Lower Back Strain Symptoms and Remedies

There are a number of ways that you can strain your lower back. There is even a good chance that it has happened or will happen to you at some point. This is especially true if your work requires you to do heavy lifting or other manual labor, as a construction worker or as a delivery professional, for example. These types of work might put you at a risk for lower back strain.

Lifting heavy objects can put a lot of strain on the muscles and/or tendons around the spine of your lower back. Actually, straining is just a euphemism that refers to the tearing of the muscle of your lower back.

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When it comes to lower back strain, the pain can be unbearable. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to reduce or alleviate the pain, so that you can let it heal.

Below are five of the most common lower back strain symptoms and the best remedies.

Some Common Lower Back Strain Symptoms

1. Morning Stiffness – If you wake up one morning with stiffness in your lower back, there is a good chance that you have a strain. This stiffness can range from mild to severe. In some cases, when the strain is mild, you may be able to get out of bed fairly easily. If your back has been strained more severely, this simple act may be extremely difficult you.

If you wake up with severe stiffness and pain that you can’t get out of bed, you should see your doctor. Intense stiffness and a high level of pain are warning signs that you strained your back.

2. Butt & Leg Pain – Another major symptom of  back strain is pain in the thighs and buttocks. Even though the sprained muscles may be in your lower back, there is a good chance that the pain will spread throughout the rest of the body. If you feel a shooting or throbbing soreness in your thighs and buttocks, there is a good chance that you have severely strained your lower back.

3. Painful Sneezing or Coughing – If you notice any pain in your back when you sneeze or cough, you may have a slight strain. When you cough or sneeze, your body spasms and it causes clenching in the muscles throughout. If your lower back has tears in the muscles, there is a good chance that these clenching spasms will cause extreme pain. You may also notice this same pain when you are walking, stretching, or bending over.

4. Numbness – Numbness is a problem that should be taken very seriously. In some extreme strains, you may have damaged nerves, which can cause partial or remote paralysis in your legs. Your back has a huge number of nerve endings that extend right down into your legs.

If you feel numbness and weakness, there is a possibility that you have caused nerve damage. This is an urgent reason to seek medical attention and visit the emergency room right away.

5. Bladder Problems – Another serious symptom of  back strain that requires medical attention is bladder problems. You may not realize that you have strained and damaged more than just your lower back.

If you have strained your back and you are having problems with your bladder or you are suffering from incontinence, straining your back may have caused bladder problems. If you notice blood either in your stool or urine, do not hesitate to see a medical professional right away. Make sure you inform them of the back strain and any symptoms you feel are related to this condition.

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Common Lower Back Strain Remedies

1. Cold Compresses – Place ice on the muscles of your lower back. Ice will reduce the inflammation that may be occurring in your lower back. Reducing the inflammation will not only reduce the pain, but it will also speed up muscle recovery.

It is recommended to apply cold compress on your back for twenty minutes – every three to four hours. In fact, if you spend time in the gym, you should always be applying cold compress on your lower back. It will maintain your lower back’s strength and it will help repair the damage caused by extreme physical exertion.

2. Warm Compresses – After thoroughly applying cold compresses on your back for a few days, you can also try using warm compresses. This can be done by placing a heating pad on your back. This will speed up the recovery process and it will be a soothing way to loosen up the back muscles, which may be tense after a few days of cold compress applications.

There are many different kinds of electric heating pads and they work wonders. Another simple, old-fashioned option is to use a hot water bottle. Just make sure that the water isn’t too hot that it will burn your skin. The biggest advantage of an electric heating pad over a hot water bottle is that you don’t have to keep filling it up with warm water.

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3. Medication– Pain can cause stress, which can delay the recovery process. So, in order to reduce this stress, the best option is to take a mild over-the-counter medication that can reduce the pain. Inflammation is another contributing factor to muscles not being able to heal in a timely manner, so it is critical that you find ways to reduce the swelling. There are a variety of over-the-counter pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs.

4. Support Your Lower Back – Get support for your lower back at night when you sleep. When you are recovering from lower back pain, make sure that you find a way to sleep that doesn’t put pressure on your lower back.

One of the best ways to sleep with a low back strain is on your side with a small pillow between your knees. If you sleep on an adjustable bed or mattress, lift the foot and back of the bed to provide the most support to your lower back.

5. Therapy – Get physical therapy if you need it. If your back is in excruciating pain and the strain seems to never heal, it is recommended to contact a physical therapist. A professional therapist can work with you to regain the strength in your lower back and help pave the road for recovery.

Lastly, a lower back strain can be painful and it can put you out of commission for long periods of time. This is why being familiar with some of the symptoms of a lower back strain is so important.

If you strongly feel that you are suffering from a lower back strain, visit a doctor right away and get to the bottom of your situation. The sooner you find a solution, the sooner you can find relief for your injury and you can get back to living.

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