What's the third leading cause of disease burden in Australia? Are you surprised to discover that back pain is the culprit?
Back pain is common, but that doesn't make it any less impactful in the lives of millions of people dealing with chronic back pain or back pain due to a recent injury.
So what to do when you hurt your back? Should you pop a pain reliever, take a nap and call it good?
That might do the trick, but to play it safe, here are six steps to take right away if you've hurt your back and you're unsure of what to do next:
Cease Rigorous Activity Immediately
Wondering what to do when you hurt your back? The first thing to do is to cease all rigorous physical sport and activity. You need to take it easy so that you don't injure your back further. Even if you were in the middle of a tame game of ball, as soon as you injure your back, it's time to call it quits.
From there, make sure not to pick up any heavy items (this includes heavy children if needs be), and take a break from your vigorous exercise until your doctor gives you the go ahead.
Be careful about brushing off back pain. If you push your body past its limit, you could cause permanent damage.
What to Do When You Hurt Your Back? Ice It First
Within the first 72 hours of an injury, treat your back pain with ice and ice alone. Wrap the ice pack in a towel to keep your skin from getting too cold too quickly, and try to leave the ice pack in place for at least 10-20 minutes at a time. This will help to reduce painful nerve activity and any swelling.
After 3 days you can alternate between ice packs and heating pads to treat the pain.
Engage in Normal Active Activity
Don't get confused. While it's true you should stop any rigorous physical activity immediately following a back injury, resting too much will make it harder for your back to heal. Walking and moving around gently is good for your back so long as you lay off the lifting.
So while you should steer clear of contact sports, resist the urge to stay in bed all day. Moving will get the blood flowing to your sore muscles and help your back bounce, well, back.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you don't think you injured your back too badly, it's smart to have a doctor check it out just in case. If you can schedule a same-day appointment, take it.
Your doctor will check to make sure everything is ok with your back. More than likely your injury won't warrant serious treatment methods, but it's better to play it safe. Your doctor will probably advise that you take it easy for a few days so that you can be back to normal.
Of course, some back injuries can be quite serious, so they need treatment right away. Trust your doctor and their recommendations and heed their advice.
Visit a Good Chiropractor
You might also consider scheduling an appointment with a reputable chiropractor to assist you with any muscle pain. A visit to the chiropractor can ease tension, relax muscles, and help you heal more quickly.
While doctors are a sensible first stop after a back injury occurs, and they can provide you with helpful pain medication, a local chiropractor can realign your back and make the whole process of healing less painful overall.
How will you know a good chiropractor from one that you should be wary of? Well, start by researching their background and experience. Where were they trained and with what methods? They should offer a variety of treatments to target back pain wherever it occurs.
The best chiropractors can serve the needs of young and old patients alike, whether their pain is due to a serious back injury or as the result of daily office work sitting in the same chair for hours on end.
You can also look up reviews of the chiropractor in question to see what other patients have to say about their experiences.
Stretch as Recommended
If your doctor or chiropractor gave you some daily exercises and stretches to work on, take the time to complete them. Stretching your back as recommended will help you build up your back's strength and flexibility.
You may feel like all you want to do is lie down or sit all day to rest, especially if you're in pain. But if you can manage to do some light walking and incorporate appropriate stretches, the road to healing will be much shorter.
Depending on the severity of your pain, your chiropractor will push you to stretch your back past your comfort zone, but not so far as to cause further injury. It might be uncomfortable at first, but consistency is crucial.
Schedule an Appointment Today
Whether your back pain is new or you've been suffering for years, it's time to ditch the discomfort. So if you've been wondering what to do when you hurt your back, the answer is simple: contact our offices today and schedule a chiropractic appointment to ease your pain and help your back to heal.
Our experienced chiropractor offers many treatment options to restore your back and bring new health and well-being into your life.
We look forward to assisting you!