Acute Back Pain: Self Help Advice
If you are in agony with low back pain you might like to carefully try some of the advice below.
However, if pain persists, we would highly recommend you call us on 01444 410944 and book in for an immediate appointment with one of our osteopaths.
1. Find a position of ease, whether that is laying on either side, knees up in foetal posistion, on back, or even face down propped on a pillow.
- Use a heat pack or pad for 5-10 minutes to get the muscles to relax, and clear waste products out of the area due to the chronic muscle contraction. (Just enough to cause light skin sweat/dampness). You may have been advised a cold pack, this is fine. Do the cold pack as told or hot and cold if advised. Try the hot or cold and see which one benefits you most. Everyone is different. Hot relaxes more whereas cold is more anti-inflammatory when used briefly.
IMPORTANT: Cold packs only go on for 5 - 10 minutes MAXIMUM. They cool the area and work when you take them OFF. DO NOT LEAVE ON FOR A LONG TIME.
- As the easing takes place, roll onto you back, with feet flat on floor, approx 12 inches from your bottom. GENTLY perform pelvic tilting ONLY within a range of motion that does not cause pain (Gently rolling pelvis so your low spine moves closer to the floor, but does not completely touch, then rolling the pelvis forward, allowing your lower spine to arch, but not going into a full extension).
Move within the boundaries of safety! Perform up to 15 repetitions, increasing range of motion if you feel okay, but don't over do it. The goal is to get the muscles to relax and release the “phobia”. You may increase abdominal muscle tension slowly as you would turn up the volume on a stereo: 25%, 35%, 45%, etc. up to a max contraction of 50% or so, as needed.
ALL movements MUST be done BELOW the threshold of pain, and the SLOW and CONTROLLED activation is just as important.
Another position that is often found to be relaxing in times of acute pain is having your lower legs up on the sofa whilst you lay on your back on the floor. You can also put your legs up on a fitball if you have one. In the case that perhaps a disc is causing the pain the exercise has been proven to be helpful.
1) Lay on your front with hands on floor near your shoulders, like a press up position.
2) Press yourself up half way, leaving your hips on the ground. This is an extension movement. Hold for 30 seconds then return to the ground. Rest for 5 seconds.
3) Repeat this but press up slightly higher and hold again. Return to the floor. Go back to number 1 and repeat 3 times.
If this exercise aggravates you then stop, it probably means you have joint inflammation and in fact the opposite exercise will be more useful, which is knee hugs.
Download our 7 Secrets to Eliminate Back Pain eBook HERE