Check out this video on how back pain is caused.
Your "lumbar spine", or low back, is constructed and built from five bones that are stacked on top of each other with a shock-absorbing disc between each level.
Your low back is very much reliant on its surrounding muscles and ligaments for support. "Sprains" and "strains" are a direct result of these tissues being stretched too hard or too far, much in the same way that a rope frays when it is stretched beyond its normal capacity.
The term "sprain" means that the tough, durable ligaments that support bones have been damaged, while a "strain" refers to when your muscles or tendons that move your trunk have been partially torn.
Sprains and strains may lead to other common back conditions in the future such as degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, disc bulges and disc herniations.
The majority of people will experience low back pain at some point in their lifetime, and 70% of those patients can attribute their symptoms to sprain/strain injuries.
Lumbar sprains and strains can often result from sudden or forceful movements like a fall, twist, lift, push, pull, direct blow, or quickly straightening up from a seated, crouched, or bent position. Most commonly, sprains and strains are not the result of any single event, but rather from repeated overloading.
The spine is very good at being able to manage small isolated stressors, but repetitive challenges often can lead to injury in much the same way that constantly bending a piece of copper wire will cause it to break. Examples of stress that can cause lower back pain include bad postures, sedentary lifestyles, poor-fitting workstations, repetitive movements, improper lifting, or being overweight.
Symptoms can be varied from dull discomfort to surprisingly debilitating pain that becomes increasingly sharp when you move.
Symptoms from a sprain/strain can begin very abruptly but in most cases will actually develop gradually.
Rest may relieve your symptoms in some cases but often leads to stiffness. The pain is generally localized in your lower back but can also spread towards your hips or thighs. Always try to notify your doctor if your pain extends beyond your knee, or if you have weakness in your lower extremities or a fever.
Back strains & sprains need early & appropriate treatment.
Sprain/strain injuries can cause your normal healthy elastic tissue to be lost and replaced with less elastic "scar tissue."
This process can lead to an ongoing cycle of pain and even arthritis or disc problems. Patients who elect to forego treatment and "just deal with it" are known to develop chronic low back pain in 60% of cases. It is imperative to seek early and appropriate treatment like the type provided in our office is critical.
The first step is to establish the cause through history, examination and if indicated diagnostic imaging such as: x-ray, MRI or CT scan.
Next we need to establish a treatment plan to reduce pain, promote healing and correct structural problems in your spine.
We then need a prevention plan. You will be given a customized exercise program with video support. Suggestions will be made to improve bad postures, lifestyles, workstations and lifting.
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