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Back Sprains and Strains
If you are experiencing a dull or sharp in your back that is causing stiffness, and difficulty in bending, walking, or standing straight, you might have torn a ligament or muscle in your back. Physical therapy is effective in relieving back pain. It’s important you see a physical therapist, to evaluate your back, and create a treatment plan for you. Contact us today to get started.
What is a Back Sprain or Strain?
Sprain and strain have been used interchangeably to describe the tearing and stretching of the tissues around the joints, but they are different. A sprain occurs when there is an injury to a ligament, causing the ligament to be abnormally stretched or torn. Ligaments are thick fibrous cords that connect bone to bone. A strain is an injury to the muscles or tendons. This is usually caused when the muscles are overstretched. When there is a tear or overstretching of the ligaments and muscles (tendons) of your back, this can cause intense pain, followed by other symptoms.
Causes of Back Sprains or Strains
Sprains and strains are usually caused by overuse and trauma. Factors that can cause a tear to the back muscles and ligament include:

Overuse of the muscles and tendons

Improper lifting or by overstressing the back muscles

A fall or a sudden twist of the body

A direct blow to the body that forces a joint out of its position

Risk factors that contribute to back sprain and strain include:

Being overweight

Curving the lower back excessively

Having weak back or abdominal muscles

Having tight hamstrings (muscles in the back of the thighs)

Sports that involve a lot of pulling and pushing such as football and weightlifting

Symptoms of Back Sprains or Strains

Pain across the lower back

Pain that gets worse when you move

Muscle weakness, cramps, and muscle spasms in the back

Inability to bend the back or stand straight completely

Stiffness in the low back area

Difficulty in walking

Feeling of a pop or snap at the time of the injury.

Back Sprain or Strain Diagnosis
A physical therapist at Polygon PT will review your medical history, and perform a physical examination of your back. You may sustain other back injuries when you have a tear, therefore, imaging tests such as X-ray or MRI-scan might be required. We will walk closely with your doctor to achieve this.
Treatment for Back Sprains or Strains
Your physical therapist may prescribe the following:
Since individual cases vary, your PT would create a custom treatment plan for you. With physical therapy, you don’t need to take harmful pain medications or get surgery.
Preventing Back Sprains and Strains
It’s not possible to avoid all back injuries, but you can take proactive measures to prevent sprains and strains. Prevention tips include:
Get Started With Physical Therapy for Back Sprains and Strains Today
If you are experiencing symptoms associated with a ligament or muscle tear, it is best to seek help immediately, as symptoms can worsen over time. Early treatment means you get back to your normal activities as soon as possible without pain. Our therapists are excited to help you achieve this, just as we have done for a lot of others. Contact a physical therapist right now.