Pulled back muscle symptoms


A pulled back muscle can be quite painful. There are a number of symptoms that clue you in on whether you might have strained a muscle in your back. Recognising these symptoms and obtaining the appropriate treatment is important. The longer you let an injury go without treatment, the more risk you run.

The good news is most muscle and ligament injuries are not all that serious. They might hurt a lot, but they are not usually going to put you at risk for long-term health problems. Some injuries are more serious than others. It is key to recognise symptoms of a pulled back muscle so you can begin rehabilitation as soon as possible. This is the best way to avoid chronic problems and permanent damage to the muscles.

Acute Pain

Acute pain in one or more of your back muscles is a symptom of a pull. You might feel a sharp pain that drives you crazy. Sometimes acute pain only occurs when you are in a certain position, and in more serious cases, it is constant. This type of sharp stabbing sensation indicates a significant strain in the muscle tissue. Seek medical attention or physiotherapy if you are suffering from acute back pain.

Stiffness or Tightness

A stiff back is also a sign of a pulled back muscle. If you feel tightness in your back, you might have strained one or more muscles. Does it feel like you have limited motion and constricted flexibility? This could mean you have a pulled back muscle. The affected ligament will often resist movement and you might feel a pulling sensation, which indicates the muscle is not able to stretch to its standard limit.

Dull Burning

Dull burning pain is often a symptom of a pulled back muscle. You might feel the sensation that your muscle is on fire. Inflammation occurs when a muscle is damaged, and it is common to feel a significant amount of heat in the area of the injury. Burning pain is not as severe as acute pain, but it can be very stressful over a prolonged period of time. Get professional assistance to relieve this symptom.


A pulled back muscle can cause extreme discomfort. Spasms are incredibly painful, and you should get treatment immediately to avoid further complications. Newly injured muscles sometimes go into spasm when the muscle contracts in a violent manner. This type of uncontrollable contraction can last for a few seconds, a few minutes or even hours. Back spasms are serious, so try to rehabilitate your injury as soon as possible.

Heat in the Muscle

A pulled back muscle can sometimes feel hot to the touch. The affected area might heat up as the swelling from the injury causes increased blood flow. Severe swelling and excess heat go hand in hand. Run your hand over the injured area to see if you detect swelling or excess heat. This is a major sign of a strain in the muscle.


You might feel a strange tingling sensation if you have a pulled back muscle. Think of what happens when your hand falls asleep. Blood flow is cut off and when it starts up again, you feel a pins-and-needles sensation. The same concept applies to strained back muscles. Injured muscles might not be able to circulate blood efficiently, and this is what can lead to a tingling in the affected area.

Weakness or Strain

Weakness or abnormal strain are symptoms of a pulled back muscle. You might have difficulty lifting certain objects, bending over, sitting down or walking. This is a sign your muscles are not functioning at full capacity. It can be frustrating to be limited in terms of range of motion and your ability to go about your daily life. Back muscle injuries can slow you down. If you have suffered an injury, use ice to reduce swelling. Rest your back for a few days. After resting, try to move around to get the blood flowing. If it seems more serious, consult a specialist who can help you with rehabilitation.