Taking care of yourself at home is the first treatment advised for lower back discomfort. Extended bed rest is not generally prescribed for back pain because it can actually delay recovery. Long bed rest can also contribute to serious conditions such as depression, blood clots and a loss of muscle tone. Medical professionals generally limit bed rest to a maximum of two days. It is typically advised that people who have back pain go back to their regular activities as soon as they can. They should, however, avoid any movements that will strain their backs. Limit your activities or contact your physician if your pain worsens.
Back pain often goes away by itself, but taking a few simple steps can help the process. During the first day or two, get a lot of rest to accelerate the healing process. Whenever possible, sleep on a firm mattress placed on the floor for those first couple of days. Use a pillow or rolled towel to provide support to the lower back. Bend your knees and use the pillow to comfortably support your knees in this position. A person with an injury should get up every few hours and walk around. As you can tell, you don’t have to purchase expensive medical equipment to encourage healing from a back injury; use simple items from around the home.
There are ways to address back pain at home. You should definitely use an ice pack to reduce swelling and pain for the first few days after injury. Place the ice pack at the site of the injury for a period of 10-15 minutes each hour. Don’t place the ice pack directly against your skin, as this could cause frostbite and other nasty effects. Once a few days have elapsed, switch to heat as your primary means of treating the pain. Either a heating pad or a water bottle will work fine. You should not use the high setting on a heating pad, as this level of heat can cause burns. One treatment of relieving pain is the use of nonprescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDS). Keep in mind that NSAIDs can cause GI tract issues, so take this type of medicine with milk or food to minimize this side effect.
A colostomy bag support belts might offer some help from back pain. Regular elastic support belts are recommended just for temporary wear though. If you use these kinds of support belts, you may end up with weak back muscles. The best options are belts designed to aid posture. Bad posture is the main culprit of chronic back pain in several people.
Anyone with a back injury is best off sleeping on his/her side with knees bent in a fetal position. Pillows placed between bent knees can help the strain on an injured back. If a person sleeps on their back, then a pillow or rolled fabric should be put under their knees. They should sleep on a bed that supports the joints and back well enough, though not so firm that it becomes uncomfortable.
Actions must be taken that prevent the back from being injured again. Maintaining good posture is a must. A dedicated exercise regimen helps by strengthening back muscles and increasing their endurance/flexibility. Good exercise programs that concentrate on back health always have portions dedicated to stretching and conditioning. One major exercise used is called “the super man.” You lay on an exercise ball with your stomach resting on it and your face down. Simultaneously, lift one arm straight out and the opposite leg straight out and hold it for five seconds. Lower the limbs and then do the same with the other side. Activities like walking and swimming are recommended as they are low impact and don’t cause much strain on the back.