Back Pain Self Care
By Sara Butler
As much as you wish you could carry your chiropractor around in your back pocket to have on hand all the time, you are going to have to find ways to care for your own back between visits to The Joint. If you experience back pain and are unable to get to the chiropractor right away, here are some things you should in the meantime.
What You Shouldn’t Do
Most people automatically think of bed rest when they injure their back, but that’s actually the worst thing you can do. Rest might actually hurt more than it helps because it keeps the muscles causing your back pain locked in spasm. Blood flow to the affected area slows, everything tightens up – even unaffected muscles, and the chemical triggers that cause pain accumulate. Moving around is what will get you on the road to recovery, even if it doesn’t feel the best.
Bend It Back
An exercise you can try to help move around a bit is the backward bend. This should make any shooting pain into your legs centralize and help you to feel better. If the pain travels farther, then this probably isn’t the right exercise for you. But it’s worth a shot to help.
To do it:
- Lie face down on the floor
- Extend your arms out in front of you (think Superman)
- Slowly lift your upper body up off the floor
- Keep those feet on the ground
- Hold for five seconds
- Slowly lower the upper body down
- Repeat 10 times, up to once an hour
Try a Little Flexion
Bringing your legs to your chest is considered a flexion exercise. It can help with lower back pain or people who suffer from sacroiliac joint pain in the hips.
To do this exercise:
- Lie on your back
- Bend one leg while keeping the other flat on the floor
- Bring the bent leg toward your chest, wrapping your arms around it
- Hold for five seconds, pulling your leg to you
- Relax, and then repeat on each side three times
Of course, always make sure you check in with your chiropractor as soon as you can after back pain has started. If the pain is new, you may want to consult with the chiropractor at The Joint before even attempting these exercises for the first time. If you have questions, don’t forget you can always call The Joint!
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.