Common lower back injury symptoms may be pain near the low back and upper buttocks. Lower back spasms. Noticeable pain when active, generally alleviated with rest. Muscle strains and lumbar sprains are relative to low back pain. A low back muscle strain occurs when over-stretched or torn. A lumbar sprain occurs when torn ligaments and tissue on bone are completely torn.
Lower back muscle strains are graded one to three, a muscle tear is either partial or complete. A Grade 1 Tear is minor strain needing rest, with no loss of range-of-motion (ROM). A Grade 2 Tear is partial tear or sprain, more pain with significant loss of ROM. Limping is relative. A Grade 3 Tear is a complete muscle tear requiring surgery and physiotherapy for muscle repair.
More common is a Grade 2 Tear. So stabilizing symptoms like
- and bruising
with the conventional RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) method helps flexibility and ROM. Specially ice and compression (with bandage or wrap) to help circulation. Utmost rest is needed for self-healing the muscle tear. Limited ROM and painful tenderness is relative to a sprain.
When the lumbar spine is strained or sprained, it inflames soft-tissues. And the inflammation aggravates pain and can cause muscle spasm. Lumbar strain or sprain is severe pain and ROM is debilitated. A patient can completely recover from an episode of lumbar muscle strain (or sprain) within a month.
Continuous RICE therapy is crucial to help muscle flexibility and ROM, to avoid stiffness. When there is no pain start ROM exercises to regain regular ROM.
Besides accidents a lower back muscle strain can occur because of
- poor conditioning
- improper use/lifting technique
Perpetual and improper ROM technique can perpetuate gradual conditions like
- a herniated disc
- spinal curvature
- and a broken back
are relative to lower back muscle strain.
Common lower back muscle strain strengthening and stretching exercises to help ROM are
- extension stretch
- rotation stretch
- sideways bending
- hamstring stretch
relative strengthening exercises are
- abdominal crunch
- exercise ball crunches
- press (like bench press)
- reverse fly dumb-bell row
- or the bicycle