Back Pain Treatment
When pain is accompanied by heat and swelling, and limits movement.
Step 1 R.I.C.E.
Rest, avoid aggravating the pain or increasing inflammation by resting the area at least for the first 24 -48 hours.
Ice-Apply cold packs locally to the area with the ice pack contained in a cloth (not directly on the skin) for 20 minutes, then remove after 20 mins and repeat this process five times. Do not place the ice pack next to the skin directly or have it next to the skin for more than 20 mins.
Compression-Use of a support or taping can help to apply compression and immobilise the area for short periods to avoid further swelling of the tissue. Always remove supports when sleeping or resting for long periods to avoid restricting circulation.
Elevation, elevate the limb or rest the spine in the most comfortable position possible , avoid slumping or sitting for long periods.
Many of us wait for things to get better over time, which in simple cases is fine, but for pain that persists over 4-5 days, we recommend getting our professional guidance.
Seeking professional advice allows you to get assessed and diagnosed and provides you with the advice and treatment you need to speed up your recovery. Understanding why you have the symptoms helps you understand and deal with the real issues.
Whilst self-help can be useful, access to quick and effective professional advice will often save time and avoid you doing things, which may aggravate and lengthen the recovery period. We recommend seeking our professional advice for pain which persists or pain that prevents you performing your daily activities.
80% of the population will suffer lower back pain at some point in their lives. The pain is normally a signal that a structure in your back-muscle, tendon, ligament or nerve is compromised in some way. It is important to get professional guidance to re-assure why you are experiencing pain and how you can help to improve your symptoms.
Keep positive, stay active, remember less than 1% of people with back pain ever need surgery.
Exercise and lifestyle are important, activity helps keep your back strong and healthy. Walking, swimming, yoga, Pilates, and body conditioning in a gym or with a personal trainer can be helpful.
Avoid lifting with straight knees always bend at the knees and let your bottom drop, keeping your back straight.
Never lift on one side only, lift centrally close to your midline.
Avoid working at floor level, use a table to put things on where possible.
Avoid high heels or shoes with small surface area contact with the floor.
Avoid texting with the phone low, bring up the phone to eye level to reduce neck strain.
Use ruck sacks for work or school to avoid uneven loading of the spine.
Never reach for the mouse, let your shoulders drop and have your arms at 90 degrees.
Sit straight in your chair, on your bottom, avoid using arm rests or leaning on elbows.
Use your spine to balance your weight on, not the back of the chair and don’t cross your legs.
Keep both hands low on the steering below 3 and 9 o`clock to avoid shoulder strain, relax your elbows.
Stretch out your hamstrings and buttock muscles before and after long drives.
Talk on hands free where possible
Make sure your TV is in front of you, so you don´t have to twist your neck or body to watch it.
Make sure that your knees are below your hips when on the sofa to stop postural strain in your lower back.
Take some time out to relax, without stimulation from phones or the internet, over stimulation leads to stress and anxiety.
Drink more water, 2 litres of water per day is a must, to help your body stay hydrated.
Make sure you eat regularly and avoid long periods without food to keep sugar levels balanced.
Get adequate rest and let your body recharge, pace yourself, too long a day can lead to fatigue, take rest when you can if you do shifts!
Try to exercise to raise your heart rate at least 20-30 mins. three times per week to improve cardio-vascular fitness.
Try to do symmetrical sports where possible or at least try to squeeze in symmetrical sports between one sided sports to help balance your body and spine.
Although some classes like Pilates or Yoga help improve flexibility and restore strength in postural muscles, others can aggravate certain injuries. Its best to seek professional advice before starting an exercise routine.
Don’t let children play tablets or mobile phone games for more than 20 minutes at a time they are better off on their console as it causes less neck strain.
The smaller the device the greater the strain!
Disclaimer: This article provides general information and guidance for patients only and we do not take responsibility for any injuries resulting from the advice provided. Please consult us in person if your pain persists.
If your back or neck pain persists, or you have another condition, seek an opinion with Glasgow City Osteopaths, we are able to give you the opportunity to get the help you need Tel: 0141 370 1119.