Research shows that over 80% of Americans have experienced back pain and spasms at some point in time. One in five Americans suffer from chronic lower back pain. This situation can get aggravated by a fall that you may suffer. At times, back pain can be triggered by simple everyday movements like bending, lifting or twisting. For an active person, constant pain in the lumbar region affects their day-to-day functioning, causing both discomfort and inconvenience.
It’s not just adults who suffer from back injuries. Even children can suffer these injuries. Parents and adults are increasingly seeking alternate solutions that are less invasive and drug dependent. The focus is on allowing the body to heal itself. Techniques such as Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Biofeedback are fast gaining popularity. While one wouldn’t say Chiropractic And Kids in the same breath, the fact is that many kids are treated for back issues by chiropractors.
If you have injured your back in a fall or while lifting or exercising, what are some of the remedial measures that you can take, to prevent further injury and to speed up the recovery process? When is it a case of home recovery and when do you need to schedule a visit to your medical practitioner? Let’s look at these questions in details.
If the injury is minor its best to let the body heal itself over the course of a week or two. A regular twist or pull in the back can be cured by following these basic steps.
- Rest: We are not talking bed rest here. In fact, for minor pulls and strains the doctors advise that you stay active with your daily routines while avoiding activities like bending, lifting and sudden twisting of the back.
- Heat and ice: Apply ice or heat directly to the inflamed area 2-3 times a day for 10-15 minutes each time.
- OTC medication: Over the counter medication such as Tylenol, ibuprofen or naproxen are anti-inflammatory medications that help in reducing the back pain.
- Avoid activities like dancing, jogging, golf and contact sports while you are recovering.
Recovering from a back strain is only one part of the story. You also need to be think about preventing its recurrence.
- Improve your posture. Keep your back straight when you sit. Don’t slouch or hunch your back.
- Be careful when you bend and lift. To lift something heavy get help and bend at your knees not your waist.
- Exercise regularly and keep your weight in check.
- If your pain persists beyond a week or so, or if you feel the intensity is severe enough to immobilize you then you should seek medical attention.
Recovering from a back injury takes some time. Unless you suffer from a chronic back problem, it’s best to let your body heal at its pace. Listen to your body as it recovers. The good news though is that most minor back injuries will not immobilize you.