Adjustable Back & Abdominal Support
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A lower back sprain is an injury caused by a damaged ligament in the lower back or lumbar area. The lower back area is generally regarded as the region below the ribcage. It contains the spinal cord as well as a complex and tightly interlinked network of muscles, ligaments, nerves and bones.
It can therefore be difficult to distinguish between the symptoms of a low back sprain and those of a strain (for example).
A lower back sprain is sometimes also referred to as a lumbar sprain.
Lumbar sprains tend to produce symptoms that are very similar to those of lower back strains. They both cause an aching pain in the lower back. The pain may be focused on one side of the back or the other.
Like lower back strains, lower back sprains are a common type of injury. However, they are usually easily treatable by a regime of home based self care. Surgical intervention is usually not needed.
As with other types of ligament sprain, there are three categories of severity of lower back sprains:
The following groups tend to be at higher risk of experiencing a lower back sprain:
Those affected by lower back sprains will experience some or all of the following:
These symptoms can also be signs of more serious back problems. As a result, one should not assume the presence of a back soft tissue injury because the symptoms resemble those above. The wise course of action is to make an appointment with a healthcare professional for medical advice.
To diagnose the cause of lower back pain, a doctor will review the patient’s medical history. He or she will also perform a physical examination of the lower back and surrounding areas.
The goal will be to evaluate the nature and severity of the pain. This will include its precise location and what movements make it worse. The patient may also asked when the pain started and what he or she was doing at the time.
In many cases, the doctor may not immediately request imaging scans. The exception would be if he or she suspects the presence of a more serious problem (such as a herniated disc or tumour). Otherwise, the first option will be to suggest a period of home based conservative care .
As part of a regime of home based care, most doctors will suggest something like the following:
Once your back shows clear signs of improvement, many doctors will suggest enrolment in a physical therapy program. This will include back strengthening exercises that increase the patient’s ability to perform strenuous tasks with less risk of another lumbar sprain.
Another device that may help to reduce the risk of another sprain is a back belt or lower back brace. It will provide some additional lumbar support that will be useful when lifting heavy loads, for example.
The doctor may believe that poor posture may have contributed to the back sprain. If so, he or she may recommend the use of a posture brace. This device will help the patient to develop the habit of maintaining good posture.
The time required to recover from this type of injury depends on the severity of the injury. It will also depend on the fitness level of the patient.
It also depends on the patient’s adherence to the treatment guidelines. He or she will need to be patient and disciplined enough to not return to regular activity prematurely. In general, the patient should seek the doctor’s advice before resuming regular activities. He should definitely not do so until complete freedom of movement has returned with no pain.
In most cases, recovery from a mild lower back sprain can require as little as one or two weeks. A more serious injury may require as many as 6 weeks or more before the patient can contemplate a return to regular activity.
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