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Welcome, medical contents search April 25, 2013
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Back Strain and Back Sprain

more about Back Strain and Back Sprain

  • Back pain, especially low back pain, is usually due to an overuse syndrome that results in either Muscle Strain (stretching or partial tearing of muscle fibers) or ligamentous sprain (stretching or partial tearing of ligament fibers).
  • Back strain/sprain is usually an overuse syndrome.
  • In the pediatric age group, the pain of back strain/sprain usually lasts only a few days.

  • Back pain and ache may have immediate onset but might also have its onset 1-2 days after the Traumatic event
  • Usually the pain and ache are markedly less after 7-10 days, or have resolved.

  • Trauma
  • Overuse of the paraspinal muscles or ligaments

  • This is a diagnosis of exclusion or elimination, in which back pain is matched with an inciting incident (i.e., Trauma or accident) or previous occurrences that have resolved quickly.
  • Back pain with normal X-rays
  • Absence of positive neurologic findings: no sensory losses; no significant long-lasting motor losses (muscle strength, bulk, tone are close to normal); deep tendon reflexes unchanged from previously.

  • More likely to occur in teenage years rather than in pre-teens
  • Heavy lifting or repetitive lifting
  • Lifting while twisting the back in one direction or another
  • Vigorous sports
  • Scoliosis (curvature of the spine due to a number of possible contributing factors) may cause back strain, and should be considered.

  • A few days of rest, sometimes with non-weight-bearing (i.e., in bed) and sleeping on a firm mattress
  • Bed rest with bathroom privileges might be recommended.
  • Ice or heat sometimes recommended
  • Anti-inflammatory medication, if the patient is not sensitive to it
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Physical therapy
  • A narcotic might be recommended in severe cases

  • A non-remitting pain in the recovery period is unusual for Muscle Strain or ligament sprain.
  • Return to exercise before healing has occurred can make symptoms recur.

  • Consult a physician.

  • Back pain from any cause, especially low back pain
  • Most of the serious diseases causing back pain will have pain that is more severe and non-resolving, such as:
    1. Arthritis of the spine
    2. Tuberculosis
    3. Neoplasms, tumors
    4. Scoliosis (curvature of the spine)

more about Back Strain and Back Sprain

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