What are they?
Lumbar strains are injuries to the paraspinal muscle group that are found throughout your lower back. These strains can be mild, moderate, or severe and are characterized by the amount of trauma caused to the muscle. Low back pain can be caused by these strains, an issue to one of the lumbar discs, a spinal nerve injury, or an abnormal joint issue.
Information on what causes them?
Lumbar strains can be caused by a variety of issues. Falls, moving too fast or incorrectly, improper lifting technique, lifting something that is too heavy, car accidents, work accidents, are just a few ways these can occur. Low back pain can by caused by any of these issues and can affect a number of structures in your lumbar spine.
The signs and symptoms?
The signs and symptoms of these issues are acute and sudden pain, swelling, inability to stand up straight or correctly, inability to bear weight without compensation, altered gait mechanics, popping, clicking, decreased motion and flexibility, muscle spasms, decreased power, and strength, are just a few to name.
Physical therapy will initially focus on the decreasing and eliminating the pain and swelling. Once these are under control or eliminated, we will then work on improving the healing of the affected bone, ligament, tendon, muscle, nerve, disc, or other soft tissue. This could include modalities and exercises to improve the healing process. We will then work on regaining the motion and strength needed to return you back to where you were before the injury. Finally, a comprehensive home program will be set up to make sure you have the tools you need to maintain your gains and avoid this injury again in the future.
At your first visit you should expect a physical therapist that is there to get to know you, your current complaints, and your goals. Using this information and the information they gather during their evaluation they will set up an individualized treatment plan that will help you reach your goals and get back to your life faster. Treatments could include modalities for pain control, manual therapy to help with muscle, soft tissue, and joint healing, and exercises to restore motion and strength. As these improve we will work on improving your overall function to return you back to your normal life.