Dr. Mark J. Kirk &
Dr. James McNally
Great health & wellness for the whole family

Lumbar Muscle Strain



You might want to think twice before swinging a heavy baseball bat or lifting a heavy suitcase. Unless you're in tip-top condition, you could be putting yourself at risk of a muscle strain in the lumbar spine.

Reach behind and feel the bumps of your spine, just above the buttocks. This is your lumbar spine. When one or more of the many muscles surrounding the lumbar spine is stretched or torn, it's called a strain. As you can imagine, when muscle strains occur in this area, they make ordinary, everyday activities involving the low back painful and difficult.

Anyone can suffer a muscle strain, although being active increases people's risk. Direct trauma to the back, lifting heavy objects and repeated injury to the low back can also make people more prone.

While strains often occur suddenly, they can also develop over time from long-term irritation, such as from poor posture or repeated injury. For that reason, chiropractors classify strains as either acute or chronic. Acute strains usually occur after a single movement, like a sudden twist or bend, and are usually followed immediately by pain. Typically, however, this pain diminishes for a bit and returns later along with stiffness. If the injury didn't damage the joints or the surrounding tissue, this subsequent pain usually diminishes within a few days.

A chronic strain, on the other hand, develops after people repeatedly tear muscles around the spine. If an acute strain occurs over and over again, for example, it can lead to a chronic strain. Symptoms of chronic strain vary in terms of length and intensity, but usually include a mild, persistent ache in the low back. Many people with the condition also start to modify their daily activities so as to avoid flare-ups.

In either case, your chiropractor can offer effective management. After assessing what caused and contributed to your strain, he or she will determine the most effective way to decrease your pain, improve your muscle function and restore your comfort.