Low back strains and therapeutic ultrasound
Low back muscles strains are common in almost everyone due to improper lifting techniques and low core strength. Compounded by the fact that most people spend their whole day sitting at a desk, low back pain can make every movement a little more painful. There are ways to treat and prevent this debilitating condition with core strengthening exercises as well as therapeutic ultrasound.
Whether it is an acute or chronic back strain, it is caused by tearing of micro tears in the tissues that hold the spine in place and support your back. As the spine gets less stable the pressure builds on the spine which causes pain. The nerves in the spinal cord of your back are also pain receptors for different parts of the body which can make a low back strain even more painful as it puts pressure on the nerves.
Common causes of low back strain include unusual physical exertion, falling down, bending or crouching in an awkward fashion, improperly lifting heavy objects, sitting for extended periods of time, emotional stress, and improper posture or not having strong enough core strength. Keep in mind that low back strain can’t be blamed for all low back pain as there are a number of other things that could be wrong. Some other conditions that would cause low back pain include herniated discs, fractured bones, pinched nerves, arthritis or infections.
When you hurt your low back it can sometimes be difficult to focus on anything else. The following are the symptoms that are associated with low back strain: pain or stiffness in the back, pain in the glutes or hamstrings, and pain that worsens when coughing or bending. With low back pain you have to be careful as some of the symptoms are similar to more serious conditions. Any numbness or weakness in your legs, or bowel/bladder problems can be a sign of nerve damage that would be a much more serious health problem.
A proper diagnosis of low back strain will require a thorough physical exam by a doctor. If there is any doubt that it may be something more serious than a strain you will undergo an image scanning procedure such as X-Rays, MRIs, or CT scan. These will be ordered only if the condition is serious enough to warrant the need or if the pain doesn’t respond to treatment.
As painful as a lower back strain can be, there are ways to remedy and treat the area. Given time most sprains will heal up but there are methods such as therapeutic ultrasound that will speed recovery. For a speedy recovery you should ice the area as soon as you feel pain. After a few days of icing it periodically you can apply some heat once the swelling has dissipated. Taking a muscle relaxant or pain killer can help reduce the swelling and help you to cope with the pain.
Therapeutic exercises and modalities will help you to build up strength and can decrease the likelihood of re-straining the low back once it has healed. The therapist may use ultrasound therapy which encourages circulation and warms the tissue resulting in more flexibility and less inflammation. Even if you don’t go to physical therapy it is important that you get some physical activity to keep the muscles from getting too tight.
Take care of your lower back and it will take care of you. By exercising every day and being careful how you twist throughout the day you can prevent most low back strains. If they do occur make sure to ice them and seek out physical therapy including ultrasound therapy to speed recovery.