An Erector spinae injury occurs when the muscles and connective tissues of the lower back become overused or stretched beyond their normal range of movement.
Erector spinae pain can occasionally occur at the time of the injury, whilst playing a sport, perhaps a slip or trip. Maybe over-stretching when lifting something heavy or you’ve wrenched your back twisting awkwardly digging in the garden.
More often than not though, an erector spinae strain isn’t felt straight away, making you unaware something has happened. The pain tends to develop during the night when you’ve been in bed sleeping, you get out of bed the next day and the back feels very painful.
Sometimes the erector spinae injury will lock or go into a spasm but this natural mechanism is actually there to protect the area by stopping you from doing more damage to the tissues.
The symptoms are usually localised in the lower back. Occasionally you will get radiating symptoms, where you get a referral down into the buttock or even in the back of the leg like sciatica.
The tissues of the lower back become irritated and inflamed and it’s this inflammation that causes the pain and stiffness. This natural guarding mechanism of pain and stiffness is there to stop you from moving and doing more damage.
Nine times out of ten, an erector spinae muscle tear is not serious and in most cases, they will eventually disappear on their own. However, it can be very debilitating. It may be weeks before the back starts to feel easier again unless you get the correct treatment promptly.
Treatment for a torn erector spinae muscle
If you want more information on treating an erector spinae injury then get your symptoms assessed first with our pain assessment tool.
Once you’ve identified the likely cause you’ll be able to download a treatment guide. It will tell you everything you need to know to treat the condition, manage the pain effectively and help prevent re-injury.