Helpful Hints for a Painful Back
- Wear your back support (if instructed by your chiropractor), especially if you have to lift anything, or you have to stand for any length of time.
- If you must stand for a period of time, place one foot on a stool or a step to keep from arching your back and aggravating the pain.
- Don't lean forward into the mirror when shaving or applying makeup. Bring the mirror toward you. Avoid bending at the waist!
- When lifting, squat and hug the object close to you. Beware of bending at the waist and twisting this is a sure- fire recipe for back injury. Bend your legs before your back. While the pain is severe avoid any lifting at all.
- Sleep on your side or back. Sleeping on your stomach arches your lower back, which may jam your low back joints and aggravate your pain. When sleeping on your side a pillow placed between your knees will help level your pelvis and reduce the stress on your low back muscles and joints. When sleeping on your back place one or two pillows under your knees.
- If your bed is too soft, a board under the mattress may give you added support and reduce pain. With a single bed, placing the mattress on the floor can help eliminate painful mattress springs bouncing. Better yet, get a new mattress.
- Take walks (with the back support on while you are in pain). Walking movements keep the low back muscles more flexible and usually shortens the time it takes to heal.
- The first day or two after you are injured apply ice frequently. Always place a towel between your skin and the ice and don't leave the ice on for more than 15 minutes at a time.
- After the first day you can use heat. The best type of heat is moist heat (hot bath or shower, moist heating pad, hot water bottle). As with ice place a towel between you skin and the source of the heat. Do not leave heat on for more than 25 minutes. Never go to bed with a heating pad or ice on your back.
- Go easy on pain medication it can take a dangerously high amount of medication to completely relieve back pain. Many pain relievers can upset the stomach and long term use of NSAID's can damage the kidneys.
- Don't neglect your chiropractic treatments. Talk to your doctor of chiropractic about the proper frequency of treatments ~ especially until the pain is manageable.
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