Most back pain is caused by muscle and ligament strain or weakness, and should go away within 2-3 days without necessarily seeing a chiropractic doctor.
However, consult a chiropractor if your back pain:
- Does not improve with rest, ice and over-the-counter medications.
- Is severe or lasts longer than a 2-3 days.
- Is the result of a slip, fall or injury.
- Is accompanied by fever, trouble passing urine, numbness in your lower legs or muscle weakness.*
* In these cases, your chiropractic doctor may look for a more serious medical condition causing your back pain, and refer you to the appropriate medical physician.
8 Ways To Lower Your Risk of Low-Back Pain
- Try to do some form of exercise or physical activity at least three times a week. Regular, low-impact exercises, like brisk walking or bicycling, can increase lower back muscle strength.
- We live in Ohio. Have an exercise plan for bad weather. Treadmills or stationary bikes are as beneficial as outdoor exercises.
- Whatever exercise or physical activity you do, start slowly and allow a day of rest in between to reduce the likelihood of injury.
- Take frequent breaks on car trips (at least very two hours) to get out, walk around and loosen up your lower back muscles.
- When lifting objects, brace your abdomen, lift with your legs and hold the object close to your body. Do not twist while lifting.
- Watch your weight. Extra weight, especially around your mid-section, can strain lower back muscles over time.
- When you are sitting for long periods of time, support your lower back to maintain the natural curve of your lower back.
- Quit smoking cigarettes. Smoking can lead to pain by blocking your body’s ability to deliver nutrients to the discs and other tissues in your lower back.
5 Tips To Reduce Low-Back Pain
- Take it easy but continue your usual activities if you can. Moving around can help ease stiffness and relieve pain. Bed rest is NOT recommended.
- Place an ice pack against your back – 10 minutes on/10 minutes off/10 minutes on – several times a day for the first couple days. (Try a bag of frozen vegetables.)
- If you feel like heat would help, use moist heat like taking a hot bath, shower or using a microwave heating pad; a dry electric heating pad is NOT recommended.
- If that does not relieve your pain, try a topical rub-on gel like Biofreeze.
- While sleeping, try lying on your side with a pillow between your knees.
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