The difference between a strain and a sprain is the type of connective tissues that are affected. A lumbar strain is when muscles, or tendons, in your lower back are overstretched. 

The pain from lumbar strains may be sudden but can also begin hours after the injury has occurred. Lumbar strains are often caused by:

  • Lifting
  • Straining
  • Contact Sports
  • Trauma

A lumbar sprain is when ligaments in your lower back are overstretched. Typically, sprains take longer to heal. They can take as little as 4 to 6 weeks, but pain can also linger for up to 3 months. A typical strain can heal within 1-3 days without any specific treatment.