Are you experiencing pain in your lower back? It may be due to lumbar strain. Read on to learn more about what causes this condition, its symptoms, and how you can treat it.
What is Lumbar Strain?
Lumbar strain is a common musculoskeletal condition caused by overstretching or tearing of the muscles and ligaments in the lower back. This can occur due to a sudden movement or lifting something heavy. Repetitive motions can also lead to strain. Lumbar strain is one of the most common types of CrossFit injuries and can be very painful.
What Causes Lumbar Strain?
Several things can lead to lumbar strain, including:
1. Sudden Movements
Sudden movements are one of the leading causes of lumbar strain. This can include quickly bending over, twisting the torso, or lifting a heavy object. It’s essential to be aware of how your body moves and to take care when lifting objects or performing other strenuous tasks.
2. Repetitive Motions
Repetitive motions are another common cause of lumbar strain. This can include golfing, running, or even sitting for long periods without taking a break. If you do any type of activity regularly, it’s essential to take breaks and often stretch to avoid causing strain on your lower back.
3. Poor Posture
Poor posture is another leading cause of lumbar strain. This can be due to sitting or standing in an awkward position for long periods. It’s essential to maintain good posture and to take breaks often if you have to sit or stand for extended periods.
4. Weak Core Muscles
Weak core muscles can lead to strain on the lower back. The core muscles help support the spine, so it’s essential to keep them strong. There are many exercises to strengthen your core muscles and reduce your risk of lumbar strain.
Obesity is another factor that can contribute to a lumbar strain. This is because carrying extra weight can put additional pressure on the lower back muscles and ligaments. If you’re overweight, it’s essential to lose weight and reduce your risk of developing this condition.
What are the Symptoms of Lumbar Strain?
The symptoms of lumbar strain can vary depending on the severity of the condition. However, common symptoms include:
Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is one of the most common symptoms of lumbar strain. The pain can vary in intensity and may be sharp or dull. It often increases with activity and decreases with rest. You may also experience stiffness in the lower back and difficulty moving around.
Muscle spasms are another common symptom of lumbar strain. The spasms can cause the muscles in your lower back to feel tight and uncomfortable. They may also make it challenging to move around.
If you have a lumbar strain, you may also experience tenderness in the lower back. The tenderness is usually most pronounced when pressure is applied to the affected area.
Inflammation is another symptom of lumbar strain. This can cause the affected area to feel hot or swollen. You may also notice that the skin around the area is red.
Numbness or Tingling
Numbness or tingling in the lower back is another common symptom of lumbar strain. The numbness or tingling may radiate down into the legs or feet.
How is Lumbar Strain Treated?
The treatment for a lumbar strain will vary depending on the severity of the condition. However, common treatments include:
Rest is one of the best things you can do to treat a lumbar strain. This means avoiding activities that put pressure on the lower back. You should also avoid sitting or standing for long periods. Taking breaks often will help to reduce the strain on your lower back.
Applying ice to the affected area can also help to reduce inflammation and pain. Ice should be used for 20 minutes at a time, multiple times per day.
Applying heat to the affected area can also help to reduce pain and inflammation. Heat can be applied via a heating pad, warm towel, or hot water bottle.
Specific exercises can also help to treat a lumbar strain. These exercises help to strengthen the muscles and ligaments around the lower back. This can help to reduce the risk of future injuries.
5. Physical Therapy
Physical therapy may also be recommended to treat a lumbar strain. A physical therapist can teach you specific exercises and stretches to help reduce pain and improve mobility.
In some cases, surgery may be necessary to treat a lumbar strain. This is usually only recommended if other treatments haven’t been effective.
Now you know what lumbar strain is, what causes it, and what the symptoms are. So, if you think you may have a lumbar strain, be sure to see your doctor. With the proper treatment, you can reduce pain and improve mobility.