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What Should I Do For My Back Pain

Back Exercises And Stretches

I HURT MY BACK! What to do now

Simple back exercises and stretches can often help reduce back pain. These can be done at home as often as you need to.

For information about exercises and stretches that can help, see:

A GP may be able to provide information about back exercises if you’re unsure what to try, or you may want to consider seeing a physiotherapist for advice. Read about how to get access to physiotherapy.

Doing regular exercise alongside these stretches can also help keep your back strong and healthy. Activities such as walking, swimming, yoga and pilates are popular choices.

How Long Before The Pain Goes Away

This will depend on what the root cause is. Most people will find that, with proper care, their low back pain improves within 4 weeks.

Unfortunately, unless you have followed your chiropractors advice, chances are your pain will return.

We hope you found this information helpful. If you did, please feel free to share this article with others.

At Better Health Chiropractic and Rehab, we believe that no one should live in pain. Contact our office for a same-day appointment or schedule an appointment online by .

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What Are Some Other Causes Of Lower Back Pain

The shape of your spine, and well as spinal diseases, are other culprits in lower back pain. Depending on a range of factors, your doctor may look for:

Abnormal spinal curvature. A normal spine resembles a gently curved letter S when seen from the side. Abnormal curves include:

  • Lordosis, in which the spine curves too far inward at the lower back
  • Kyphosis, in which the spine is abnormally rounded in the upper back
  • Scoliosis, in which the spine curves from side to side, often in a C shape

Normal and abnormal curves of the spineArthritis. There are more than 100 types of arthritis, many of which can cause lower back pain. The most common types include osteoarthritis , rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.

Cauda equina syndrome . Compression of the bundle of nerves that forms below the spinal cord in the lumbar spine. It is a rare but serious disorder that requires immediate medical attention and possibly emergency surgery. CES got its name from the fact that the fanned-out bundle of nerves resembles the base of a horses tail.

Discitis or osteomyelitis.Both infections of discs and bone can cause severe pain and require prompt medical attention.

Spinal tumors. When cells divide and multiply unchecked, the result is a tumor. Both benign and malignant tumors can cause lower back pain. They can either originate in the spine or metastasize there, meaning theyve spread from somewhere else in the body.

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Treatments For Back Pain

More than 85 percent of people with lower back pain improve with minimal treatment in a matter of days. However, if back problems persist, doctors generally prescribe one or more of the following treatments: proper exercise, rest, heat and cold, posture training, weight loss, stress management and relaxation exercises, medication, spinal manipulation and/or surgery. For some back conditions, the doctor may refer you to another specialist such as an orthopedist, rheumatologist, physiatrist, physical or occupational therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist or surgeon.

Possible Conditions Causing Severe Back Pain

What Should I Do Immediately After Hurting My Back? 6 ...

Dr. Drymalski also details several conditions that can cause intense back pain, many of which center on the bones or discs. But you also might be wondering, How do I know if my back pain is kidney-related? Problems with what other organs can cause lower back pain?

He shares a wide-ranging list of potential conditions that can bring about extreme back pain:

Although that list of possible conditions may seem daunting, the important thing to do is to focus on your symptoms and how youre feeling. Also, be sure to consider any symptoms that youre experiencing beyond back pain.

Pay attention to severe back pain and other symptoms that appear with it.

Pay attention to the other symptoms in addition to your back pain, especially your bowel/bladder function and leg function, Dr. Drymalski says.

He adds that if you demonstrate any of the above red flag symptoms, if your pain persists and does not appear to be related to movement, or if you have a history of cancer, recent IV drug use, or a vascular disease, you may be at increased risk for serious back conditions.

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What Is The Outlook

Most of us will have a bout of nonspecific low back pain at some point in our lives. The severity can vary. However, it is difficult to quote exact figures as to outlook . This is partly because it is so common and many people with back pain do not consult a doctor. Roughly, it is thought that:

  • Most nonspecific back pains ease and go quickly, usually within a few weeks.
  • In about 4 in 10 cases, the pain has completely gone within four weeks.
  • In about 7 in 10 cases the pain has completely gone within one year.

However, once the pain has eased or gone it is common to have further bouts of pain from time to time in the future. Also, it is common to have minor pains on and off for quite some time after an initial bad bout of pain. In a small number of cases the pain persists for several months or longer. This is called chronic back pain.

Dont Lie In Bed Or Couch Surf

We understand that back pain is sometimes so intense, you cant do anything but put your butt in between the couch cushions, put a pillow under your knees and hit up a Netflix marathon. This is OK for the first 24-48 hours, but after that, you are doing your back more harm than good.

