Back Muscle Atrophy Risk Back muscles can atrophy from disuse after only two weeks. Complete cessation of movement while recovering from a back strain or dealing with muscle spasms puts patients at risk for muscle atrophy. Further Reading: Pulled Back Muscle and Lower Back Strain Related Articles Lower Back Pain Symptoms and CausesLow Back Pain with Referred Pain Related Videos Lower Back Strain VideoLower back strain is caused by damage to the muscles and ligaments of the back. Learn about muscle anatomy and the symptoms of lower back strain.Back Strains and Sprains VideoA muscle strain or a muscle sprain in the back is the most common cause of back pain. In most people, this pain will last a short time, a few days to a couple of weeks.Treatment for Neck Strain or Sprain VideoNeck strains or sprains are a fairly common type of neck pain, but sometimes require medical evaluation.