Four of the most common causes of tight muscles of the low back (or anywhere in the body) are: overuse, splinting, adaptive shortening, and overstretching.
Low back muscle spasming is common because lumbar extensor muscles must contract eccentrically, isometrically, and concentrically whenever we bend forward.
Manual therapy treatment for low back muscle tightness involves hot and cold hydrotherapy, soft tissue manipulation, stretching, and joint mobilization.
Self care for a low back strain / sprain involves avoiding offending postures and activities such as bending and lifting, and using heat and stretching.
For a low back strain / sprain, because the muscles of the low back are so large and powerful, the first goal of manual therapy is to reduce the spasming.
A low back sprain and strain present a similar clinical picture. The client/patient will have low back spasming and pain, which will increase with motion.
The two most common causes for a low back sprain / strain are macrotrauma and repetitive microtraumas, often involving bending and lifting.
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