Adjustable Back & Abdominal SupportC$57.86
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A lower back sprain (or lumbar sprain) is an injury caused by an overstretched or torn ligament in your lower back area. Ligaments are fibrous pieces of tissue that connect two or more bones in your back or joint. The lower back area is commonly defined as the area below your rib cage.
Together with lower back strains (pulled or torn lower back muscles), these injuries are among the principal causes of missed work days among adults in North America. In fact, after headaches, back problems are the most common type of complaint that healthcare professionals receive.
Lower back sprains produce pain and swelling in the lower back area. In severe cases, you may also experience bruising or contusions in the area and some redness.
The good news is that they are usually simple to treat. In general, mild or moderate sprains respond to as little as a few weeks of reduced physical activity (in addition to a few other measures) and do not require surgery.
To reduce the risk of another sprain in the future, doctors may suggest a program of physical therapy. The goal of this program will be to keep your lower back ligaments stretched and strong enough to withstand the demands that you make of them as part of your daily routine.
As with other types of soft tissue injury, doctors classify lower back sprains into three types depending on the degree of severity of the injury:
A back sprain can be either the result of a single instance of overstressing the back ligaments (through improper lifting, for example). Alternatively, it can be the cumulative long term impact of overuse of back muscles and ligaments by repetitive movements.
Typical causes of a lower back sprain include the following:
In addition to the above specific instances, there are a number of factors that can increase your risk of experiencing a lower back sprain:
If you have this type of injury, you may experience some or all of the following:
If you have any of these symptoms, you should make an appointment with your doctor for diagnostic testing and medical advice.
As mentioned at the start, most lower back sprains respond to conservative home based treatment. As a result, if your doctor diagnoses a sprain of this sort, he or she will likely suggest the following:
Although your doctor will suggest reducing your level of physical activity, he or she will likely advise against complete bed rest. This can cause atrophy (weakening) of your lower back soft tissues and increase the risk of another sprain or strain in the future.
In addition to the above, doctors may suggest wearing a lower back brace for additional lumbar support. This will be helpful in reducing the risk of reinjury if your sprain was caused by heavy lifting. Despite this, you should ensure that you correct your lifting technique as advised above.
If your lower back sprain was related to poor posture, you can try wearing an upper back brace. This will help to remind you to maintain good posture while standing or sitting and reduce stress on your lower back.
If you are overweight, a weight management program (diet and/or exercise) will also reduce the pressure on your lower back.
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