What is it?
Sprains and strains of the spine are micotears and over stretching and injury to the muscles and ligaments of the spine. This can lead to pain and limited movement of the spine.

How does it occur?
Spinal sprains and strains occur when the muscles and ligaments of the spine are over stretched or exposed to loads, such as heavy lifting, or performing an activity the spine is not conditioned or used too.

What are the symptoms?
Sprains and strains cause pain which is made worse with movement or activities. There may be decreased or altered range of motion.

How is it evaluated?
A history and physical examination will help to identify and confirm a sprain and strain is present. X-rays and other tests are usually not needed. If the suspected sprain or strain does not improve, x-rays or an MRI may be needed.

How is it treated?
Sprains and strains require activity modifications and over the counter analgesics, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen. Physical therapy can help to decrease pain, improve spine strength and range of motion.

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