through.

I’d had back pain for years and did the medication, massage and tough it out methods to varying degrees of success. I bought an inversion table like this and I am amazed at how well it works. I hang upside down for a few minutes and then go into a stretch routine and it works out areas that I didn’t even realize were related to the pain I was having. I was very hesitant to try it, fearing further injury but now I am a believer. YMMV.

I assumed the OP was immobile due to pain, which is why I suggested rest. Whenever I get these kinds of spasms (I assumed that is what was meant by sharp pain), all I can do is lie still until the muscle relaxants kick in. If I try to move, it feels like somebody has hit me in the back with a bolt gun.

But once you can move without excruciating pain, I agree that the muscle group needs to be exercised. Laying around when you’re otherwise healthy just leads to atrophy.

Are you all referring to a lower back spasm, or is there a difference?

Eat right! Liquids and those with water would be superior right now, as are foods high in blood potassium, such as a white spud, raisins, pawpaw .
ETA: once well, embrace some long-term rehabilitation type workouts that enhance the returning and abs. A few moments of primary work will change your life, because returning problems comes returning.

Inversion therapy is definitely a creative and I’d imagine pretty fun way to help your back pain - buuuut some people can’t do it for medical reasons. And longterm relief from that is evasive. If the OP doesn’t want to get back surgery, he/she could try something like ultrasound therapy for back pain or even acupuncture.

In the end though, there are few recurrent back strains that won’t require surgery :frowning:

you can choose inversion table.inversion table is good for reduce back pain ,released muscle ,fewer joint injuries and allows existing injuries to heal more quickly. Even the U.S. Army has been convinced of the benefits of inversion therapy and has invested in inversion tables to help reverse the damage done to recruits during rigorous training sessions.source:http://www.inversiontablefaq.com/