Back strain, also referred to as a pulled muscle, is when muscles or tendons in your back stretch or tear. This results in discomfort and can limit your range of motion.
Strain typically occurs when the muscle is over-stressed. This can happen from lifting heavy objects, sudden awkward movements, or from activities that place repetitive strain on the back, like sitting for extended periods or sports.
Treatment often includes rest, application of heat or cold to the injured area, over-the-counter pain relievers, and physical therapy. In more severe cases, prescription painkillers, muscle relaxants, or physical therapy might be necessary.
Also see lower back pain.