Back Dr. Specialist Hint – Call Dr. Nguyen, The Top Lumbar Back Injury Doctor
Lumbar spine, also called lower spine, is prone to injuries. One of the injuries that affect the lumbar area is a pulled muscle. Alternatively called a lower back strain, a pulled muscle involves damage to the soft tissues of the lower spine. These include ligaments, tendons, and muscles. The most prudent action to take when you have a lower back strain is to call a reliable back injury doctor in your area. He or she will examine your lower back area and determine the exact root of pain.
As you might know, your lumbar spine uses the aforementioned soft tissues to support your torso weight and to keep your body upright. If this part of your spinal cord is put under excessive pressure, the soft tissues can be damaged and this can hurt. Although a pulled muscle on your back may not seem like a serious injury, it can cause severe muscle spasms and ache. Thus, we would recommend seeing a back dr. specialist as soon as possible.
Forms of lower back strain
Generally, the lumbar back strain involves two kinds of soft tissue injuries. These include the following:
- Lumbar sprain – This injury happens when your ligaments are torn or stretched beyond limit. While ligaments are firm and fibrous enough to connect your bones together, they can overstretch.
- Muscle strain – This one occurs when your muscle fibers start to tear due overuse or a tear. This kind of injury is called a pulled muscle.
Regardless of the strain you have suffered, symptoms will be almost identical. Thus, your back doctor NYC will not have to carry out special tests to diagnose each of these injuries.
What happens when there is a lower back strain?
The most obvious outcome is inflammation and muscle spasms. When lumbar spine’s soft tissues are injured or torn, the neighboring areas will get inflamed or swollen. If this happens, it is an indication that your body is naturally responding to a lower back strain. In the course of this, blood is usually pushed toward the injury point to initiate healing. As well, inflamed muscles can spasm, cramp and contract tightly. The result of all this is a lot of pain that must be seen by your back injury doctor. Sometimes the cause or root of pain is not the lower back itself.
Pain can be felt if other muscles that reinforce your lower spine get damaged. These include buttocks, pelvis, hips and hamstring muscles. When these get injured, the impact can be felt across the lower back. It can also affect your buttocks and hip area. By visiting your back dr. specialist, you can go back home knowing if these muscles are hurt and so triggering your lower back discomfort. To know if you have a lumbar spine strain, your back injury doctor will ask you if you have noticed the following signs:
- Pain that is intense from the first time it is felt
- Pain that increases when you make certain body movements, such as when you bend forward or backward or when you stand straight. This is because such movements or postures arouse the injured muscle, causing a flare-up of pain. If you feel pain when moving out of your bed in the morning, the cause could be a lower back strain.
- If you feel consistent dull, low back pain plus stiffness, there must be a pulled muscle somewhere. Until it heals, perhaps in one to two weeks if it’s not serious, the ache will be regular. If your ache is accompanied by sensations like tingling or burning, chances are that you have a pinched or an irritated nerve root instead of a pulled muscle.
- Pain that is localized in your lumbar area. If there is a pulled or strained muscle in your lower back area, you will feel a localized sort of pain. But, as noted above, when muscles in your lower extremities are injured, the pain can spread to your buttocks and hips. But, if it travels down your legs and feet, it is usually not caused by a pulled muscle; it is usually categorized as sciatica and it needs the attention of a great back injury doctor.
- Your lower back area feels stiff and/or you have difficulties when standing or walking. If you have a strained lumbar muscle, chances are that you will not bend, walk or stand for long periods of time without feeling hurt. As well as this, your back might ache when you try to shift positions. To clarify whether you have a pulled muscle, visit a back dr. specialist as soon as possible.
- Pain gets better or disappears when one takes a rest. If you notice that your low back doesn’t continue hurting when you take a rest, you have a strained muscle. When you rest, the muscle calms down and gets rid of tension and spasms. You can try sitting in a recliner type of chair with your legs raised or try lying in your bed or floor with your knees a little bit raised. This can cause a temporary pain relief. But, you will know for sure that you have a pulled muscle if the pain worsens when you try to get up and move. So go straight to a back doctor NYC clinic and get examined.
A pulled muscle injury is not as hard to diagnose as other kinds of back injuries. A knowledgeable and experienced back dr. specialist will diagnose your lower back strain without doing a lot of tests. As for helping you heal faster, a back injury doctor cannot do much if your muscle tear is too serious. A complete muscle tear can take several months to heal while a moderately serious injury can take about a month and a half.
How bad can the pain get and cause you to call a back doctor NYC?
Pain from a pulled back muscle can be mild, moderate or intense and terrible. If truly there is a back muscle strain, your pain will start to increase in a couple of hours or days after the injury happens. Luckily, a muscle injury is not as bad as a joint injury that can cause long-term problems. If your ache gets so severe that you cannot stand up, walk, bend or perform simple chores around your house, that’s when you should call your back injury doctor. If you have waited for one week, two weeks or longer without feeling relieved, the right measure to take is to visit the best back dr. specialist near you. He or she will diagnose the pain and treat it so it can stop disrupting your day to day life.
