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Everything about Low Back Strain and Sprain

When the lower spine is sprained or stained, the tissues and muscles can get swollen. Due to inflammation, there will be pain and it might result in muscle spasms. Just make sure to seek medical attention to get timely treatment. In this guide, we have mentioned in detail about low back strains and sprain.

What are the causes of low back strain and sprain?

Lumbar muscle strain (lower back pain) and sprain are the most common reasons for back pain. It triggers in the lower back because it supports the upper body weight and helps in twisting, moving and bending. 

Lumbar muscle strain happens when the muscle fibers get stretched or torn abnormally. Lumbar sprain happens when the ligamenta are not with the attachments. This can happen due to sudden injury or with overuse. 

No matter what the back pain causes, if your daily routine is affected or it is causing excessive pain then you need to seek medical help right away. 

What are the muscles which support the spine?

  • Extensors (Gluteal and back muscles)
  • Rotators or Obliques (Side Muscles)
  • Flexors (Iliopsoas and abdominal muscles)

Symptoms of low back strain and sprain

  • The low back strain can reach the buttocks but does not affect the legs
  • Not able to maintain normal posture due to pain or stiffness. 
  • Stiffness in the lower back which restricts body movement. 
  • Pain which stays for around 10 to 14 days. 
  • Muscle spasms due to rest or doing certain activity 

When is the right time to seek medical attention?

If the pain lasts for 1 to 2 weeks, then you need to seek medical attention. First of all, make an appointment with the primary care physician. Seek medical attention right away, if you have any of the symptoms given below:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Unexplained fever (higher than 100.4F.)
  • Loss of the bowels or bladder control.

What about the treatment and diagnosis?

Diagnostic testing is not necessary, unless the pain lasts for more than 6 weeks and physical therapy did not improve the condition. It is important to find the underlying causes like undetected disc injury.  If the problem is persistent then the doctor will do the given tests which includes:

  • X-ray
  • MRI scan 


  • You need to stay active. Prolonged bed rest is not helpful because it can make the back pain worse as it leads to loss of muscle strength and increase muscle stiffness. This can increase pain along with discomfort. Strain and sprain is treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication for the patients with mild to moderate pain. 
  • Physical therapy is recommended by the doctor. The doctor will do in-depth examination of your condition to give you a reliable treatment plan. With the therapy there will be gentle massage, ice & heat therapy, pelvic traction, electrical muscle stimulation, ultrasound, and stretching exercise. 
  • The doctor can also suggest exercises, massage, and yoga which you can do at home to relieve back strain. For short-term basis, muscle relaxants and medications can be used with physical therapy. 

Preventive measures

Use the right kind of lifting and moving method, especially for the heavy objects. Do core strengthening exercises for increased spine stability like bicycling, swimming, and brisk walking. Maintain right posture while standing and sitting. Keep your body weight normal. 

For more information, book your appointment with the doctor today only.