Treatment options for a lumbosacral strain depend on a number of factors, including the severity of the injury as well as individual symptoms. Some of the most frequently used methods of treatment for this type of injury include rest, ice therapy, and the use of over-the-counter or prescription medications. Mild exercise, physical therapy, and supportive devices may also be used to treat a lumbosacral strain in some cases. A doctor should be consulted in order to obtain an accurate diagnosis and to develop an individualized treatment plan based on specific needs.
An initial period of rest may be recommended for those who have sustained moderate to severe injuries resulting in a lumbosacral strain. As soon as possible, mild physical activity and gentle stretching exercises may be implemented to help strengthen the muscles of the back and speed up the healing process. The patient may be referred to a physical therapist, who can assist in creating a safe exercise program that will not result in additional damage to the lower back.
Ice therapy is typically recommended to treat pain and inflammation associated with a lumbosacral strain, especially for the first few days following the injury. The ice pack is usually wrapped in a towel to protect the skin from injury and then applied to the affected area. The general guideline is to apply the ice pack for 15 minutes at a time, and the process can be repeated several times per day.
Over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin or ibuprofen are frequently used to treat the discomfort associated with a lumbosacral strain. In more severe cases or if over-the-counter medications do not provide sufficient relief, prescription pain medications or muscle relaxants may be used. Occasionally, pain medications may be injected directly into the lower back to provide immediate pain relief.
Supportive devices such as back braces or crutches may sometimes be used in the treatment of a lumbosacral strain. A back brace may be used to stabilize the lower back in order to avoid further injury. Crutches are sometimes recommended when the patient needs to retain limited mobility. These supportive devices are designed to be used for only a short period of time, as prolonged use can weaken the muscles of the lower back and may cause additional problems. The supervising physician or physical therapist will instruct the patient on the proper use of these devices in an individual situation.