Lumbar (lower back) muscle strains and sprains are the most common causes of low back pain. The back is prone to this strain because of its weight-bearing function and involvement in moving, twisting and bending. Lumbar muscle strain is caused when muscle fibers are abnormally stretched or torn. Lumbar sprain is caused when ligaments, the tough bands of tissue that hold bones together, are torn from their attachments. Both of these can result from a sudden injury or from gradual overuse.

When the lumbar spine is strained or sprained, the soft tissues become inflamed. This inflammation causes pain and may cause muscle spasms. Lumbar strain or sprain can be very debilitating.

 Three types of muscles support the spine:

  1. Extensors (back muscles and gluteal muscles)
  2. Flexors (abdominal muscles and iliopsoas muscles)
  3. Obliques or rotators (side muscles)

Low Back Strain and Sprain Overview

  • Symptoms

  • Diagnostic Testing

  • Treatment

  • Prevention Tips

  • Prognosis

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