By Bellevue Chiropractor, Dr. Bob Cummins
Bellevue – Low back pain can hit you any time and often when you least expect it or have the time and capacity to deal with the inconvenience of a major part of your body in pain.
If you happen to “Google self-help for back pain” you’ll find some ideas that can be of great benefit. However, many of these exercises, treatments and plans can fail, or worse, irritate and make your low back pain intensify. That said, here are a few helpful DO’S and DON”TS when you are dealing with low back pain on your own!
DO: Ice vs. Heat? Typically, people are always eager to heat up their low back pain because it will feel nice. But think of this, if your back is hurting, it’s probably inflamed and swollen. Adding heat will vasodilate (open the veins) to the area and will add even more fluid to the already swollen tissue… therefore, soon after, increased pain may occur.
What to remember is this little saying: generally, “ICE is NICE!”. Making an area cold will vasoconstrict (constrict your veins) and pushes out inflammation or swelling. A general rule is 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off three times. The off times allow the blood to come back to the area and pump out the inflammation. Remember not to put ice directly on your skin! After the initial discomfort from the cold, your body will get used to it and you will be happy to feel the relief that comes with decreased inflammation.
Want to pump even more of the inflammation out of your low back? You can use contrast therapy where you use heat between the ice. Ice 10 minutes and then heat 5 minutes, three times through. This will pump even more of the inflammation out of your low back. If you ever feel worse after icing, PLEASE STOP AND CONTACT US at 425-590-9158 and a consultation will provide you the answers you are looking for, as you may have a unique case or situation.
DO: Keep active! DON’T: Keep too active! To answer the question of “how active should I be?” there needs to be a balance and you need to listen to your body. In general, most people feel their body’s warning signs and then keep on like they can still go at 100%. This often worsens the low back pain over time and doesn’t allow your body to heal, prolonging the recovery process. It is helpful to keep the body moving and in general you don’t want to stop activity completely.
DO: Embrace positions that feel good and DON’T keep at positions that produce the pain. If every time you bend over results in a sharp, dagger-like pain in your low back, PLEASE STOP and assess the situation! Remember, if you sit or lay down too much, your core muscles will atrophy even more.
We’re happy to show you the exercises and positions that are best for your condition. DO: give our clinic a call if you would like to stop your reoccurring back pain and keep at the activities you love to do. We’ll help bring you to Gold Medal Health!
Anyone wishing more information may contact Dr. Cummins, whose office is located at 4122 Factoria Blvd. SE, Suite 202, Bellevue, WA (telephone 425-590-9158).
Cummins Chiropractic and Wellness provides a natural and drug free solution to help neck pain, back pain, headaches and injuries from car accidents through chiropractic, massage, decompression, cold laser, auto injury recovery, and creating wellness services for those seeking gold medal health in and around Bellevue, Seattle, Renton, Factoria, Issaquah and Newcastle.