Causes of Low Back Strain:
One very common form of low back pain is due to a low back muscle strain. This usually occurs because of improper lifting, sports activities, twisting of the back, car accidents, or improper strengthening. General workout activities can contribute, such as a challenging exercise class, machine weights or free weights. In these cases, one or several muscles of the low back are strained through over-stretching, over-contracting, moving too quickly, twisting or pulling. The muscles have a strain placed on them when they are in an awkward position or there is a traumatic force on them if they are in a neutral position.
Postures and Low Back Pain:
Another cause for low back muscle strain is having an unhealthy spine through habitual poor posture. If you sit all day in a slumped position, your lumbar spine (low back) is loaded into a forward or flexed position, and the muscles of your back are continually stretched (elongated). As a result, you may be more likely to strain a back muscle from light tasks such as loading/unloading the dishwasher. On the other hand, those with a healthy spine (through repetitively good posture and exercise) may tolerate light tasks but strain their backs when doing more strenuous work (ex: heavy yardwork). It is important that both individuals practice good posture and body mechanics in order to avoid straining the low back during routine daily tasks, and especially during difficult physical activities.
Treatment of Low Back Strain
Low Back Muscle Strain should first be treated with ice for at least 2-3 days. If you see a doctor, you will likely be prescribed a muscle relaxer, anti-inflammatory, and/or pain reliever. Other treatments are rest, ice/heat, massage, and Physical Therapy. Depending on the severity of the muscle strain, you may have pain for a few days to several months. This type of LBP can be prevented by maintaining proper posture/body mechanics, proper lifting, regular exercise, caution with sports activities, and maintaining a strong core.