Are you looking for ways to help with a back injury?
Most people will injure their back at some point in their life. In fact, 8 out of 10 people suffer from back pain at some point during their lives.
No matter what leads to your back injury, the important thing is to know how to treat it. In this article, we’ll look at things you can do to help your back injury once it happens.
Keep reading to find out.
1. Apply Heat or Cold to the Injured Area
Applying heat or cold to an injured area can be beneficial in assisting with a back injury.
Heat therapy helps to increase the circulation of oxygen to the area. This helps reduce inflammation and stiffness.
Cold therapy helps to restrict the flow of blood and decrease inflammation. Before applying heat or cold to the injured area, check with your physician if it is the appropriate treatment for the injury.
Heating pads or hot towels are common objects used to give heat to the area. A simple ice pack can be applied to the area to reduce swelling and lower pain levels.
It is generally recommended to only apply heat for 15-20 minutes at one time. 20-30 minutes for the cold.
2. Engage in Gentle Stretching and Exercises
When dealing with a back injury, start with simple stretches such as bending forward, side bends, and twisting your torso gently. To properly stretch, hold the position for a few seconds and gradually increase the range of motion.
Gradually incorporate low-impact exercises. These will help to strengthen the muscles that support the spine and may help reduce pain.
Before beginning any stretching or exercising routine, talk to your doctor or physical therapist. This is to make sure it is appropriate for your injury.
Additionally, strengthening your back muscles can be beneficial. Yoga and pilates can be great for managing and reducing the effects of a back injury.
3. Maintain a Good Posture
When seated, make sure to evenly spread your body weight and keep your spine straight.
Avoid sitting in a slumped or bent posture. This can lead to added strain on weakened muscles and ligaments.
When standing, keep your feet shoulder-width apart. If you are standing for an extended period of time, consciously adjust your posture and take breaks to alleviate tension.
4. Use Supportive Devices
These devices help maintain the correct alignment in your spine. They can also reduce the unnecessary stress which can cause or increase the severity of a back injury.
They provide extra support, comfort, and stability when sitting, standing, and walking. Support devices come in cushions, ergonomic chairs, and back braces.
They can be especially helpful for people with an office job. These people may be forced to maintain an uncomfortable posture for an extended length of time.
5. Take Medications
Taking medications can manage pain, inflammation, and muscle spasms. Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, can help reduce swelling and ease pain.
Muscle relaxants, such as cyclobenzaprine, can alleviate tension and stiffness in the back muscles. Narcotic pain relievers may be prescribed if other medications are not sufficient.
However, these are not recommended for long-term use due to their potential for addiction. Chiropractic care and physical therapy can also be beneficial for treating back pain.
6. See a Professional
It is important to have any back injuries examined and treated professionally by a medical doctor or physical therapist. A professional can do a physical examination, review your medical history, and ask questions about the severity of the pain.
They can provide advice on what therapies may be most beneficial. A professional might also recommend medications to help with the pain.
They can assess the situation and provide treatment options specific to the injury, like heat therapy, targeted exercises and stretches, massage, and bracing.
Additionally, Axcess Accident Center is also a great resource to help with back injuries. They offer a wide range of treatments, such as chiropractic techniques, physical therapy, and orthopedic rehabilitation.
They can also provide lifestyle modifications such as stretching and strengthening exercises to help the patient cope with their injury.
7. Lift Correctly
If you have a back injury, always lift with your legs, not your back. Stand with your feet at shoulder width, with your toes pointing forward, and bend your knees to lift the object.
Bend at your hips, keeping your back as straight as possible. Use your legs to support the weight.
Keep the load close to your body. Don’t twist your body while carrying.
If the object is too heavy, don’t attempt to lift it. It may be best to get help.
Lastly, do not bend over to lift something up off the floor. Doing this can put a strain on your lower back.
8. Quit Smoking
Lifestyle changes can reduce the severity of the injury and prevent any future instances. One such change is to quit smoking.
Tobacco smoke affects the entire body. This can worsen and prolong back pain. Smoking also affects blood circulation and decreases the amount of oxygen reaching the spine. This can prolong healing time by preventing the body from properly nourishing the spine and muscle tissue.
Another effect of smoking is the increased production of enzymes that degrade cartilage. This can lead to added pressure on the spine.
Ways to Help With a Back Injury
A back injury can be severe and cause a lot of pain and limitation. It’s important to have the proper treatment and to be diligent in self-care to recover quickly and completely.
Taking anti-inflammatory medications, seeing a chiropractor and physical therapist, adding heat and cold packs, taking Epsom salt baths, and performing gentle stretches all help manage back pain. Talk to your healthcare provider to find out what treatment plan is best for you.
Check out our website for more information!