Back Sprains and Strains

What is a sprain?

A sprain occurs when you apply excess stress on your back that can overstretch and damage ligaments.

What is a strain?

A back strain is an injury to either a muscle or tendon

What causes strains and sprains?

Our backs are amazing structures that cope with such a lot from our everyday life. Occasionally they don’t cope, this could be because they have been over used, put under extra stress or used poorly. Suddenly using the back in a different way, such as moving furniture, can cause injury to the back.

Anyone with an occupation that involves a lot of lifting, bending and/or twisting will have an increased risk of experiencing back pain.  Individuals who rarely exercise may also be prone to strains and sprains, especially if they are doing an unaccustomed activity.

 What are the symptoms of sprains and strains?

Pains across the lower back, sometimes confined to one side or the other, trouble bending or standing up completely straight are all symptoms. In addition, muscle spasms may occur whilst sleeping or simply moving around, sometimes resulting in a hard painful “knot”.

How can I relieve the pain?

Most strains and sprains will heal on their own within 6 weeks. Keeping active will help with recovery as long as it is within limits. If your job involves heavy lifting or exertion then you may have to limit this activity to give your back time to heal. Prolonged inactivity, particularly staying in bed can delay recovery.

We will often advise you to use a combination of cold and heat to help ease the pain. Starting with a cold pack, which could simply be a bag of ice wrapped in a cloth, applied to the source of the pain for 15-20minutes at a time. This can be applied several times a day. Once the pain starts to fade then apply heat (could be a hot water bottle wrapped in a cloth or equivalent) for 15-20minutes – this can help to loosen up the muscles and improve blood flow to the affected area.

What treatments are available for back strains and sprains?

At Theale Wellbeing Centre we offer a wide range of treatments including osteopathy, physiotherapy, massage and acupuncture. A treatment plan will be developed that could include a combination of these to get the best results in the least amount of time possible.

If you are experiencing back pain please contact our reception to book an appointment with one of our therapists.