A back sprain occurs when the ligaments get stretched or torn due to repetitive (or sudden) movements. Typical signs of a back sprain include a sharp ache that builds up, muscle spasms, and stiffness.
The back comprises of a complex interconnected structure of muscles and joints. Smaller bones (cartilages), ligaments, and tendons support the area and work together to facilitate your movements. The low back (lumbar region) endures most of your body weight when you walk, run, bend, twist, or perform any physical activity.
Back sprains occur when your ligaments (thick bands that connect two or more bones near the joint) get stretched (or torn) due to a sudden activity or overexertion. When that happens, you may experience a sharp ache that develops into continuous pain, often turning into chronic pain.
Proper care and implementing personalized physical therapy treatments can mitigate long-lasting risks.
Common symptoms include:
- Lower/upper back pain that increases whenever you move
- The affected area becomes tender and inflamed
- Uncontrollable muscle spasms (or cramps)
- Stiff muscles and rigidity in movements
- Weakness and loss of strength in the targeted site
- Reduced range of motion that limits activity (i.e. standing straight, bending, climbing stairs, and walking becomes difficult)
- A sudden movement (such as bending, twisting, or pulling)
- Torn ligaments
- Fall injuries and spinal fractures can cause the ligaments to stretch abnormally
- Improper (or heavy lifting) may put excessive pressure on the back.
- Wear and tear of back muscles/ligaments due to repetitive movements and prolonged activities
- Improper posture or body mechanics that cause overexertion
- Weakness in the abdominal/back muscles
During the initial consultation, our physical therapists identify the root cause by determining when and how the pain began. We do this by retracing your daily activities and movements.
Our physical therapists make inquiries regarding current symptoms, daily routines, activity level, back injuries, and sleeping habits. Anything out of the ordinary gets marked or reviewed during the diagnosis. All these details allow us to create a more personalized and detailed back sprain physical therapy treatment plan.
If you observe the common signs of back sprain, you should consider consulting a physical therapist. Early assessment increases the chances of recovery. We also eliminate the risk of developing a more severe back condition by performing an in-depth evaluation.
Treatment for Back Sprain
Exercise and result-oriented physical therapy can reduce muscle stiffness and decrease pain and tenderness in the affected region. We use a combination of at-home exercises and onsite therapy sessions to treat your condition.
Our therapy plans feature low-impact workout routines such as aerobics, stretching, and strengthening exercises.
Other treatments for back sprain include:
- Vertebral and rib mobilizations
- Ice and heat therapy
- Soft tissue massage
- Spinal manipulation
- Neubie electrical muscle stimulation
- Electrical muscle stimulation
- Back stability exercises
Each treatment aims to restore lost mobility and reduce pain, while improving muscle strength and coordination.
Lifestyle changes and pain management techniques are also part of the program. These alterations allow you to maintain a healthy spine (and back). Consequently, these techniques ensure that you face no difficulty performing regular activities (i.e. walking and standing) and playing sports.
If you are dealing with a back sprain or know someone who suffers from this condition, consider Specialized Physical Therapy in Fair Lawn, NJ. Contact us or call 201-773-8851 to schedule an appointment to diagnose and treat your symptoms.