If you are over 30, there is an excellent chance that you have suffered from back pain. Here are 5 keys that you may not have realized to help you get out of this crisis right now.
1. Stop doing what hurts it. Sounds simple right, well you would be shocked at how many people come into my office and tell me, it only hurts when I run, vacuum, do laundry, etc. The number one key is to stop doing what is hurting you.
2. Swelling is your biggest enemy. How many times have you hurt your back and put heat on it in order to "loosen it up"? It is the worst thing that you can do. When back pain is present we are fighting pressure on the nerves in the low back. Oftentimes this pressure is the result of swelling from injuring yourself. When you apply heat you are actually increasing the swelling in that area, thereby, increasing the pressure on the nerves, leading to more pain. Ice, ice and more ice is definitely a key to recovering from back pain. Please don't forget, no ice directly on your skin, always keep a layer between your skin and the ice.
3. Avoiding bed rest. Pain is diminished when you move. This is of course assuming that walking around is not hurting your low back. When we become immobile scar tissue begins to set in and then we are in for a long recovery. Scar tissue is like rust on a chain, once it is there, it is very tough to get rid of. Moving helps break up that scar tissue.
4. Understanding that pain killers only cover up your symptoms. Imagine the check engine light comes on in your car. Would you place a piece of tape over it so you didn't see it anymore? Of course not. Well that is what it is like when we take pain killers to cover up the pain. See that little pill that you are taking does not know where to go. It basically blocks the pain signals from wherever you are hurting. Does it fix anything? No! Please take my word on this: if you take the pain killers and feel better, you will end up hurting it worse. It is human nature. Please be careful when using the pain killers, the problem is not fixed, it is just covered up.
5. Waiting too long to get treatment. I cannot tell you how many times people come into my office and tell me, well Doc, it has been killing me for the last 2 months, can you fix it today? Ummm, No. Unfortunatley healing takes time. More often than not, the body sends warning signs, little hints before something big happens. Please do not ignore these signs, trust me on this, it is a harbinger of things to come.