Listen to your body...
Pain is the body's cry for help. If you are doing something that is making the pain worse, you should stop. It make sense not to continue doing something that may aggravate the situation.
Use cold, rather than heat
To help with the pain and healing process, inflammation must be controlled, but allowed to run it's course. Whilst waiting to get help you can help yourself by taking something cold such as a bag of frozen peas or gel pack designed for the job, wrap it in a tea towel and place it directly on the point of pain for about ten or fifteen miniutes. Afterwards, then try to move about to avoid stiffening up. This can be repeated once every two to three hours. Avoid using heat or warming back rubs as these can often make the situation worse by adding to the local inflamation.
Find a comfortable position. With acute low back pain, useful positions are either on your back with your knees bent, or on your side with your knees bent up towards your stomach.
Do not spend hours in one position. This will cause stiffening and increase pain. Try to move about gently at regular intervals. Sitting in low sofas may well be difficult to get out of, and so you would be better sitting on a dining chair which will make getting from sitting to standing more bearable.
Use of Pain killers
It is never advisable to take pain relief before taking part in high-impact activities or physical work. This is because without the feedback from your body’s nervous system, it is easy to over-use and re-damage your back or neck.
Although it is always better not to take drugs, as they all have side effects, they can be useful in some circumstances. lf back or neck pain is preventing you from sleeping, this can have a serious effect on your whole life, and it is worth a compromise of the side effects of the pain-killers for a good nights sleep.
Pain-killing drugs can sometimes counteract the effectiveness of other medication you may be taking, and in some cases can be very harmful. Therefore it is important to check with your Doctor or Pharmacist as to whether they are appropriate, or indeed safe.
Some inflammatory conditions will benefit from NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) but again, it must be remembered that they may reduce inflammation but not the cause of the inflammation. Also they can cause stomach problems in some cases.
See your Osteopath...
Pain is often the last thing to appear and the first thing to disappear and so just because the immediaete pain is eased by following the above routine doesn't mean that the underlying cause of the pain has been resolved. It is recommended that you see your Osteopath to discover the underlying cause and potential weaknesses to help prevent the situation recurring.
If you are not sure what to do, or need further advice, please contact the practice and we will be happy to advise you.
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