How to Care for a Pulled Muscle in the Back

Updated March 31, 2022
Golf Course overview
    Golf Course overview

A strained or pulled muscle in the back is a common golf injury. Occasionally, a golf swing can stretch a back muscle too far or too quickly, resulting in a small tear. Although pulled muscles are rarely dangerous, they are always extremely uncomfortable, especially in the back.

Don't try to play through the pain; take the rest of the day off and start to treat the muscle immediately. The sooner you treat it, the less pain and discomfort you will experience while it heals.

Treating Back Pain From Golf

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

  1. Put ice on the muscle. A good way to do this is to wrap an ice pack in an elastic bandage and wrap the bandage around the affected area. This will hold the ice against your body and the compression from the bandage will help protect the muscle from further injury.
  2. Take anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen or aspirin. They will help dull the pain and they will minimize swelling in the muscle. Keep taking them for at least the first 24 hours, since that is when the worst swelling occurs.
  3. Rest your back. Don't do any exercises or activities that might put stress on the pulled muscle. The less you your stress the injury, the more quickly it will heal and the less uncomfortable it will feel.
  4. Get a back massage. One of the things that makes pulled muscle in the back so uncomfortable is that they tend to cause muscle spasms. A gentle or moderate rub can help ease any spasms and keep your back as limber as possible.
  5. Try to keep the muscle at or above the level of your heart to stop blood from pooling in it for at least the first 24 hours. In the strain is in your lower or mid back, you should lie down. If the strain is in your upper back, however, you might want to sit up or prop yourself up on pillows.
  6. After 24 hours, start putting heat on it. Heat will soothe and relax the muscle and stimulate circulation and healing. Hot showers, baths and heating pads will all help.
  7. Try arnica or another rub for muscle pain. It may help to relieve discomfort.

Golf Exercise for Upper Back Pain

It is very easy to cure upper back pain with the right exercises. It is important to be consistent when doing upper back exercises and begin before the discomfort turns into intense pain. Regular exercise of the upper back can free it from discomfort for good.

Arm Slides

Stand with your back against a wall. Put your arms along your sides with your palms facing upward. Raise your hands slowly up and down. This will allow the muscles in your upper back and arms to stretch, causing them to release tension.

Pectoralis Stretch

Start by standing in the passage of a doorway. Hold the frame using both hands and lean forward to tighten the muscles in your chest. Hold this pose for about 15 seconds and then release. Repeat three times.


Mid Trap Exercise

Lie flat on your stomach, using a pillow to support your chest. Place your arms at a 90 degree angle from your torso Squeeze your shoulder blades by raising your arms in the air. You can also use a weight for lifting. Repeat this 20 times.

Scapular Squeezes

Bend your elbows and keep your palms facing upward. Hold both arms up on the side of your body. Move your hands backwards as far as possible. Repeat this exercise up to 20 times.

Tips & Warnings

You should only exercise up to five days a week maximum, in order to avoid muscle strain.

Golf Exercises for Mid-Back Pain

Mid-back pain can be difficult for any golfer to contend with. Unlike low back pain, which basically prevents the golfer from even attempting to swing the club, mid-back pain can be dormant for several holes when the golfer is on the course and then hit the golfer with a stabbing pain when he is in the middle of the swing or just after it is completed. In order to strengthen the back and eliminate the pain, you can do exercises that will get you back on track.


Twists on an Exercise Ball

Sit on an exercise ball and find your balance point. Tense your core muscles around your midsection. Put your elbows up around shoulder height. Swing both elbows to the left and then come back to a neutral position. Now swing them to the right. Do this 10 times, take a 30-second break and then repeat the set.

Lumbar Stretch

Get on the floor and lay on your stomach. Put your elbows under your shoulders and then lift your head and neck. Hold the lift for three seconds and then return to the starting position. Do this 10 times, take a 30-second break and then do it again.

Exercise Band Stretch

In order to strengthen your upper back and middle back muscles, take an exercise band and hold it by the ends. Hold your arms out at shoulder height. Pull with both hands until you feel the pressure building on your rib cage area. Hold the position for two seconds and then return to the starting position. Do this exercise 10 times, take a 30-second break and then repeat the set.


Lower Back Stretches for Golfers

The lower back is an area of pain and achiness for many golfers. Constant twisting and turning of the muscles causes stress on the area, requiring special attention to avoid injury. A few simple stretches can loosen your lower back and keep you swinging freely and comfortably.

Leg Tuck

While lying on the ground, tuck one knee into your chest and pull it to your breast. You will feel this stretch in the lower back and it will help to loosen up the entire back. Switch legs after 20 seconds.

Double Leg Tuck

Much like the first exercise, while lying down, bring both of your knees to your chest instead and hold. Hold this exercise for 20 seconds to help with flexibility. Repeat.

Back Rotations

While sitting up with your legs extended, bring one leg up over the other and put your foot on the ground up above your knee. Then bring the opposite arm over the knee and push softly, rotating your torso and stretching out the back. Do this stretch for two sets of 20 seconds on both sides.


Childs Pose

This is a simple yoga move where you get down on all fours then allow your butt to fall back toward your ankles. Bring your head to the floor and reach your arms out on the floor as far as you can away from you. This will create an intense stretch that will open up the lower back. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat.