Symptoms that accompany this condition range from a mild ache to sudden debilitating pain. Classic symptoms of a lower back pulled muscle include some combination of the following:
• The pain is usually localized to the lower back, so it doesn’t radiate into the leg
• The lower back may be tender to touch
• Pain usually occurs suddenly
• There may be associated muscle spasms
• Symptoms usually improve upon resting
• Standing or walking may become difficult.
The severe back pain may resolve quickly, but a lower level of pain, or intermittent flare-ups of pain, may continue for a few weeks or months.
The majority of episodes of acute lower back pain are the result of damage to the muscles and/or ligaments in the low back. While a muscle strain may not be a grave injury, the resulting lower back pain can be quite severe.
There are two common types of lower back strain:
• A muscle strain: occurs upon over-stretching or tearing of a muscle, resulting in damage to the muscle fibers (also called a pulled muscle).
• A lumbar sprain: occurs upon over-stretching or tearing of ligaments.
When participating in any sport, injuries to any part of the spine are possible, as well as injuries to the soft tissue and fascia that help comprise the makeup of the body. Up to 20% of all injuries that occur in sports involve an injury to the lower back or neck.
Lower Back Injury
The lower back is subject to a great deal of strain in many sports. Sports that use repetitive impact (e.g., running) or weight loading at the end of a range-of-motion (e.g., weightlifting) commonly cause damage to the lower back.
The neck is most commonly injured in sports that involve contact which jeopardizes the stability of the cervical spine (neck).
Upper Back Injury
The thoracic spine (mid portion of the spine at the level of the rib cage) is less likely to be injured because it is relatively immobile and has extra support. Injuries in this part of the back involve intercostal muscle strains in sports that involve rotation of the torso (e.g. weight training with rotation), swimming, golf, tennis, and even skiing.
1- Stretching and Warm-Up Prior to Exercise
New evidence has emerged showing that stretching the muscles prior to exercise is not needed, and that it does not help prevent injury, and likely does no harm either. It used to be a recommended practice prior to any type of exercise.
For every sport, a thorough warm-up should be completed before engaging in play. The warm-up will target the muscles used in that sport, but it should also prepare the back for the stresses to come.
The warm-up used should be specific to the sport to be played. A typical warm-up should include:
• Increasing blood circulation to the area you’re targeting in your exercise gradually by doing some easy movement (such as walking) to increase blood circulation to the muscles and ligaments of the back
• Stretch the lower and upper back and related muscles, including hamstrings and quadriceps
• Start slowly with the sport movements
There are professional who can teach the correct form for a new sport or help develop and keep the proper technique for a current sport, including stretching, exercise routines for specific sports, and additional information designed to benefit your personal routine.