Whether you shoveled snow, dove for a rebound during your recreational basketball game or just bent awkwardly, you might suddenly experience a sharp pain in your low back. You're hardly alone. The American Chiropractic Association notes that more than 30 million Americans live with back pain at any point. Several signs can indicate that you've pulled a muscle in your low back and should take action to alleviate the pain.
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Pain and Limited Motion
According to the Cleveland Clinic, damage to a muscle or a tendon is known as a strain. Symptoms that you've strained a muscle in your back include pain that increases as you move, abrupt muscle cramps or contractions and a decreased ability to move effectively. For example, you might find that bending is difficult. In more severe cases, you might feel a popping feeling in your lower back.
Rest the Injury
Pulling a muscle in your lower back doesn't mean you need to visit the emergency room, but it does mean that it's time to address the issue. Your first priority, notes the Cleveland Clinic, is to rest the injury and reduce its pain, which you can often achieve through applying ice or taking an ibuprofen. Avoid excessive activity for up to 48 hours, and then resume your everyday activities with caution. If the pain persists, consult your doctor.