Your back is the center of your entire body, both physically and systematically. It works hard all day to keep you upright, aligned, and able to walk and move without trouble. The spine is also an essential part of the nervous system. If you have a spinal injury, you risk nerve damage that can cause tingling, numbness, and even paralysis in severe cases. When your back gets injured, your entire body suffers.
Because our backs work so hard, it is common for them to become sore or injured throughout our lifetimes. Whether you picked something up the wrong way or fell on your back and are now experiencing pain, you need to address the issue immediately to avoid long-term injury.
If you feel a sudden pain in your back from overexertion or a fall, here’s what you need to do:
Step one: Use ice-heat therapy
A back injury is often caused by overexertion of the muscles, which causes inflammation. The rotation of ice and heat can loosen these muscles and help them heal independently. To begin this at-home treatment, use ice on the sore muscles for the first 72 hours, then alternate between heat and ice packs for 15 minutes a day until the pain subsides.
Step two: Support your back while sitting and sleeping
During the first few days after the injury, you will likely feel constant aches and pains in the back. Use a lumbar pillow or a rolled-up towel while sitting and sleeping to support the healing muscles. This can allow you to relax during the day, which will help with the healing process better.
Step three: Know when to rest and when to stretch
Like most injuries, you want to rest your back after pulling or straining it to let the muscles recover. However, too much resting can worsen the pain and stiffness over time. Be sure to get up and walk throughout the day and gently stretch your back (as long as you have no pain when doing so). But, stay away from sports, heavy lifting, or other physically demanding activities that can worsen the back injury.
Step 4: See your doctor if the pain lingers or worsens after two weeks
Back pain often resolves itself with rest, ice, heat, and support. However, some injuries can cause permanent issues with the muscles or discs of the spine and will require medical intervention at some point. If your back pain gets worse or does not go away after two weeks, contact your physician immediately for help. The longer you wait for diagnosis, the more risk you put yourself in for serious back problems later in life.
PPOA specializes in back pain treatment, including surgical interventions, physical therapy, and combination treatments to ensure long-term recovery at an affordable cost. If you are struggling with ongoing back pain and have no idea where to turn, call us today for a consultation. We want to help you regain your quality of life through holistic pain treatment and prevention.