Soft tissue injuries are a common cause of low back pain. The vertebrae of the lower back are supported by many soft tissues including tendons and ligaments attached directly to it and others that stabilize supporting structures like the pelvis. Soft tissue injuries affect the non-bony and non-disc portions of the spine.
Back strain is a fairly broad category and about 80% of back and neck pain is muscle-related. The stomach muscles, or abdominals, enable the back to bend forward. They also assist in lifting. The abdominals work with the buttock muscles to support the spine. The oblique muscles go around the side of the body to provide additional support to the spine. Unnecessary stress to the spine can be a contributing factor to an injury involving soft spinal structures.
When soft tissues are overstretched (sprained or strained) they become irritated and can cause pain. Low back pain from minor stretch injuries usually goes away on its own with enough rest, more severe injuries, however, require medical attention and set the stage for chronic low back pain.
Micro-trauma or mini-injuries to soft tissue may result from improper movement, especially when repeated. Soft tissue injuries can cause pain, swelling, bruising, and loss of function in some cases.
There are various types of soft tissue injuries, which include contusions, sprains, strains, tendonitis, bursitis, and stress injuries. I have been suffering from bursitis for over 8 months now. I have tried the RICE (see below) technique but it is proving quite difficult to heal. Stretch injuries can range from a few torn fibrils in the soft tissue to partial and complete tears.
Soft tissues that heal incompletely can lose tightness and the ability to support and stability. Lax soft tissues can affect areas other than the spine, however, and still lead to low back pain. Loose ligaments in the sacroiliac joint region, where the spine joins the pelvis, can destabilize the hip and compromise its ability to support the spine. Excess tension is placed on structures in the spine and soft tissues are left to compensate for this instability. This in turn leads to low back pain and irritation of soft tissues involved in compensating for hip instability.
Treatment depends on the type of soft tissue injury. In general, the best initial treatment for a soft tissue injury is RICE, which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
Another treatment could be Prolotherapy, which is an injection-based regenerative treatment, that works by injecting healing substances to the site of injury and triggering inflammation. By doing this, the treatment recruits healing components to the site of injury to further the healing process.