What can you do for severe back pain? If you literally cannot walk, stand, or sit for more than a few minutes, even after 48 hours of bedrest, you should see your chiropractor immediately or go to the emergency room.

Rest for a short period of time, do some stretches, and get back on your feet!

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Planned Return To Work

  • talk to your employer and safety representative about ways to ensure safe return to work
  • develop a plan for progressive return to work as your physical work capacity improves
  • your employer may be able to put you in touch with occupational health support

Changes to work activities

It is important to work with your employer to enable a return to work. Helpful strategies for return to work may include:

  • suggesting alternatives and rotation between activities – this may help an early return to normal work
  • reducing the duration of work for the first few week – this may help reduce risk of further pain
  • working a half normal shift – this may improve pain tolerance

How Can You Prevent Lower Back Pain

HELP!! MY BACK HURTS!! WHAT SHOULD I DO??

While you cant stop aging or change your genetic makeup, lifestyle changes can help manage and prevent lower back pain. Having a healthy lifestyle may make you less likely to suffer an accidental injury, too.

Improve your physical fitness. People who are not physically fit are more likely to develop lower back pain because strong core muscles help support the lower back.

Stay active. People who lead sedentary lives may be more likely to injure themselves when they do exert themselves. As far as back health is concerned, its better to do a smaller amount of physical activity most days of the week than to sit all week and over-exert yourself on the weekends.

Lose weight if necessary. The more you weigh, the more pressure you have on your lumbar vertebrae. Being overweight or obese can put stress on the back and lead to lower back pain.

Lift heavy objects the right way. Be sure to squat while lifting so that your hips and knees do much of the work. Keep the load close to your chest while you lift.

Your legs, not your lower back, should be the main driver when you’re lifting something heavy.Make your workspace as ergonomic as possible. If you sit at a desk, make sure your chair has plenty of low-back support and your hips are at a right angle to the floor.

Dont use tobacco products. In addition to all the other health problems tobacco use causes, it can restrict blood flow and oxygen to the discs, causing them to degenerate faster.

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Put Out That Cigarette

We all know smoking is a serious health risk, and smokers are also more likely to experience back pain than nonsmokers. One reason for this is that nicotine restricts blood flow to the disks in the spine. This can cause them to dry out, crack, or rupture. Smoking also reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood, which causes a reduction in nourishment to the muscles and tendons in the back. An unhealthy, weak back is more vulnerable to accidental strains and pulls that cause back pain.

Nonspecific Low Back Pain

This is the most common type of back pain. The majority of cases of sudden-onset low back pain are classed as nonspecific. This is the type of back pain that most people will have at some point in their lives. It is called nonspecific because it is usually not clear what is actually causing the pain. In other words, there is no specific problem or disease that can be identified as the cause of the pain. The severity of the pain can vary from mild to severe. This type of back pain is discussed further below.

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Manage Or Reduce Stress

Stress can trigger muscle tension and painful spasms, including in the back. If long-term stress or a traumatic event seems to have caused back pain, a person can try stress-relief techniques, such as:

  • Mindfulness meditation.One study showed that mindfulness-based stress reduction improved back pain. Mindfulness involves being aware of what the body is doing and using meditation techniques to assist with the pain.
  • Deep breathing. Taking deep breaths in and out for several minutes can calm the bodys stress response.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation. This involves tensing and relaxing muscles in the body, focusing on one muscle group at a time. Lying on their back, a person can start with their feet and gradually move up to the shoulders.
  • Guided imagery. This involves focusing on specific mental images to bring about a feeling of relaxation. One study found guided imagery and music helps with work-related chronic stress.
  • Yoga. Yoga focuses on particular poses and breathing and can help with relaxation, especially when practiced regularly. One review found yoga to be an effective stress management tool.

Many smartphone apps are available to guide a person through relaxation techniques and meditation.

Weight Loss Exercise And Diet

How To Prove A Back Injury At Work

Think about the extra pounds people carry every day due to their being overweight. This puts added pressure and strain on the back and stomach muscles, causing those muscles to stretch and weaken. Weak back and stomach muscles cannot support the back properly. Poor posture can shift your body out of balance. This forces only a few muscles and joints to do all the work. Without proper exercise, muscles become weak and tire easily. Exercise is necessary to keep the back strong and limber. A good conditioning exercise program led by a trained instructor can be particularly helpful. An effective program includes a warm-up period about 30 minutes of aerobic activity isolated muscle group work and a cool-down period. Over a period of time, the rewards of regular aerobic workouts can include a slimmer waistline and healthier back.

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Treatments For Back Pain From A Specialist

A GP, specialist or physiotherapist may recommend extra treatments if they do not think your pain will improve with self-help measures alone.

