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A muscle strain is a typical cause of lower back discomfort that can be localised to the right side.
Muscle strains occur when a muscle is stretched beyond its usual limit, causing the muscular fibres to overstretch or rip. While this type of injury is usually minor and heals without consequences 1, the pain can be excruciating and your back can become extremely stiff.
A back muscle strain is typically caused by an indirect injury 1, 2, such as swinging a golf club or twisting the right side of your back to get a child off the floor. Along with the muscle, you may strain a tendon (a portion of the muscle that inserts into bone).
Back muscle strain self-care
You can try any of the following at-home remedies for your lower right back muscle strain to assist ease your symptoms:
- Use both cold and heat. Cold therapy can help reduce the inflammation, edoema, and pain that occurs soon after an injury. Once the pain has subsided, employ heat therapy to widen the blood vessels and stimulate increased blood flow to the wounded area, providing oxygen and healing nutrients.
- Consider using a topical medicine. Apply a pain-relieving gel or cream to the affected area. Topical medicines like salicylic acid and/or menthol may help alleviate muscle pain. These drugs are available without a prescription.
- Massage your lower back. A mild massage can relax stiff muscles in your lower right back and stimulate the release of pain-relieving chemicals (endorphins).
- Move your back muscles gently. When you strain your muscle, the little blood vessels rupture, resulting in an insufficient blood supply to the painful tissues. 1 Furthermore, if you lie down on your back with no movement, there will be less blood flow and oxygen reaching the affected tissues. Warm up the muscles with heat, then do gentle stretches to increase blood supply and induce the development of new blood capillaries in the muscle.
- Maintain your lumbar curvature. Maintain your natural spinal alignment by sitting, standing, and/or lying down in the proper posture. Adequate support for your lower spine’s inward bend will reduce stress on your injured back muscles and promote a better healing environment.
- Make use of a lumbar brace. If you are in excruciating agony and unable to move your back, try utilising a lumbar stabilising brace for the first day or two after your injury. A brace will help to avoid unexpected movement while also supporting your back.
- As much as possible, walk. Walking is a great approach to help your muscles recuperate. If you’re in a lot of discomfort, start by walking for a few minutes per hour and gradually work your way up to longer walks.
- Consider pool therapy. Exercise in a warm pool, often known as water therapy, may be a useful alternative if the pain and stiffness are severe. The buoyancy of the water gives support, the warmth of the pool is beneficial to your muscles, and the effort of moving against the water all work together to provide you with a terrific exercise without upsetting your aching lower back. Walking in a warm pool is also beneficial to your back.
Back muscle strains normally heal in a few days to weeks. When used in conjunction with these treatments, over-the-counter oral pain medications may be beneficial.
If your severe pain does not improve with these therapies, worsens, increases at night, causes changes in your bowel and/or bladder control, or contains other concerning symptoms, see a doctor very away. A doctor can assist in ruling out major underlying illnesses such as tumours or cauda equina syndrome and developing an effective treatment strategy.
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