Low Back Sprain/Strain
The majority of people will experience low back pain at some point in their lifetime. Of these people, 70% can attribute their symptoms to sprain/strain injuries. These injuries may result from sudden or forceful movements like a fall or direct blow. Most commonly, sprains and strains are not the result of any single event, but rather from repeated overloading.
About Low Back Sprain/Strain
Your low back is comprised of five bones stacked on top of each other with a shock-absorbing disc between each bone. Muscle and ligaments are used to help provide your low back with stability and support. “Sprains” and “strains” result from these tissues stretching too hard or too far, much like a rope that frays when it extends pasts its normal limits.
- Sprain: The ligaments that hold your bones together have been damaged.
- Strain: The muscles or tendons that move your low back have been torn partially.
The majority of people will experience low back pain at some point in their lifetime. Of these people, 70% can attribute their symptoms to sprain/strain injuries. These injuries may result from sudden or forceful movements like a fall or direct blow. Most commonly, sprains and strains are not the result of any single event, but rather from repeated overloading. The spine can generally manage small isolated stresses quite well. However, repetitive challenges lead to injury in the same way that constantly bending a piece of copper wire will cause it to break. Examples of these stressors include:
- Bad postures
- Sedentary lifestyles
- Poor fitting workstations
- Repetitive movements
- Improper lifting
Symptoms of Low Back Sprain/Strain
Sprain/strain symptoms may begin abruptly but more commonly develop gradually. Symptoms may range from dull discomfort to debilitating pain that becomes sharper when you move. Rest may relieve your symptoms but often leads to stiffness. The pain is generally centered in your lower back but can spread towards your hips or thighs.
Sprain/strain injuries cause your normal elastic tissue to be replaced with less elastic “scar tissue.” This process can lead to ongoing pain and even arthritis. Patients who elect to forego treatment and “just deal with it” develop chronic low back pain more than 60% of the time. Seeking early and appropriate low back pain treatments like the type provided in our St. George chiropractic office is critical.
Depending on the severity of your injury, you may need to limit your activity for a while, especially bending, twisting, and lifting, or movements that cause pain. Bed rest is not in your best interest. You should remain active and return to normal activities as your symptoms allow. The short-term use of a lumbar support belt may be helpful. Sitting makes your back temporarily more vulnerable to sprains and strains from sudden or unexpected movements. Be sure to take “micro-breaks” from workstations for at least 5 minutes every half hour. Following acute injuries, you can apply ice for 15-20 minutes each hour. Heat may be helpful after several days or for more chronic origins of pain. Some patients report partial relief from sports crea
Your Visit With US
We start every visit with a comprehensive movement based assessment to identify any critical contributors to your pain. We then combine muscle release techniques with chiropractic adjustments to help relax your tight muscles and allow your body to move better and feel better. Then, most patients are brought to our rehab area, where we teach you how to extend your session’s benefits at home through stretches and exercises based on your needs and goals.
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