Lumbosacral Sprain

A lumbosacral sprain is a ligament injury in the lumbar or sacral areas (lower back). A sprain usually occurs after a forceful or rapid movement which overstretches and maybe tears a ligament.

Symptoms of a Lumbosacral Sprain

Symptoms of a Lumbosacral sprain may be similar to many low back injuies and conditions. Pain in the lower back which is often located to one side of the spine. There will be pain when bending and twisting, muscle spasm and stiffness in the back. The area may be tender to touch over the area of injury and there may be some swelling.

Causes

Lumbosacral sprains are ligament injuries caused by overstretching a ligament and possibly tearing it. This usually occurs due to a sudden forceful or rapid movement, especially twisting or side bending.

There are a number of ligaments which could be damaged in the lower back area. The 5 lumbar vertebrae are held together by ligaments at the front and back, as well as inbetween the transverse processes. These are most likely to be injured.

The sacroiliac joints are also held together by ligaments, although as there is very little movement available at these ligaments, the risk of injury is low. The final ligament which may be injured is the Iliolumbar ligament. This passes from the top of the pelvis bone, to the transverse processe of the 5th lumbar vertebrae.

Treatment of lumbosacral sprain

  • Rest from activities which aggravate the injury.
  • Apply ice or cold therapy to ease pain and inflammation.
  • A Doctor may recommend anti-inflammatory medications.
  • After the initial acute period, sports massage may help to relax muscle spasms.
  • Once pain-free to do so, gentle stretching exercises will help regain full movement.
  • If symptoms persist, seek medical attention.
  • Also seek medical attention if there are any neural symptoms such as tingling or numbness.
  • Sports massage may be used to help ease muscle tension.

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