Muscle pulls are painful and unpleasant to experience, but unfortunately, they may cause more long-term problems than you expect. If your muscles are tight and you've recently experienced a pull, you might still be having some pain further down the road. If this sounds like you, then read this guide to find out why you're still hurting and what you can do about it.
It Really Is a Pull
A muscle pull, to be clear, is indeed something that happens when a muscle is too tight and can't flex the way that it should. When this happens, the muscle or muscles seize up and the pull is what you feel when you try to force them to flex. Since they can't flex, they instead end up stretching and pulling.
Impact on Your Spine
Your muscles support nearly everything in your body, so when you pull one, it can have lasting impacts elsewhere. For example, muscles support your rib cage, your arm and leg bones, and yes, your spine. This means that if you pull a muscle in your torso, it can potentially hurt your spine by pulling it out of alignment. When this happens, the spine may not necessarily move back to its original alignment all on its own.
If this weren't bad enough, a muscle pull that impacts the spine can induce nerve pain. Nerves run up and down the entire spine that lead to the rest of the body since the spine is responsible for sending messages to and from the rest of the body. So when the spine is jostled or moved, it can put pressure on nerves and give you spasms and pain in areas that aren't anywhere near the muscle that originally pulled.
What to Do
If you're in this situation, the answer for you is a chiropractor. Chiropractors not only excel at correcting misalignments in the spine, but they do muscle work, too. This is often misunderstood about chiropractors, but in order to treat the bones, they have to treat the muscles, too. There's no point in realigning a spine if it's just going to get pulled back into the same position by a tight muscle, after all.
You can expect your chiropractor to perform a physical exam and to palpate the area that you're feeling pain in, plus the extent of your spine. If they find tightness, they'll work on loosening it up with gentle stretches and muscle work. If the spine is out of alignment, they'll fix that, too.
For more information, contact a local chiropractic care center.