What is Lower back pain and Lumbar strains?

Any acute onset of lower back pain that lasts less than a month. It is often the result of soft tissue injury to the muscles and/or ligaments surrounding the lumbar spine, sacrum & pelvis

What Causes It?

  • Direct trauma e.g. falls, sports injury
  • Sudden unguarded movement — especially being flexed & rotated while lifting
  • Overuse or repetitive microtrauma
  • Postural factors
  • Muscle imbalance/deconditioning

What symptoms might you experience?

  • Pain in the lower back region, which may spread to back of the ribcage, buttock or back of the thighs
  • Immediate pain/ pain shortly after injury
  • Pain associated with decreased mobility, stiffness & muscle spasm

How is it treated?

As with most musculoskeletal conditions, management must involve a combination of medical and physiotherapeutic treatments.

Medical management involves prescription drugs to relieve pain, inflammation and ease muscle spasm e.g. NSAIDs and muscle relaxants; topical pain relief e.g. analgesic patch

Physiotherapy management:

  • Activity modification & ergonomics
  • Icing (cold pack/ice cube massage to reduce inflammation and ease pain)
  • Therapeutic modalities such as SIS therapy, electrical stimulation and ultrasound treatment
  • Manual therapy as tolerated (therapist applies hands-on treatment to alleviate stiff joints and sore muscles where applicable)
  • Therapeutic exercises such as gentle stretching and muscle activation training to help restore pain-free movement
  • Lumbar brace may be recommended in early, acute stage of low back pain (depending on condition & therapist’s assessment)

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