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Low Back Strain

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When Will My Lower Back Strain Feel Better?

Recovery time depends on how serious your low back strain is. Mild cases may resolve in a couple of days. It can take many weeks for more serious strains. Remember that everyone heals at a different rate.

Once the back pain is gone, your doctor will probably want you to start a regular exercise routine. This will get your back muscles stronger and more limber. It will help you recover, and reduce your odds of low back strain in the future. Your doctor will probably want you to take up low impact sports, like swimming or using a stationary bike.

Whatever you do, don't rush things. Don't try to return to your previous level of physical activity until:

  • You can move as easily -- without stiffness -- as you did before your injury.
  • You feel no pain when you bend, twist, walk, run, and jump.

If you start pushing yourself before your low back strain is healed, you could end up with chronic back pain and permanent injury.

How Can I Prevent Low Back Strain?

Here are some tips to help you avoid low back strain:

  • If you feel any low back pain during physical activity, stop.
  • If you feel low back pain within a day of stepping up your workout, take it easy for a few days.
  • Get your back in shape. Exercise and stretch your back muscles regularly.
  • Avoid sleeping on your stomach. Sleep on your back or your side, and wedge a pillow under or beneath your legs.
  • When picking up something heavy, bend at the knees, not at the waist.
  • Lose weight if you are overweight.
  • Adopt good posture. Sit straight in chairs, with your back against the chair's back.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by William Blahd, MD on August 03, 2014
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