Last Monday morning Rita was just leaving for her busy Monday at work, when she dropped her keys. Hastily she bent to pick them up and ouch! Rita felt a sudden pain in her lower back muscles that seemed to increase by the second. Rita immediately grabbed a muscle pain relaxer and began to rub on her back, but it did not help at all. Rita thought a few minutes of strecthing out her back on the bed might help and she lay down. But to her surprise she could not move at all without having to bear torturous pain. Finally she called her husband, who had already left for work. Ravi got to her immediately and gave her a pain killer. Rita is still recuperating.
If you or a loved one ever goes through such an experience, please know that this is called a back sprain/strain.
Difference Between Back Sprain and Back Strain
When a sudden motion like bending the wrong way or overstretching the back causes a muscle to tear, it is called a muscle strain. But when a sudden jerky motion causes the tough ligaments to tear, it is called a muscle sprain. It is hard to differentiate between the two without undergoing a physical examination at the clinic. However it doesn't matter much because the treatment for both is the same.
Causes of Back Sprain/Strain
Sudden jerky motions, overuse of muscles, bending the wrong way, lifting heavy objects, repetitive bad posture, obesity, poor muscular health etc are some reasons why people suffer from back injuries.
If you or a loved one suffers a back sprain or a back strain, it is advisable to do the following:
1. Use an oral painkiller to help with the pain.
2. Apply an ice pack on the area, gently massaging it.
3. You can also apply a hot pack.
4. Bed rest is advisable for 24 hours, after which normal day to day activities can be resumed. But try to avoid straining your back.
5. If the pain does not go away in a few hours, seek medical attention immediately.
It takes 2 weeks to completely heal a sprained/strained back.