Acute Back Pain

When your pain is caused by a traumatic accident, you need professional help as soon as possible probably to have an X-ray or MRI, and visit your chiropractor as he or she will tell you what’s wrong after you describe the accident and all the chiropractic and neurologictests are done. Even if the event was only a minor accident like reaching for a mug of tea or getting your jacket from the back seat of your car, it is still very important to visit your chiropractor ASAP. They will establish the source of the pain and give you chiropractic adjustment to restore the normal functioning of the spine, thus aiding healing and repair. Below are some vital tips on how to cope with acute back and neck pain.

First of all – DO NOT APPLY HEAT to your spine.  Your back is inflamed and applying the heat will increase inflammation and pain. If you apply ice to your back, you reduce inflammation and pain. Make sure to wrap it in cloth, otherwise you may ice-burn your skin. It will only feel cold for about 2-5 minutes, then the pain will start to numb away. You can do it every 2 hours for 10-20 minutes. When using ice, get a gel ice-pack. It is soft when frozen, has a good surface area and doesn’t run down your trousers when it melts. You can pick one up for £4-8 at almost any chemist or buy online. Bio freeze or herb based creams like BLUE RUB or Rumalaya is also great for pain relief!

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I’m so surprised that some people still apply heat to their backs – it may provide short term pain relief, but will cause damage long term. Please – do not take hot baths, when your back is not at its best – a prolonged awkward position and heat can trigger inflammation and pain. Bed rest is also not recommended. Try to stay as active as possible, of course without causing more pain.

Try to avoid sitting. Walking around or lying down will help the recovery. If you have to seat, make sure you have reclined 40-45 degrees from vertical and have supported your lover back with the pillow, preserving/restoring the natural curve in your lower back. This will lessen the pressure onto sensitive areas in your lower back aiding faster repair.

Please do not wear support belts for days, because they weaken your back and make things worse in the long run. They are made to support your back after severe trauma and for heavy-lifting only. The same advice is valid for neck pain too. Only wear a collar if you have had neck trauma and use ice on the back of your neck.

Please do not exercise when in pain! Some people exercise and run through pain, thinking it will “go away”. Pain will only subside, as the body heals, so let it heal. Exercise is a strain to the body and adds to the damage. However exercise is extremely beneficial when taken at the correct phase of care. But NOT when you are in pain. If the pain is really bad, your doctor will give you anti-inflammatory tablets. Some patients are not aware that taking “one or two” tablets, almost never works. Read the instructions and remember, that to get to inflamed joints this substance has to accumulate in the body over a few days and it has to be taken in sufficient amount to work. Like with everything else – you need a COURSE of treatment.