Use these strategies on days where you’ve tweaked your back and your pain is higher than normal. The pain is limiting your ability to do most things you normally do during the day. This is what we call a “flare-up”.
Immediate Back Pain Relief tips:
1. Try heat on your back muscles
- Our experience in the clinic tells us that generally people respond better to heat than ice for back pain
- We recommend starting with a warm heating pad over the back muscles that are tight or tender.
2. DON’T stop moving, but DO Avoid aggravating activities
- Movement lubricates your joints, so when you stop moving your body is no longer able to flush out toxins and fluid that accumulates in the joints in your spine.
- Find gentle, pain-free, low-impact movements like “cat-cow” or a “single knee to chest” stretch (see the example below)
2.1 Cat-Cow exercise: (In hands and knees with your hands placed shoulder width apart and knees under your hips, as you exhale, slowly round the spine, pulling the belly button towards the spine. Emphasize stretching the low back area with less rounding of the upper back to create symmetry in the reversal of the spinal curves. As you inhale return to a neutral spine or proceed towards Cow Pose)
2.2 Single Knee to Chest Stretching exercise
(While Lying on your back, hold your knee and gently pull it up towards your chest.)
3. Avoid Opioids or pain patches
- The CDC guidelines state “experts agreed opioids should not be considered firstline or routine therapy for chronic pain.”
- Risks of opioid use often outweigh the rewards. Side effects include depression, overdose, and addiction, plus withdrawl symptoms when stopping opioid use.
- For this reason, opioids and pain patches are not supported by most health organizations for back pain.
4. Book a session with a physical therapist
- If you are experiencing back pain, it is important to consult with a physical therapist. A physical therapist can assess your condition, identify the underlying cause of your pain, and develop a personalized treatment plan to help you manage your symptoms.
- The longer the pain goes untreated, the more dysfunctional your movement will become, and your muscles, ligaments, and joints will be put at risk for additional damage.
- A physical therapist will listen to your situation, your injury history (if you have one), and guide you through a customized treatment program that will fast-track you to pain-free living.
- During a flare-up, a PT may be able to do soft-tissue mobilization, gentle range of motion exercises, stretches, and strengthening exercises that can give you immediate and long-lasting relief.
- It’s important that you see a PT 1-on-1 for the duration of your treatment to ensure you’re getting the highest quality care. We are proud to say that Natural Fit Therapy offers this type of personalized, 1-on-1 care to all our clients!
- We would love to help you conquer your back pain!
If you need help getting started and don’t feel comfortable on your own, one of our physical therapists would be happy to come to see you and help you get started safely.
Please Call 512-730-0231 If you have any questions about your specific balance and strengthening problem. Or click here if you would like to schedule a FREE Discovery Session