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What to Do When Your Back Goes Out

By Sara Butler

It’s not uncommon for the chiropractors at The Joint to see patients who have thrown their back out while attempting a simple action. It could be something as innocuous as bending over to pick up a piece of paper off the floor and then having pain course through the body and not being able to stand up straight. If this has happened to you, then you know this feeling. If it happens, what can be done? Well, here are some hints from the chiropractors at The Joint to help you know what to do if your back goes out.


First and foremost, people who realize their back has gone out (or gone into a muscle spasm, more accurately) need to stop and breathe. It may feel like the world is about to come crashing down, but relaxing is very important in this moment. The back muscles have gotten really dramatic and basically gone haywire in an attempt to protect the back but went completely overboard. If possible, a person going through this should stay where they are and let the muscles settle down a bit. Deep breaths will help.


Once the initial spasm has passed, slowly try to stretch backward. This can help to shorten the muscles that have spasmed, but care must be taken not to make it worse. Carefully put your hands on the lower back and arch backward slightly to try to help. If pain bursts again, stop and go back to breathing.

Do Not Sit

The back must be straight, so don’t attempt to sit in order to take the pressure off. Most of the time this will only make the situation worse, so either lie down or walk around. The movement will help get the blood pumping and settle the muscles. Don’t go crazy and overdo it, but slowly move around, then lie down on your back with the knees bent. A firm surface will be better.

Ice It

Ice is a back spasm's best friend. It can help to alleviate the inflammation that will only cause more pain and offer some relief. The faster ice can be applied, the better. Apply ice for 20 minutes at a time, and then take it off for 20 minutes.

Now that the spasm is under control, you need to get to The Joint to see a chiropractor! They can help determine why the spasm happened and make sure the spinal discs are in good shape. They’ll likely perform an adjustment and get you on the road to recovery!

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


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