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Pain Free Friday Tip June 10 – Treating a lumbar sprain or strain

In my best-selling book Knock Out Pain: Secrets to Maintain a Healthy Back, I have a chapter on lumbar sprains. Lumbar sprains in the back are soft tissue injuries that usually heal with time. They usually heal within a few days. I’ve outlined some treatments that can help facilitate your healing. You can use pain medicine such as acetaminophen, commonly called Tylenol. You can also try anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or known as Motrin to reduce the local pain and inflammation. However, you need to avoid those medications if you have kidney disease or are on blood thinners. Or have GI conditions or heart problems. Sometimes they can also elevate blood pressure. So don’t take anti-inflammatory medications for granted. Make sure you don’t have one of the risks associated with taking these medications. With lumbar sprains, you can also take muscle relaxers on a short-term basis. These can help relieve lower back pain and help with muscle spasms. However,  these medications can cause drowsiness, so take them with caution, or take them at night.  Sometimes when you have a lumbar sprain or strain you can have a massage, and this can help promote blood flow in the lower back. This will also help to loosen the tight lower back muscles and releases endorphins – the body’s natural pain killers. If your lumbar strain or sprain does not heal quickly, you can also consider going to a trial or physical therapy. Where you can have gentle, manual manipulation.  And this can be done to help losen tight back muscles and promote healing, in the lower back. And what’s the big question we all want to know? When to use ice.  Use ice immediately because ice can help reduce inflammation and it works very well for muscle spasms.  You can also use heat if you have a strain or a sprain but don’t use it initially.  Use ice initially. Now I hope these tips have been helpful to you.