Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Acute Back Strain or Sprain Treatment

The most common treatment for an acute back strain or sprain is rest, stretching exercises, and pain medications. In some cases, severe muscle spasms may require treatment with medications that relax the muscles. It is important to avoid activities that make the back pain worse. However, recovery is prolonged for those who rest in bed for more than one or two days. With treatment and rest, an acute back sprain or strain usually resolves within one week. For prolonged pain, most people with acute back pain benefit from physical therapy, which includes muscle stretching and muscle strengthening exercises.

Treatment for acute back strain or sprain may include:


For more information:

Acute Back Strain or Sprain Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of acute back strain or sprain.

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
    • Is surgery an option for me?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • How long will I be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Do I need to change my diet?
  • Do I need to lose weight?
  • Do I need to start an exercise program?
  • Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
  • How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
  • What local support and other resources are available?

Acute Back Strain or Sprain Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat acute back strain or sprain:

Continue to Acute Back Strain or Sprain Home Care

Last Updated: Feb 15, 2011 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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