The back is a large area of the body with many muscles, bones, ligaments and tendons. With its expansive structure, there are many working parts that can become injured or damaged. A common type of back injury is a sprain, which can affect many different areas, including the upper, middle and lower back.
What are Back Sprains?
While a back strain may not sound like a serious injury, it can cause severe amounts of pain. Back strains are among the most common causes of back pain, and are responsible for countless emergency room visits each year. A back strain can occur at any age, but it is most common in people over the age of forty.
A back strain is an injury to the tendons and/or muscles of the back, and can be caused from simple stretching injuries to partial or complete tears in the soft tissue. Microscopic tears of varying degrees can occur when the tissues are torn or stretched too far. These tears cause inflammation in the surrounding area, which often results in painful muscle spasms and limited range of motion. A back strain that has been present for days or weeks is referred to as acute, while chronic pain persists for longer than 3 months.
How long does it take for a back sprain to heal?
A strained back muscle may take anywhere from a few days to several weeks to fully heal, depending on the affected area and severity of the injury. For the quickest recovery, stretching, exercises and other forms of physical therapy are recommended and will likely be included in a treatment plan for back strains. Simple techniques like stretching can increase the speed of recovery, helping moderate sprains heal in 4-5 weeks, with severe injuries taking around 10 weeks to sufficiently heal.
Is walking good for lower back pain?
Yes, walking is a great exercise to improve symptoms of lower back pain. Walking provides the following benefits:
Strengthens the muscles that support the spine: When the spine has better support, problems are less likely to occur. Walking is a simple exercise that can help strengthen the back muscles and lessen the pressure exerted on the spinal column.
Increases flexibility in the lower back: Flexibility and range of motion are important functions of the back, and when these are negatively impacted, it can be difficult to perform everyday tasks. Walking can help improve flexibility and increase range of motion.
How can I improve back pain?
There are many things you can do to improve back pain, including:
Stretch: Stretching helps restore motion and promotes blood flow to the injured area, allowing the affected site to heal.
Exercise: Although exercise may sound like an excruciating experience for those with back pain, it can help improve recovery times and reduce pain. In fact, lack of exercise and bed rest can actually exacerbate pain.
Practice Proper Posture: Posture is important for many reasons and can help improve back pain whether you are sitting, standing or sleeping.
Wear the Right Shoes: Back pain can be caused or worsened by shoes that don’t fit right. Finding the right pair can diminish symptoms of pain and help you live a better quality of life.
Eat the Right Foods: Foods rich in calcium and vitamin D can help strengthen the bones, which can help reduce back pain.
If you or someone you love has a sprained back, come to Reddy Urgent Care for treatment today. Our compassionate professionals are experienced in treating back sprains and can help you live a better quality of life. Call us today. We look forward to serving you! We serve patients from Downtown Long Beach CA, Bixby Knolls Long Beach CA, Huntington Beach CA, Paramount CA, East Side CA, and Los Altos CA