Your back, especially the lower back or lumbar, bears a lot of the bodyweight during running, lifting, walking, or other physical activities. The chances of injuries to the lower back, such as a strain or sprain, are common. A back strain is an injury that may occur either to the muscles or tendons, while a back sprain refers to a torn or stretched ligament.

Both strain and sprain have common symptoms. Pain that may worsen while moving is the most common symptom. Most people feel muscle cramping and spasms. Severe conditions may make you feel a decreased range of motion or difficulty walking. Several conditions can cause your back to strain and sprain. Extreme physical exertion may result in back strain or sprain.
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Besides this, direct falling, bending or crouching repeatedly, and lifting heavy objects without training can lead to back strain or sprain. Your medical history, including how the injury occurred and a review of the symptoms, help determine the injury.

More severe strain or sprain, which feels like a loss of function and weakness, may require imaging tests, such as CT scans or MRI. Self-care strategies and medications can help reduce mild symptoms. Rest, ice massage and compressions help relieve pain and swelling. Over-the-counter medications may also help reduce the mild symptoms.

Most injuries may improve within two weeks. If symptoms continue for more than two weeks, additional treatments, such as surgery, is required. Reduction in activity may lead to weight gain, bone density loss, and muscle strength loss, the most common complications leading to back strain or sprain. Experts suggest some preventive measures to help prevent back sprains or strains.

Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet is necessary to keep your muscles and bone strong. Besides this, maintaining a healthy weight, using good body mechanics, and avoiding smoking may help you reduce the chances of back sprain or strain.

Wearing a back brace helps unload some of the weight usually placed on your lower back, resulting in reduced pressure on muscles, discs, and spine joints. They also provide heat to relax muscles tensions, contributing to pain relief. 360 relief provides you with a variety of back braces to improve the symptoms of back sprains or strains.

How can I treat back sprain or strain?
  • Apply cold packs
  • Elevation
  • Mild exercises
  • Use Back compression support
  • Massage
  • Apply heat after a few days
How long does a back sprain or strain last?

With regular home care, you may be able to return to normal activities in three to six weeks. Recovery from severe strains may take several months. Surgery and physiotherapy may be required in extreme situations. The majority of patients recover completely with daily physical therapy.

What happens if a back strain is left untreated?

If you don’t take proper care and treatment, back pain can get worse rather than improve. It will also cause sharp aches and severe swelling around the affected area. So, you may need medication and physiotherapy to recover from your back injury.

Is it painful to move with a sprained back?

Most sprains cause pain and discomfort in the affected area of the injury. Your back often swells and bruises immediately. It is usually painful when moving around with a sprained back. You also might feel something pop or snap in more severe sprains.

Which one is worse, back sprain or strain?

Neither is worse than the other; however, it’s essential to know the severity of the injury. The common causes of back strain or sprain are overstretching or tearing of tissues around the joints. Patients who suffer from a back sprain or strain may have sharp pain and discomfort due to an injury.

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