Lumbar sprain (lower back pain)

It felt like my back was being squeezed in a vice...

Entorse lombaire /Lumbago / Tour de reinVery few people can say they’ve never experienced a lumbar sprain, commonly called “lower back pain.” We estimate that over 80% of people (all ages combined) will experience lower back pain at some point in their life. When it happens, it can be so severe that the person very often ends up bedridden.


Pain while walking, sitting, and even lying down; there are very few positions that are not painful—even breathing can be excruciating. A sudden lumbar sprain, while extremely unpleasant, is a common condition that is not overly serious in itself and should not be cause for major concern.


Relief can come in the form of rest, alternating applications of heat and ice, and over-the-counter painkillers. However, it is important to understand that a lumbar sprain can be indicative of a much deeper, more serious problem that requires treatment, especially in the case of repeated sprains. In conclusion, “lower back pain” is merely a symptom—when the problem becomes recurring, then it’s time to identify the root causes.


The causes

Below are a few of the many causes of lumbar sprain:

  • an injury to a muscle, tendon or ligament;
  • disc degeneration (disc aging);
  • herniated disc;
  • spondylolisthesis (overlapping vertebrae);
  • arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, inflammatory rheumatic disease;
  • fractured vertebra;
  • gynecological problem or critical illness, such as cancer.

When to consult?

If you are still in extreme pain after three days, despite the conventional treatments mentioned above, it would be a good idea to consult.

Dr. Robidoux Chiropractor weighs in

Dr. André Robidoux ChiropractorI started practicing in the late 1960s and experience has taught me that most adults will experience back pain at some point in their life. If this happens only rarely and self treatment works well, then there is no need for concern—simply let nature take its course.

However, when the back pain becomes chronic and repetitive, and conservative treatment and your grandmother’s good old “mustard plaster” don’t work anymore, you shouldn’t hesitate to consult. The sooner you consult, the better your chances of recovering quickly. Do yourself a favour and make sure there’s nothing more serious lurking behind your chronic lower back pain; do it for your health and quality of life.

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