Lumbar Strain (Weight Lifter's Back)
A lumbar strain is an injury to the lower back, which results in damaged tendons and muscles that spasm and feel sore.
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Trauma can injure the tendons and muscles in the lower back. Pushing and pulling sports, such as weight lifting or football, can lead to a lumbar strain. In addition, sports that require sudden twisting of the lower back, such as in tennis, basketball, baseball, and golf, can lead to this injury. Certain risk factors, such as excessive lower back curvature, forward-tilted pelvis, weak back and/or abdominal muscles, and tight hamstrings, can increase the risk for this injury.
The following are the most common symptoms of a lumbar strain. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
- Sudden lower back pain
- Spasms in the lower back that result in more severe pain
- Lower back feels sore to the touch
The symptoms of a lumbar strain may resemble other conditions and medical problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.
Diagnosis of a lumbar strain is usually confirmed with a complete medical history and physical examination.
Specific treatment for a lumbar strain will be determined by your doctor based on:
- Your age, overall health, and medical history
- Extent of the injury
- Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, and therapies
- Expectation for the course of the injury
- Your opinion or preference
Treatment may include:
- Ice packs and compression applied to the back
- Exercises (to strengthen the abdominal muscles)
- Stretching and strengthening exercises (for the lower back as it heals)
- Education regarding the use and wearing of appropriate protective equipment
- Medications, such as anti-infammatories and spinal injections
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Last reviewed: 11/19/2011