How To Know If You Have Lower Back Problems

By Jonathan Cluett, MD – Reviewed by a board-certified doctor.

Muscle strains and lumbar sprains are the most typical causes of low back pain. A low back muscle strain happens when the muscles of the back are abnormally extended too far.

Muscle Strain of the Lumbar Spine

A lumbar sprain takes place when the ligaments, the hard bands of tissue that hold bones together, are torn from their accessories. Separating a strain from a sprain can be hard, as both injuries will have comparable symptoms.

Many physicians refer to both injuries as a classification called “musculoligamentous injuries” of the lumbar spinal column. In general, it doesn’t matter what you call the issue since the treatment and diagnosis for both back strains and sprains is the same.

Nearly everybody will experience low back pain at some point in their life; it is the second most common cause of missed out on days of operate in the United States– only a common cold causes more missed work.lumbar spine

Practically all of these low back injuries are because of injuries of the muscle or ligament. If you don’t know the cause of your back pain, you should have it examined by a doctor. Some indication of a serious injury to the spinal column include:

  • Loss of control of bladder or bowels.
  • Progressive lower extremity weakness.
  • Pain that wakes you from sleep.
  • Severe, continuous pain.

While a lot of back pain is caused by a muscle strain or ligament sprain, there are serious conditions that require more instant treatment.

If you are unsure of the cause of your symptoms, you must be examined by a physician.

Low Back Muscle Strains

The spine is supported by big muscles called the paraspinal muscles. These muscles both support the spine in addition to the weight of the upper body. The 5 lumbar vertebrae are linked by hard ligaments that help to preserve the position of the spine.

These muscles, ligaments, and bones all work together to supply control and strength for almost all activities. The lumbar spinal column and its muscles are needed for most all motions and activities. For this factor, the lumbar spinal column is vulnerable to injury, when an injury has actually been sustained, individuals have problem performing numerous activities.

Symptoms of a Low Back Strain

The majority of lumbar muscle strains and sprains cause symptoms separated to the low back, typically they do not cause problems in the legs like some other spinal column conditions. The most typical symptoms of a lumbar strain or sprain are:

  • Pain around the low back and upper buttocks.
  • Low back muscle convulsion.
  • Pain connected with activities, and usually eased with rest.

When the lumbar spine is strained or sprained, inflammation of the soft-tissues results. This inflammation causes pain and can cause muscle convulsion. Individuals are frequently surprised at how painful and disabling a lumbar strain or sprain can be– these are not minor injuries. They often cause severe symptoms for a few days and might not entirely resolve for weeks or months.

That stated, over 90% of patients are totally recovered from an episode of lumbar muscle strain or sprain within one month.

We do understand some elements that have the tendency to affect the development of this type of issue, but typically these symptoms strike in unforeseen circumstances. A lot of frequently, patients who establish a lumbar strain or sprain are doing an activity that puts their back at risk.

This may be a sudden strong movement, raising a heavy item, or twisting the back in an unusual way. Understanding how to correctly raise can help to avoid many back injuries.

Some well recognized aspects that add to low back pain include:

  • Poor conditioning.
  • Obesity.
  • Smoking cigarettes.

If you have consistent problems with your lumbar spine, consider these issues. If you smoke, are overweight, or do not carry out routine back strengthening exercises, then you have actions that you can require to help control your symptoms.

Treatment of Lumbar Strains

Treatment of a lumbar strain can usually be accomplished with some easy steps. The most difficult aspect of treatment is that it frequently takes some time to find relief and symptoms can last weeks or even months. Nevertheless, there are some aspects of treatment that can help ensure future episodes of injury are less likely.


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