The #1 Cause of Lumbar Pain: Muscle or Ligament Strain

The #1 Cause of Lumbar Pain Muscle or Ligament Strain

The #1 Cause of Lumbar Pain: Muscle or Ligament Strain

For the purposes of diagnosis and treatment, the spine is divided into three sections: cervical, thoracic, and lumbar. The lumbar spine consists of the five bones at the bottom of the spine. In essence, the lumbar spine is your lower back. And it can be a source of significant pain.

The five bones that make up the lumbar region are the biggest of the bones in your spine. They should be, as they need to support the entire weight of the upper body. The way our bodies are designed dictates that the lumbar spine undergoes a lot of stress on a daily basis. So much so that lumbar pain is pretty common.

Did you know that the number one cause of lumbar pain is muscle or ligament strain? Of course, there are other causes including degenerative disk disease, fractures, osteoarthritis, pinch nerves, and herniated discs. The good news is that pain resulting from muscle or ligament strain will usually resolve without the need for invasive measures.

Lifting, Moving, and Bending

Given how much work the lower back needs to do, it makes sense that it would be susceptible to injury based on how a person lifts, moves, and bends. We know that to be true. Lifting with the back rather than the knees strains muscles and ligaments, leading to back pain.

Twisting or turning the wrong way can pull a muscle. Bending awkwardly can strain a ligament. Even poor posture can eventually lead to overused muscles and ligaments, thereby creating persistent lumbar pain.

Most incidents of lumbar pain are acute in nature. That means they come on suddenly but do not linger for too long a time. Rest, anti-inflammatory medications, and over-the-counter pain medications tend to be enough for most people.

How to Avoid Lumbar Pain

So, is it possible to avoid lumbar pain as the result of muscle or ligament strain? Absolutely. One of the most important things all of us can do is maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight puts undue stress on the lower back. It is a recipe for persistent lumbar pain. Other strategies include:

  • Exercising – Regular exercise helps maintain muscle strength. Strong muscles and ligaments in the lower back are more capable of supporting the body’s weight and protecting the spine from injury.
  • Proper Lifting – Always lift heavy objects with the knees rather than the back. Learning proper lifting techniques goes a long way toward keeping lumbar pain at bay.
  • Good Posture – Good posture, which includes sitting up straight with his shoulders back and chest out, takes unnecessary pressure off the lower back. Do your best to train yourself to not slouch, hunch over, or stand with your shoulders in a forward position.

We also recommend taking regular breaks from technology. Set the phone down and look up. If your job involves a lot of computer time, stand up and move around every hour or so. If you can switch your work so that you are standing sometimes and sitting at others, that’s even better.

A Word About Chronic Pain

We don’t want you to finish this post with the assumption that all lumbar pain is caused by muscle or ligament strange. While such strains are the leading cause of pain in the lower back, there are other conditions capable of generating chronic lumbar pain. If you are experiencing such pain, there are treatments available.

The Lone Star Pain Medicine team would be happy to work with you to identify the cause of lumbar pain. With a diagnosis in hand, we can recommend effective treatments that will help you feel better.

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