These may include:

  • group exercise classes where you’re taught exercises to strengthen your muscles and improve your posture
  • manual therapy treatments, such as manipulating the spine and massage, which are usually done by a physiotherapist, chiropractor or osteopath
  • psychological support, such as cognitive behavioural therapy , which can be a useful part of treatment if you’re struggling to cope with pain

Some people choose to see a therapist for manual therapy without seeing a GP first. If you want to do this, you’ll usually need to pay for private treatment.

Surgery is generally only considered in the small number of cases where back pain is caused by a specific medical condition.

What Doctor Should I See For Back Pain

If your back pain is from a recent strain or mild injury, your primary care doctor can probably help. But if the pain is severe, ongoing, or accompanied by other symptoms such as numbness or tingling in your arms or legs, it may be time to see a back doctor. Start with someone who specializes in nonsurgical treatment for back pain. This can include a physiatrist, chiropractor, physical therapist, or orthopaedic physician assistant. They can evaluate your condition and offer appropriate treatment to help alleviate your pain. Depending on your circumstances, they might also refer you to another type of back specialist — for example, a pain management specialist or spine surgeon.

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Maintain Correct Posture During Activities

To protect your lower back from injury, its important to maintain proper posture when performing physical activitiesespecially if you play sports or have a job that requires repetitive motions. Avoid slouching as much as possible and aim to keep your spine erect. When lifting, bend and straighten from the knees, not the waist. And be sure to move your hips when twisting from side to side.

How Can Back Pain Be Prevented

I Have Pain In My Mid Back What Should I Do?

In most cases, you can prevent back pain by making changes to your lifestyle.

Doing exercise helps to keep your back flexible and strong. Exercise improves your posture and helps your muscles to support your spine. Exercises that can help prevent back pain include:

  • low-impact aerobic exercise
  • strengthening exercises, such as lifting weights, climbing stairs or hiking hills
  • stretching exercises, such as Pilates and yoga

Maintaining a good posture is important when you sit at home, in your workplace, or in your car. Try not to slouch, and use equipment that supports your back, such as a lumbar support or footstool if you need.

Keeping a healthy weight is also important. Excess fat can strain your back and lead to back pain, sciatica and inflammation.

Practise safe lifting in your home or workplace. Whenever you pick up a heavy load, squat down, hold the object close to your body, and lift with your legs.

In addition:

  • Quit smoking Smoking increases your chances of developing persistent back pain.
  • Relax Learning relaxation techniques and mindfulness can help to reduce stress and muscle tension in your back.
  • Avoid high heels wearing high heels can place strain on your back.

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Try Conservative Measures First To Control Pain And Know The Limits And Risks Of Cortisone Shots If You Choose To Try It

Most people who suffer with back pain already know the drill: time heals this wound. Over weeks to months, the pain will calm down, and you will slowly return to your normal life. In the meantime, try to stay as active as possible and rely as much as possible on over-the-counter pain relievers to help avoid needing cortisone shots. Doctors call these shots corticosteroid injections.

But for some, these conservative measures may not relieve the agony soon enoughespecially if the problem is back pain caused by irritated spinal nerves. After a few weeks, just getting to the bathroom may start to feel like Napoleon’s winter march in Russia. At that point, you may be offered a cortisone injection to calm the war zone in your lower back.

Even for nerve-related back pain, guidelines discourage hasty intervention with cortisone shots. “You would do less invasive, less aggressive things first,” says Dr. Robert Shmerling, Corresponding Faculty, Harvard Medical School.

However, if you choose to take a cortisone shot, know its limits. “The shots are almost always a temporary measure,” Dr. Shmerling says. “In general, it’s for symptom control, and not a definitive treatment for most conditions

Sleep On A Quality Mattress

Lower back pain sufferers usually benefit from sleeping on a medium-firm mattress. However, your preferred sleep position also should influence your mattress selection. To maintain good posture, side sleepers should select a softer mattress. Back and stomach sleepers should choose a firmer mattress. If you have lower back pain, its a good idea to avoid sleeping on your stomach altogether.

If your lower back pain doesnt improve after 4 to 6 weeks of home care using these suggestions, you should see your doctor. You also should contact your doctor right away if you have any red flags, including:

  • A history of cancer or a recent infection
  • A recent fall or other accident
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Signs of infection, such as fever, chills, sweats
  • Nerve problems, such as shooting pain, numbness or tingling
  • Changes in bowel or bladder function

Other options for treating lower back pain may include physical therapy, pain management with cortisone injections or, in certain cases, surgery. Although lower back surgery can be beneficial for patients who are experiencing nerve problems and injured discs, its not typically recommended for patients with other types of lower back pain.

Download the Virtua Health Guide to Back Pain, or call to request a consultation with a Virtua back pain specialist.

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