A lumbar strain is an injury to the lower back, which results in damaged tendons and muscles that spasm and feel sore. The lumbar vertebra make up the section of the spine in your lower back.
Injury can damage the tendons and muscles in the lower back. Pushing and pulling sports, such as weight lifting or football, can lead to a lumbar strain. In addition, sports that require sudden twisting of the lower back, such as in tennis, basketball, baseball, and golf, can lead to this injury. Certain risk factors, such as excessive lower back curvature, forward-tilted pelvis, weak back, or abdominal muscles, and tight hamstrings, can increase the risk for this injury.
The following are the most common symptoms of a lumbar strain. However, each person may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
The symptoms of a lumbar strain may resemble other conditions and medical problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.
In addition to a complete medical history and physical exam, diagnostic procedures for low back pain may include the following. However, during many initial assessments and exams, specialized tests aren't recommended.
Specific treatment for a lumbar strain will be determined by your doctor based on:
Treatment may include:
Medications, such as anti-inflammatories and spinal injections may also be used to relieve pain and inflammation.
Call your health care provider if any of the following occur:
Contact your health care provider immediately for the following:
Cold reduces swelling. Both cold and heat can reduce pain. Protect your skin by placing a towel between your body and the ice or heat source.
Exercise can help your back heal. It also helps your back get stronger and more flexible, preventing any reinjury. Ask your doctor about specific exercises for your back.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your health care provider:
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