Acute back pain is extremely common, though not that many people seek medical help to address it. The term acute back pain refers to a short-term occurrence, lasting from six to twelve weeks, that cannot be attributed to a specific cause. The most typical causes of acute back pain are spinal fractures, muscle or ligament strain, arthritis and herniated disc(s).
However, without determining the underlying causes of your acute back pain, it is easy for this short-term problem to become a chronic condition. We asked our medical experts to share their tips for preventing acute pain from becoming chronic. Read on to hear what they had to say.
6 Tips for Acute Back Pain Relief
Avoid Long Periods of Inactivity
Lower back pain is typically worsened by long periods of inactivity. If you sit all day for work, take a break every twenty or so minutes to move around and get your blood circulating.
Inflammation can lead to chronic back pain, as well as the formation of scar tissue. This can make it difficult to recover. Fortunately, there are things you can do to control inflammation. Using a therapy of heat and ice, you can reduce swelling and promote circulation.
Don’t Forget to Rest
Pain can often be a sign that your body is telling you it’s time to rest. Refrain from your daily activities for the first 48 hours you’re experiencing symptoms. However, not moving at all can also slow your recovery, so be sure to engage in some light activity that doesn’t hurt.
Learn Proper Body Mechanics
Another common cause of back pain is injury brought on by improper body mechanics. This is because moving improperly can subject your spine to unnecessary stress. Try to maintain good body mechanics, beginning with proper posture.
Pay Attention to How You Work
Especially if you have a desk job, be sure to sit with your shoulders back and your chest out. Keep your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, while ensuring your chair’s armrests are properly supporting your arms. This can minimize or eliminate back pain that’s associated with improper posture.
Before beginning any physical therapy exercises, be sure to consult with a licensed physical therapist.
Physical Therapy (or PT) can work to boost your healing by promoting good circulation. This reduces inflammation, and therefore pain, helping you gain back your flexibility and range of motion. Exercises meant for loosening your hip, leg and abdomen muscles can also reduce your back pain. Finally, stabilization exercises can improve the muscles in your back and around your spine to provide greater support during movement.
Where to Begin
When you’re dealing with pain that lasts for weeks at a time, it can be difficult to determine where to start on your journey to feel better. While the tips above can help relieve your pain, a licensed specialist can help you determine the root cause of your discomfort. They may perform a physical evaluation, or even run tests to figure it out. Either way, one of the best ways to start to heal is to determine the root cause of what’s bothering you. From there, you and your doctor can work together to find a solution.
Chronic Pain Care in Houston: Minivasive Pain and Orthopedics
At Minivasive Pain, we specialize in pain management. It is our mission to treat the causes of your pain with both the highest standards of care and quality. With several locations throughout the Houston area, caring for your back pain is easy. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, visit https://www.minivasivepain.com/contact-us/ or call us at (346) 800-6001.