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Many different activities can aggravate a pulled back muscle.
One half of working Americans say that they've experienced back pain symptoms at some point, according to the American Chiropractic Association, and if you're currently dealing with a pulled muscle, you probably don't want to make any unnecessary movements. Pulled back muscles can take a while to heal, restricting you to those activities that don't result in twinges of pain. However, many necessary activities may increase your pain, even walking down the stairs.
Walking down stairs requires a strong core and back - step down slowly to reduce pain with a pulled muscle.
Oh My Aching Back
A pulled muscle is also known as a muscle strain. It occurs when a muscle is overstretched or, sometimes, when some of the fibers are torn. You can experience a pulled muscle anywhere in your body. When it's in your back you may feel pain when you move or even when you breathe. Mild muscle pulls can often be treated with rest, ice, heat and anti-inflammatory medications. More severe pulls may require treatment by your doctor.
Step Down Slowly
Stairs are a necessary part of many people's daily lives. You may have stairs in your house or at work. When climbing up or down stairs, you are mainly using the large muscles of your legs; the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps and calves are the major contributors. However, your core muscles, including those in your back, are there to keep you upright, and your back muscles are engaged as soon as you sit upright, and every time you move. If your back and other core muscles were not working properly, you couldn't stand upright, or walk down stairs. So, you may feel increased pain in your back as you walk down the stairs.
Take a Load Off
In the past bed rest was prescribed as a way to heal any type of back pain, and that may be where you need to start. Spine-Health notes that if you are experiencing acute pain, you may need to rest for a couple of days to allow the back muscles to begin to heal. A mild pull should begin to heal within a few days. If the pain gets worse, or does not get any better, see your doctor, who can diagnose which muscle was injured. The doctor can help you plan a course of treatment that is appropriate so you can get back to daily life, including exercise.
Get Your Body Moving
Once the pain is better, and your doctor approves, get moving, but with caution. When you are going down or up the stairs, hold on to the railing. Keep your body upright with good posture so you don't put undue strain on your back. If your doctor approves, perform core-strengthening exercises two or three times per week to improve strength and stability to prevent future problems with your back. Pilates and yoga both engage the core, but run these by your doctor first to ensure your back won't be aggravated by the movements. These will also improve flexibility which can decrease your chances of re-injuring yourself.