A lumbar sprain refers to the overstretching or tearing of the ligaments in the lower back (the lumbar spine).

Most lumbar sprains are caused by heavy lifting, twisting motions, sports activities, poor posture or body mechanics, motor vehicle accidents, and falls.

Symptoms of a lumbar sprain are dependent on the severity of the injury. Most sprains are graded on a scale from first degree to third degree, and the symptoms range from little or no pain (first degree) to severe pain and joint instability (third degree).

Individuals with a lumbar sprain may experience:

  • Back pain or tenderness
  • Swelling or bruising in the lower back
  • Pain when moving the back in daily activities
  • A “popping” or “tearing” feeling in the lower back
  • Warmth or redness of the skin over the injured area
  • Limited mobility, including bending and lifting motions

If you experience pain in your back that does not go away after a short period of rest, ice application and anti-inflammatory medication, schedule an evaluation with one of our spine specialists at Lancaster Orthopedic Group.

Your physician will take a complete medical history and perform a physical exam to determine the cause of your pain and the best course of treatment. If your symptoms persist, steroidal medication or injections in conjunction with physical therapy may be recommended.

In severe cases, surgical intervention may be needed to repair a torn ligament.