How Do You Treat a Pulled Latissimus Dorsi?

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Treatment for a pulled latissimus dorsi, a muscle in the back, involves the use of ice to reduce swelling, muscle spasms and pain for the first two to three days after the injury, according to Cleveland Clinic. Once the swelling decreases, heat therapy helps to increase blood flow and speed healing. Nonprescription pain medication also helps to reduce pain.

During the first two days after an injury, movement is often painful. After 48 hours, Cleveland Clinic advises patients to return to normal activities as much as possible. Prolonging inactivity after the injury slows healing. While most symptoms improve within a couple of weeks, pain that lasts longer may require further treatment.

WebMD advises a regular, low-impact exercise routine to prevent damage in the future. However, patients with a pulled latissimus dorsi should not rush their attempts at exercise. They often benefit from using a stationary bike or swimming instead of returning to their previous activity levels.

Lifestyle changes help to prevent injuries to the back, according to WebMD. Overweight individuals should take steps to lose weight. Adopting a good posture helps to decrease the daily strain on muscles and joints. Try to sleep on the side or back instead of the stomach. Use proper lifting techniques by bending at the knees instead of with the back.