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Is Bed Rest Good for Your Back?

By Sara Butler

People used to think that if your back was injured, then the best course of action was to rest it until the pain the subsided. Well, times are changing. With back pain one of the most common causes of visits to the chiropractor, it is now much better understood what should and shouldn’t be done when you hurt yourself. Here’s why bed rest may not be the best course of action for your back pain, and what you should do instead.

Why Bed Rest is Bad

If your back is so incredibly painful that you can hardly stand, that may warrant staying in a bed for a bit. The question is: How long? You may need to rest your back for a couple of days, but during that time you should not just lay around. Instead, get up and move around when you can. If you can find comfortable positions to get some movement in, then you should do that. This can help you to actually heal faster.

The research shows that:

  • Bed rest beyond two days isn’t helpful in healing
  • You can recover just as quick without bed rest
  • The sooner you see your chiropractor and begin therapy, the faster you will recover

Why Longer Bed Rest Doesn't Help You Heal

If you stay in bed more than a day or two, then you will risk actually increasing your pain. Inactive muscles become stiff, making it even more painful when you do eventually get up and walk around. Bed rest encourages loss of muscle strength and flexibility and each week you stay in bed can lead to a muscle loss of up to 30 percent! Those aren’t good odds, because when you do get out of bed, recovery will be even more difficult.

There are certain instances when bed rest is needed. If you have a fracture in your spine, then you may need to stay in bed, or if you are recovering from spinal surgery.

What About the Pain?

So, if you hurt your back, what can you do? Well, the first thing you need to do is get to the chiropractor! At The Joint you don't need an appointment, so hobble in right away. You can also use ice therapy to help with the immediate pain and any swelling. Put a cold pack on your back for 10 to 15 minutes, then take it off for the same amount of time. You can continue using it as long as you need to control pain. 

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.


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