Muscle spasms and the pain
The main cause of lower back pain when you have strained a muscle is spasms. That’s because muscles are knotted within and around an extensive branch of nerves that transmit pain. When there is a muscle strain or a pulled muscle in your lumbar area, you will feel sudden, intense pain and it’s good to call your back injury doctor about it. Thus, you hurt a muscle mostly when working and your work involves lifting and carrying heavy things. As well, some people injure a muscle in their back when playing their favorite sport.
If you are not willing to wait a week or two to see if your pain will disappear, visit your local back dr. specialist and get it diagnosed and treated right away. But if you are willing to wait and see what will happen, expect to feel less pain in certain days and irregular periods of intense pain flare-ups. This can go on for a whole month or a month and a half after your injury. One thing you should keep in mind is that a muscle strain can occur abruptly due to a suffered injury or develop gradually over a long period of time due to repeated motions that cause overuse of a muscle and/or joint. As well, it’s good to note that your lower back muscle strain can happen due to improper lifting, repetitive motions and poor posture.
Your back doctor NYC specialist can check your acute or chronic muscle strain
If your pulled muscle injury is acute, it must have occurred due to a single injury that damaged your tendon, muscle or ligament. Acute muscle injuries tend to happen soon after an abrupt, jarring impact that probably results from a vehicle accident. They can also happen suddenly when you are lifting heavy loads or your activity exerts excessive pressure on your spine. Acute muscle injury and pain should be addressed by the best back dr. specialist you can find to ensure that a proper diagnosis is offered.
There is also a possibility that your lower back pain due to a muscle pull has become chronic. This type of strain results when you keep using a muscle when working or playing a sport until it starts to deteriorate. People who are more susceptible to chronic muscle strains are those in sports or doing strenuous jobs. So, it helps to know a good back injury specialist if you are in danger of getting hurt in your lumbar area.
How the diagnosis is like
The following are the main steps that a great back dr. specialist will carry out when you visit them in their office.
- Finding out your medical history – It is advisable to be totally open about your medical background data when asked by your favorite back doctor NYC. Talk about your current symptoms, when they begun, whether you had an injury that triggered your symptoms and if your pain was sudden or has been worsening over time. As well, tell your back injury doctor about your favorite exercises and their levels, your sleeping postures and whether you live with a certain disease.
- Physical exam and testing – To identify a pulled muscle, your back dr. specialist will conduct tests for the range of motion and flexibility in your lumbar area. These tests will also be done in your pelvic, hip and hamstring areas as if those muscles are injured, pain could run across your lower back. If there are spinal abnormalities, your back injury doctor will perform palpation (feeling along your lumbar spine). If these are found, that will be the cause of your lumbar discomfort. A leg raise test is often done to look for a nerve root irritation. If it’s found, then your back dr. specialist will exclude issues like spinal stenosis and herniated disc. For fear that a muscle injury needs to be confirmed, an imaging test like a MRI or an X-ray can be performed. But these tests are seldom done, unless there is a suspected fracture, herniated disc or tumor. Prior to doing a MRI test, any great back injury doctor will perform an X-ray. The former is only done if something that your doctor is suspecting does not get captured by the X-ray.
Treatment by your back doctor NYC
If the diagnosis is positive, the obvious thing that will be done next is offering treatment for the lumbar muscle strain. This kind of problem is easier to diagnose and treat than any other kind of back injury, of course. It’s just the muscle that is hurt and so the treatment plan provided by any back dr. specialist should be less complicated. This plan should include NSAIDs like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen to reduce inflammation and pain. To improve pain reduction, your back injury doctor might provide acetaminophen. This is a painkiller that alters how the brain interprets pain signals.
If it’s not offered directly, the back dr. specialist will include it as a potent ingredient in another drug, including an opioid. Muscle relaxants are also good drugs when it comes to reducing painful muscle spasms. While these do not directly affect your muscles, they dampen your Central Nervous System’s pain receptors causing a good feeling. That’s why some people develop an addiction to them and since they have several side effects, a knowledgeable back injury doctor will prescribe them in moderation.
Other than drugs, you can use ice packs to reduce inflammation after suffering a muscle injury. If you place cold packs over the painful muscles every ten to twenty minutes, you will feel better. Heat packs can also be used to improve blood circulation, reduce tension and promote healing. But never apply these interchangeably with the cold packs; wait to use them 48 hours after the injury happens. Moreover, seek professional massage therapist’s help, exercise your body and improve your back posture. Lastly, ask your back injury doctor to suggest the best massage therapists and chiropractors, if needed.