Lower back pain + muscle strain

Most of us at some point in our lives, especially as we age and place more stress on our bodies, will suffer from lower back pain and strains.  While it can come on strong, if it doesn’t stop within a couple of hours or days, it can lead to long-term problems if you ignore it. If pain has continued for more than a week or two, or if it is severe enough to disrupt daily activities, it’s time to see one of our physical therapists.

Signs & Symptoms

Pulling a lower back muscle or incurring any type of lower back strain typically includes:


  • Dull, achy low back pain
    Your muscles may feel unusually strained, sore, tight, and/or achy. You may even feel the pain that feels hot, tingling, or “electric”. This may signal that it is more likely caused by an irritated nerve root, not a pulled muscle.


  • Intensified pain with movement
    Low back strain generally worsens with specific movements that activate the affected muscles – mainly when we don’t engage our abdominal core muscles and force our lower back muscles to overwork. For example, there may be a flare-up of pain when getting up from a seated position, bending forward, or first getting out of bed in the morning.


  • Pain that is localized in the low back
    While the pain you feel is usually concentrated in the lower back, it may also be felt in the buttocks and/or hips. That’s because these muscles help support the low back. Rarely does pain travel down the legs and into the calves and feet, as in cases of sciatica.

How Physical Therapy Can Help

Vita’s team of highly trained and qualified therapists can help diagnose the condition, identify other contributing variables and provide hands on treatment as well as develop individualized exercise programs to help alleviate your arthritis pain and get you back to living life. A physical therapy program for back pain typically includes:

  • Immediately employ RICE therapy (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) and take anti-inflammatory over-the-counter pain medication upon checking with your primary care doctor or us.
  • Soft tissue mobilization
  • TENS stimulation with ice and/or heat to loosen up the affected area
  • An exercise program focused on strengthening your core abdominal muscles.
  • Joint mobilization
  • Proprioceptive training
  • Dry Needling and kinesio taping to help manage pain