Low Back Pain: What to do when you injure your lower back!
Low back pain, can be caused by any irritation of the tissues of the lumbar spine and pelvis, including joints, muscles, ligaments, intervertebral discs, nerves, bones and tendons. The location of the pain and the type of pain, can vary between what anatomy is irritated and severity of the irritation in the spine. For example, Compression of the sciatic nerve, can cause regional pain in the lower back, but can also cause a referred pattern of pain anywhere from the low back, hips, buttocks, legs and feet.
When suffering from an acute episode of low back pain, it is important to remember, that most episodes of low back pain resolve in 6 weeks. An episode of low back pain will not equate to a life long low back pain.
So What Can you Do When you injure your Low Back?
- Ice: Ice is an easy way top help ease the initial onset of pain. It is important to start as soon as back pain starts, within the first 24 hours of injury, for a period of 15 minutes on 30 minutes off.
- Heat: After the initial 24 hours of injury, a combination of heat and ice therapies can be used. Alternating between 15 minutes of icing followed by 20 minutes of heat should be continued for the 2- 4 days post injury.
- Keep Moving: To often people with low back pain are advised to rest. In a lot of acute low back injuries, bed rest will only slow your recovery. Good advise is too keep moving. Gentle movement such as walking keeps the muscles that support the spine awake and firing. Keeping the muscles awake is an integral part of a speedy recovery.
- Follow the ’30 Minute Rule’ For Sitting : In many new low back injuries, sitting down really aggravates the pain. If you have to sit down follow the ’30 minute rule’ for sitting. Get up out the chair and move, every 30 minutes. This will make a big difference to how you feel at the end of the day, and will help speed up your recovery
- Get an Opinion from a health care professional; Getting quality advise from a tertiary trained health professional, will help guide in the right direction for recovery from a low back injury. There advise should a diagnosis, pain management strategies, postural advise and corrective exercises.