Brief Outline of Muscle Strain to the Back
Back strain occurs from a stretching injury to the muscles or tendons of the back. It is a common sports injury that can result from lifting, sudden movement, or a fall, collision with another athlete, or any activity in which the muscles of the back are engaged. Back strain often affects the lower back or lumbar region and the pain associated with this injury ranges from moderate to severe.
Anatomy and physiology
Three types of muscles occur in the back: extensors (including gluteal muscles), flexors (including the abdominal muscles and iliopsoas muscles) and obliques or rotators (side muscles). Back strain frequently involves the lower back or lumbar spine, which is composed of five spinal bones or vertebrae and the sacrum, which provide support and protection of the spinal cord.
Cause of Muscle Strain to the Back
Sudden strain on the back muscles from lifting. Abrupt movement involving muscles of the back. Repetitive stress to the back muscles.
Signs and symptoms
Pain, stiffness, and loss of movement in the back. Rigidly in the back. Tingling and sensitivity.
Complications if left unattended
Muscle strains in the back usually resolve themselves with proper rest. Ignoring muscle strain however can lead to chronic back pain, stiffness and discomfort, with degeneration of the muscles and tendons. Muscle spasms accompanying inflammation can cause further pain, in some cases, severe.
- Back brace
Rehabilitation and prevention
After use of ice to reduce inflammation, heat therapy in modest amounts may help ease discomfort. Recovery times for muscle strain in the back vary widely depending on the severity of the strain, location, and overall health of the athlete. When the muscles have begun to heal, it is important that they receive moderate use, to avoid wasting and atrophy. Later, exercises to strengthen the back and restore mobility can help avoid recurrence of this injury.
Muscle strains in the back, though sometimes quite painful, usually heal thoroughly with no residual loss of movement or pain, though some risk of re-injury exists, particularly if the strain was severe. Surgery is not required in cases of muscles strain, providing no severe tearing of tissue or tendon is involved.