What should you do if you pull a muscle?

It usually happens pretty suddenly: You're in the middle of some physical activity, then after a certain movement, you feel an intense pain in your back. It's the common feeling of pulling a muscle.

While pulled muscles aren't always difficult to recover from, it becomes more important that you know how to properly care for them as you get older. If you don't, it could lead to more serious pain. Here are the steps you should take if you pull a muscle:

Stop what you're doing
Usually the pain from a pulled muscle will be enough to stop you from whatever you're doing. It's best to listen to your body and cease activity immediately. You don't want to further the strain on your muscles and cause more damage.

Rest with limitations
It's good to get off your feet and treat the pulled muscle soon after it occurs, but be careful about how much you rest. After awhile, you're doing your back more harm than good by staying sedentary. Exercise can help strengthen your muscle and avoid injury in the future. Once you feel up to it, engage in some light workouts for your back muscles.

Ice then heat
There is a lot of confusion about whether to use ice or heat to treat back pain. It's important to know that ice is great for reducing inflammation following an injury while heat can increase blood flow and relieve chronic pain and tension. After you pull a muscle, apply ice first. If the pain persists, use heat to soothe it.

If you're suffering from back pain after pulling a muscle, schedule an appointment with a professional chiropractor today.