First and foremost all of these recommendations will be based on a minor flare up of back pain. If you are experiencing any neurological symptoms such as loss of bowel or bladder control or decreased sensation or issues with motor control please seek out immediate medical attention. With that said if you have experiencing a “pull in your back” from a certain movement then these recommendations are for you!
Should I keep moving or move as little as possible?
With a minor flare up of lower back pain the best thing you can do is keep moving as much as you can and keep the spine moving with as much range of motion as you can tolerate. This can be done by performing:
- Prone press ups
- Cat/Cow yoga poses
- Core stabilization exercises
Should I ice or heat?
This question is something I get asked a lot with any acute flare up of an injury. If you experienced the injury within the last 72 hours I would say ice. This will help decrease inflammation and speed up the healing process. After 72 hours studies show that ice wont do much for you physiologically. Meaning that if heat feels better use that but if ice feels better that is ok too!
Should I go see a doctor?
Another option you can pursue after a flare up in back pain is to seek out help from a medical professional. This, however, does not mean running to your primary care physician. If you do that they will more than likely prescribe physical therapy. In the state of North Carolina you can actually go right to the physical therapist without having to get a referral from a physician. Therefore, I always recommend going straight to a physical therapy office.
Seeking out help from a physical therapist will help speed up your recovery process in addition to putting you on the path to identify why this injury and preventing it from occurring again. The reason why most back injuries occur is because the hips are not moving as efficiently as they should be. In that they either aren’t rotating enough or the hip flexors are working too hard and putting a lot of stress on the low back.
If you have any additional questions about this topic or have a specific problem that you just can’t seem to get over, click the button below to get in touch with one of our specialists!