Back Sprains and Strains
Most people have heard the phrase, “Lift with your legs, not your back.” The muscles, tendons and ligaments within the musculoskeletal system of the back can be injured, causing extreme pain and limiting mobility. If you suffer a back injury, including strains or sprains, you may need medical care for pain relief and recovery. Our pain physicians and rehabilitation experts at Medici Spine & Pain can help those with back sprains and strains recover quicker with less pain.
What is the Difference Between Back Sprains and Strains?
When a back injury occurs, many people will assume they “pulled” a muscle in their back. In medical terms, they most likely either sprained or strained their back, or both. These are the most common types of back injuries and often the cause of acute lower back pain. The difference between the two injuries are as follows:
- Back sprain – Pulling or tearing a ligament in the back is a sprain. Ligaments are bands of tissue that connect the bones in the spinal joints to prevent excessive movement.
- Back strain – When muscles or tendons are damaged by tearing, pulling or twisting, it is a back strain. Tendons attach muscles to the bone, so both can be injured in the same movement.
Both back strains and sprains are painful, especially when you try to move the affected muscles, tendons or ligaments. A popping or tearing sound or sensation may occur at the time of the injury. Those with back strains or sprains may experience cramping, spasms and limited mobility affecting the injured area.
Treatments for Back Injuries
Most back sprains and strains will heal without medical treatment. A minor back injury can be alleviated with rest, ice and OTC non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for up to two days. Returning to light activities is usually recommended. However, if there is still significant pain, more extensive treatment may be required. Physical therapy, injection therapy and other treatments can be used to reduce pain and improve healing.
If you have a back sprain or strain injury that is not healing with rest, contact Medici Spine & Pain today. We will evaluate your injury and determine if additional treatment is required to help control pain and restore mobility.