Lower back strain

LOWER BACK STRAIN

Lower back strain is the strain of the muscles and ligaments in the back. You can strain these muscles by stretching them causing tears in the tissue. The muscles are then weakened making it unable to hold the bones of your spinal column correctly. The spine then becomes less stable causing low back pain.

Lower back strain can be caused by:

  • Extreme physical exertion.
  • Falling or injury.
  • Bending or crouching repeatedly.
  • Lifting heavy objects if you are not in shape.

HOW TO TREAT LOWER BACK STRAIN?

  • Ice your back to reduce pain and swelling as soon as you injure yourself. Do it for 20-30 minutes every 3-4 hours for 2-3 days. 
  • Apply heat to your back — but only after 2-3 days of icing it first. Use heat on your back only after the initial swelling has gone down. You could use an electric heating pad or a hot water bottle. Or you could soak in a hot bath.
  • Take painkillers or other drugs, if recommended by your doctor. 
  • Use support. Ask your doctor or therapist first, but consider getting a belt or girdle to add support to your back. Use it only short-term or for support with heavy or repetitive lifting.
  • Get physical therapy to build up strength, if your doctor recommends it. Do not stay in bed or on the couch all day.
  • Maintain good muscle tone in your abdominal and lower back muscles. https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/muscle-bone-and-joints/self-management-advice/back-problems
Muscle sprain and back pain

MUSCLE STRAIN AND LOWER BACK PAIN

A muscle strain occurs when the muscle is overstretched or torn. This usually occurs as a result of muscle overuse, fatigue or improper use of a muscle. Strains can happen in any muscle, but they’re most common in your lower back, neck, shoulder and hamstring.

Mild to moderate strains can be successfully treated at home with ice, heat, and anti-inflammatory medications. Severe strains or tears may require medical treatment.

In mild muscle strain, a torn muscle may feel slightly stiff, but still flexible enough for use. A severe muscle strain is when the muscle is severely torn. Severe muscle pain results in pain and very limited movement. The symptoms of mild to moderate muscle strains usually go away within a few weeks. More severe strains may take months to heal.

Causes of muscle strains

An acute muscle strain is when your muscle tears suddenly and unexpectedly. Such tears can occur either from injuries or trauma. This can be due to:

  • not warming up properly before physical activity
  • poor flexibility
  • poor conditioning
  • overexertion and fatigue

Symptoms of muscle strain

Usually one feels a muscle strain as it occurs. Symptoms include:

  • soreness
  • sudden onset of pain
  • bruising
  • swelling
  • stiffness
  • weakness
  • muscle spasms

When to see a doctor?

For mild to moderate strains, home treatment should be enough. However, see medical attention if any of the following happens:

  • You can’t move your arms or legs.
  • You can’t walk.
  • The injured area is numb.
  • The pain doesn’t subside after a week.