Muscle Strain/Sprain

Sherri O’Connor, PA-C

The spine is supported by a series of ligaments and muscles that must work together. Injuries may occur without warning, from a fall, lifting a heavy object, trauma, or seemingly nothing at all. Treatment begins by first obtaining an accurate history and physical examination. The history and physical provide the basis upon which your doctor can build a treatment plan. Most sprains or strains will simply resolve. Often times rest, time and a little medication to reduce pain and inflammation can quiet the symptoms. However, if symptoms continue for weeks imaging is useful and prudent. Radiographs can provide valuable information to the state of the spine, the presence of fractures or deformity and will help refine the diagnosis. Rarely at the early stages of an injury is an MRI needed. Rather, conservative care is the mainstay of treatment for a sprain or strain. It might involve rest, activity modification, therapy and medications. The treatments are intended to restore a patient to their pre injury state. This process and treatment can take several months but mostly a patient will recover and return to their normal everyday activities.

© O’Connor “Back Pain: Common Diagnosis and Treatment”