Low back pain is often caused when one of the muscles supporting your lower spine is pulled. A sudden or forceful movement may put undue stress on the lower back causing damage to muscles or ligaments. This can lead to pain and spasm that can stop you in your tracks.
Strain or pulling of the low back muscles can occur with lifting heavy loads, twisting movements, sports that involve sudden twisting or jerking movements, or sudden impact. Tightness of the hamstring muscles at the back of the thighs may be responsible for low back strain as it limits pelvic movement.
The pain is usually acute and localized to the lower back which is tender to the touch. There may be associated muscle spasm. Standing or walking may be difficult. Although the pain becomes less severe after a while, it can go on with occasional flare-ups for weeks or even months. As the lower back has good blood supply, healing usually occurs within 3-4 weeks, but the situation can sometimes get complicated as prolonged inactivity due to pain can cause the muscles to deteriorate and weaken leading to further back pain.
The American Spine Center offers expert diagnosis and care for acute and chronic back pain. Specialized treatments help alleviate pain and promote healing of strained or torn muscles and ligaments in the lower back so that recovery is quick and uncomplicated.
For severe pain, a brief period of rest is advised, no more than 1-2 days. Initial treatment includes hot and cold packs, anti-inflammatory medication and muscle relaxants to control spasm. Massage or manipulation therapy is then performed to loosen tight muscles and promote circulation. A specific exercise program is designed to stretch and strengthen weak back muscles as well as the other muscles that support your spine. This will include stretching of the hamstrings to free pelvic movement and reduce the likelihood of future back strain.