Strain of the Back Treatment
The most common treatment for an acute back strain or sprain is rest, stretching exercises, and pain medications. In some cases, severe muscle spasms may require treatment with medications that relax the muscles. It is important to avoid activities that make the back pain worse. However, recovery is prolonged for those who rest in bed for more than one or two days. With treatment and rest, an acute back sprain or strain usually resolves within one week. For prolonged pain, most people with acute back pain benefit from physical therapy, which includes muscle stretching and muscle strengthening exercises.
Treatment for acute back strain or sprain may include:
- Avoid activities that cause pain
- Bed rest only for first 48 hours following injury
- Begin simple stretching exercises after the first 48 hours
- Acetaminophen for pain
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain:
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, NeoProfen)
- Ketoprofen (Actron, Orudis, Oruvail)
- Naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, Aleve)
- Celecoxib (Celebrex)
- Narcotic pain medication:
- For moderate to severe pain
- For short term use only
- Muscle relaxants for back strain:
- Massage therapy for back strain
- Physical therapy for back strain
- Ultrasound therapy for back strain
- Occupational therapy
For more information:
Strain of the Back Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of acute back strain or sprain.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- Is surgery an option for me?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
Strain of the Back Specialist
Continue to Strain of the Back Home Care
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- Tveito TH, Hysing M, Eriksen HR. Low back pain interventions at the workplace: a systematic literature review. Occup Med (Lond). 2004 Jan;54(1):3-13. 
- van der Roer N, Goossens ME, Evers SM, van Tulder MW. What is the most cost-effective treatment for patients with low back pain? A systematic review. Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2005 Aug;19(4):671-84.