Lower back (lumbar) sprain, i.e., lumbago

Lumbago is a strain of the soft tissues of the lower back. It can be caused by sudden uncontrolled back movement or back spasms. A common symptom of a sprain is a sudden pain in the lower back that feels like a spasm or cramp. A sprained injury irritates the pain nerve endings in the outermost filaments, ligaments, and muscles, and this causes severe pain and discomfort.


Common symptoms 

  • Sharp and shooting pain
  • Stiffness
  • Restriction of movement in the lower back
  • Radiating pain (in the buttocks/thighs)
  • Prolonged sitting is painful
  • Standing up is difficult
  • Getting up after laying down is difficult and uncomfortable

There is rarely a severe back disease (e.g., spinal cancer, disc herniation, organic disease, or displacement of a vertebrae) behind lumbago. Though the pain is severe, in most cases it is not due to a serious back disease and will ease in a few days.

If you experience the following symptoms in addition to back pain, you should always seek first aid:

  • Urinary or bowel incontinence
  • Rapid decrease in lower limb strength
  • Increased feeling of weakness, numbness, and numbness in the lower limbs
  • Severe abdominal pain or unbearable pain that does not subside in any position

Risk factors for lumbago 

The cause of sudden lower back pain can depend on many different factors. Below are a few examples:

  • Overburdened back caused from everyday life, work, or hobbies
  • Moving the (lower) back incorrectly (for a long time)
  • Sudden movement (bending or twisting of the back)
  • Stress
  • Doing physically demanding work that you are not used to
  • Poor physical condition (passive)
  • Presence of a hernia in the (lower) back

How to get moving after lower back pain: 

When the back hurts, the natural reaction of a person is to avoid pain. In normal lower back pain, which does not involve an accident or severe nerve root compression, movement is not harmful. On the contrary, light movement and performing daily chores often relieve symptoms.

Get started safely with the following instructions:

  • Despite back pain, it is safe to move and work. Adjust your daily habits during the first, more painful days and prefer a short rest, for example in the lower back psoas rest position.
  • Gradually increase your activity and regulate your activity based on time rather than pain.
  • Relax and relieve pain with diaphragmatic breathing.
  • When the worst phase of pain in the first few days is over, it is a good idea to start a gentle restoration of back mobility and functionality by practicing, among other things, the movements you need in your work and everyday life. You will receive guidance and counseling from a physiotherapist to choose the right exercises and prevent the recurrence of back pain.