Few days ago i pulled my lower back muscle and had to stay off weights for a couple of weeks – an estimation of about 1.5 to 2 weeks max depending on how fast my recovery was. It basically felt like a dull achy kind of pain activated with specific movements that require use of the affected muscles. An example being when i try to bend forward, there is a flare-up of the pain or when seated on the same position for a longer period of time. Regardless, i was still able to do my cardio quite well such as running or using the elliptical machine at the gym. I tried as much to do lots of cardio to make up for the lost time with weight-lifting.
A muscle strain explained simply is a pulled muscle. It is an overstretch or tear in your muscle fibres and such happens if you overstretch your muscle or you put too much force on it. Compared to many other kinds of back injuries, a pulled muscle is usually straightforward to diagnose and easy to treat, and symptoms usually resolve within 4 to 6 weeks give or take. Some severe muscle injuries, such as a complete muscle tear, can take months to heal.
You’re most likely to have a muscle strain (pulled muscle) in the following areas:
- Lower leg – your calf muscles, which help you to raise your heel (common for runners and athletes)
- A muscle strain in other parts of your leg such as at the front of your thigh – your quadriceps muscles, which help you to straighten your knee
- Lower back – your lumbar spine
- At the back of your thighs – your hamstring muscles, which helps you to bend your knee
- Neck and arm (not so common)
To get rid of the strain, i did a-few workout stretches (shown below) that for sure helped me heal a lot faster than i had anticipated. Super grateful for the fact that my body adapts quite fast and i was able to recover in less than a week 🙂
Note: These exercises can be done whether you have a muscle strain or not 🙂