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Suggest treatment for pain due to strained muscle tendons

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1980
Answered : 1357 Questions
Hello. I “pulled” a back muscle several months ago while lifting at the gym on the left side about half way down. The pain was intense but decreased over the next few days. After about 5 days it stopped improving and that is where it is now. I have been in pain every day since. It has been pretty much constant for about a month now. It hurts worst when sitting and even laying down. It also seems to wrap around the side above the hip. The back pain is a dull hurting ache and sometime burning, not sharp at all. But it becomes very intense during the day while sitting. I lift weights daily at the gym and activity does not seem to increase the pain at all. In addition I have been getting a fluttering /pulsating in the upper left abdomen under the rib cage, and occasional sharp pain there as well. No bowl problems or any other issues. Disclosure; I already have a degenerated and ruptured L5/S1 and also a bulging L4/L5.
Posted Mon, 3 Feb 2014 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Rakesh Karanwal 1 hour later
Brief Answer: Consult an Orthopedic doctor for evaluation Detailed Answer: Hi there, Thanks for your query. You had apparently had either, a sprain, partial detachment of the muscle tendons (cord like structures which attach the muscle to the bone) from the bone; or, rupture of muscle fibers at the time of initial injury. Affected muscles need complete rest for a long time, along with anti-inflammatory drugs and hot/cold compresses, to enable them to heal completely. However, since you have been lifting weights daily in the gym, the injured muscles/tendons have not received any rest so far. Hence, the persistence of pain. Adequate rest to the muscles, skipping weight lifting for a few weeks, a course of anti-inflammatory pain-killers, use of lumbar belt, and hot fomentations will aid in healing of the back muscles. The pain, fluttering/pulsating sensation under left rib cage, may be due to either, heart palpitations or, cramps of chest muscles too (due to weight lifting). Consult your orthopedic specialist and apprise him of my opinion. I am certain that he will agree with my opinion; order required tests, and- based on the reports- will arrive at a certain diagnosis and prescribe suitable treatment as advised. Hope I have addressed to your concerns to your complete satisfaction and you find my response helpful and informative. I will be happy to answer further queries, if any. Fond regards, Col (Dr.) Rakesh Karanwal
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Suggest treatment for pain due to strained muscle tendons 7 minutes later
How do we know this is not a kidney, pancreas, or spleen issue? Perhaps the back injury was just coincidental?
Answered by Dr. Rakesh Karanwal 21 minutes later
Brief Answer: Your symptoms go in favor of muscular injury Detailed Answer: Firstly, the onset of pain occurred immediately following "muscle pull" and has been persisting in the same region since then. Further, injury to kidneys, pancreas or spleen due to occur by weight lifting. Also, injury to these organs would have been catastrophic within 2-3 days following "pulled back muscle". Lastly, you do not have any symptoms even remotely suggestive of involvement of the referred organs. On the contrary, the symptoms are those of persisting muscle injury. It is however, a different matter, if you do have additional symptoms, but did not bring them out- perhaps due to sheer oversight- in your query. You would appreciate that online opinion is BASED SOLELY on the information provided. The online doctors do NOT have the luxury of carrying out the patient's physical examination- a cornerstone of forming a diagnosis. Take care, Dr. Rakesh Karanwal
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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