Lower back strain is one of the most important causes of back pain. Lower back strains refer to the strain of muscles and ligaments in the back that maintains the vertebrae in place. Strain of these muscles leads to tissue tear and weakening of the muscles. This affects the positioning of the vertebrae, making the spine less stable. It is the instability of vertebrae and spine that results in lower back pain. Muscle strain is usually caused by over stretching of these tissues. Back strain affects the multitudes of nerves that come out of the spinal cord leading to back pain.
Some of the most common causes of lower back strain include:
- Unexpected fall
- Physical strain
- Bending or crouching
- Improper posture
- Obesity or being overweight
- Lifting heavy objects
- Sitting in the same position for a long time
In some cases, even a severe cough can result in a lower back strain.
The main symptoms of lower back strain include:
- Pain in the back
- Stiffness in the back
- Pain in the buttocks and back legs
- Pain worsens while bending, stretching, coughing, or sneezing
Nerve damage due to lower back strain may result in numbness and weakness of the legs. It may also result in bowel and bladder problems. These symptoms require immediate medical attention.
Lower back strain may result in very painful and frustrating situation. In most cases, the pain goes without any specific treatment.
Home remedies are ideal for relieving pain due to lower back strain:
- Using ice packs – Applying ice packs on the back helps to reduce pain and swelling
- Applying heat – Applying heat after the initial swelling reduces is ideal for reducing pain
- Pain killers – Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are also good at relieving pain and swelling at the back.
- Physical therapy – is the most preferred choice for building strength for the muscles.
- Use support – Belts and girdles are often used to provide support to the back.
Engaging in mild to moderate physical activity helps the person in getting back to normal routine within a few days. One should ensure that the activity is not too much of a strain for the back. Depending on the damage to the tissues, recovery time differs depending on the individual. Many doctors recommend a regular exercise routine to build the strength of back muscles. Moderate activities like swimming and cycling will help in reducing the risk of having lower back strain again.