A stretching injury to the ligaments, tendons, and/or muscles of the low back. The stretching incident results in microscopic tears of varying degrees in these tissues. Lumbar strain is one of the most common causes of low back pain. The injury can occur because of overuse, improper use, or trauma. It is classified as “acute” if it has been present for days to weeks. If the strain lasts longer than 3 months, it is referred to as “chronic.”
Lumbar strain most often occurs in persons in their forties, but can happen at any age. The condition is characterized by localized discomfort in the low back area with onset after an event that mechanically stressed the lumbar tissues. The diagnosis of lumbar strain is based on the history of injury, the location of the pain, and exclusion of nervous system injury. Usually, x-ray testing is only helpful to exclude bone abnormalities.
The treatment of lumbar strain consists of resting the back (to avoid re-injury), medications to relieve pain and muscle spasm, local heat applications, massage, and eventual (after the acute episode resolves) reconditioning exercises to strengthen the low back and abdominal muscles. Long periods of inactivity in bed are no longer promoted as this treatment may actually slow recovery. Spinal manipulation for periods of up to 1 month has been found helpful in some patients that do not have signs of nerve irritation. Future injury is avoided by using back protection techniques during activities and support devices as needed at home or work.
- Lumbar vertebrae
The five vertebrae situated between the thoracic vertebrae and the sacral vertebrae in the spinal column. The lumbar vertebrae are represented by the symbols L1 through L5.
A luminous term referring to the channel within a tube such as a blood vessel or to the cavity within a hollow organ such as the intestine. Lumen is a luminous term because it is Latin for light, including the light that comes through a window. When a hollow organ is cut across, you can […]
The surgical removal of a small tumor, which may be benign or cancerous. In common use, lumpectomy refers especially to removal of a lump from the breast. Lumpectomy, often with chemotherapy or radiation therapy, can be an alternative to mastectomy in cases of nonmetastatic breast cancer.
- Lung cancer, familial
Lung cancer that recurs in families. Lung cancer can occur sporadically in people with no known family history of lung cancer or it can recur in two or more members of the same family and constitute familial lung cancer. A gene for familial lung cancer is on the long (q) arm of chromosome 6 in […]
- Lung cancer, non-small cell
Cancer of the lung which is not of the small cell carcinoma (oat cell carcinoma) type. The term “non-small cell lung cancer” is generally applied to the various types of bronchogenic carcinomas (those arising from the lining of the bronchi) which include adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and large cell undifferentiated carcinoma. The distinction between small […]