You will often hear advice regarding low back pain that you should keep moving. Every case is different – if you are able to keep mobile this will be helpful, however if you have a very severe sudden onset of back pain and it is more comfortable to rest (particularly if you are stuck bent forward or bent to one side) then the muscles need a rest from holding you in that awkward position. In this situation one or two days mixing lying down (whatever position is comfortable, normally on the side you are leaning to) with gentle pottering around is best.
Moderate activity, such as walking or doing everyday tasks, will aid your recovery. This helps to avoid muscle wasting and weakness.
You can take painkillers, such as paracetamol and/or ibuprofen, if you feel the need to. However always make sure you take ibuprofen with food and if you are asthmatic you should consult your GP first. Hot or cold compression packs may also help reduce the pain. Cold is generally good if the onset has been quite sudden or if there is local swelling, redness and heat. Longer term muscular symptoms will prefer heat.
Your state of mind can also play an important role. Although it can be difficult to be cheerful if you are in pain, research has shown that people who remain positive tend to recover quicker than those who get depressed. Think carefully about what may have brought the pain on. It may be obvious that you were cutting a hedge or lifting an object. It may be longer term, such as associated with 6 months of moving from an active job to a sedentary role, perhaps stopping doing exercise or perhaps secondary to another illness that meant lifestyle changes. If you can identify a cause it will prevent unnecessary worrying that the pain is due to something more serious!
This advice applies to most parts of the body. Our Osteopaths treat all parts of the musculoskeletal system from Post bunion surgery rehabilitation to Headaches.
(Please consult the Osteopaths for further advice and information)