Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation Treatment questions for doctor specialist Home Care back exercises pain control warning signs Prevention lifting proper posture Outlook Underlying Cause Anatomy

Acute Back Strain or Sprain Home Care

Home care for acute back strain or sprain includes:

Acute Back Strain or Sprain Back Exercises

Acute back strain or sprain exercises should be performed only after symptoms have resolved and an injury has healed.

Back exercises:

  • Abdominal crunch:
    • Lie flat on your back with your knees drawn up to 90 degrees and your feet planted on the floor.
    • Place your hands behind your head and begin by slowly raising your shoulder blades 1 inch off the floor.
    • Then return to the resting position.
    • Focus on flexing the abdominal muscles when you raise your head and shoulders.
    • Do not use your arms to lift your head or bend your neck.
    • You must use your abdominal muscles to perform the exercise.
  • Shoulder shrugs: rotate shoulders upward and backward.
  • Lower neck and upper back stretch:
    • Stand up; place your hands together in front of you.
    • Bend your neck and upper back forward.
    • Reach your hands toward the floor.
  • Seated low-back stretch:
    • Sit on a chair with both feet planted squarely on the floor.
    • Bend down and place your head between your knees.
    • Touch your fingertips on the floor between your feet.

Acute Back Strain or Sprain Pain Control

Medications commonly used to control pain and inflammation in adults with an acute back strain or sprain include:


Acetaminophen
  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Adult dosing is 2 regular strength (325 mg) every 4 hours or 2 extra-strength (500 mg) every 6 hours.
  • Maximum dose is 4,000 mg per day.
  • Avoid this drug if you have alcoholism, liver disease or an allergy to the drug. See the package instructions.
  • Common brand names include Tylenol, Panadol, and many others.

Aspirin

Ibuprofen

Naproxen

Ketoprofen

NSAID Precautions

Acute Back Strain or Sprain Warning Signs

Notify your doctor for an acute back strain or sprain and any of the following:

Continue to Acute Back Strain or Sprain Prevention

Last Updated: Nov 29, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Acute Back Strain or Sprain References
  1. Papadopoulos EC, Khan SN. Piriformis syndrome and low back pain: a new classification and review of the literature. Orthop Clin North Am. 2004 Jan;35(1):65-71. [15062719]
  2. Rugulies R, Krause N. Job strain, iso-strain, and the incidence of low back and neck injuries. A 7.5-year prospective study of San Francisco transit operators. Soc Sci Med. 2005 Jul;61(1):27-39. [1584795]
  3. Tveito TH, Hysing M, Eriksen HR. Low back pain interventions at the workplace: a systematic literature review. Occup Med (Lond). 2004 Jan;54(1):3-13. [14963248]
  4. van der Roer N, Goossens ME, Evers SM, van Tulder MW. What is the most cost-effective treatment for patients with low back pain? A systematic review. Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2005 Aug;19(4):671-84. [15949783]
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