Back pain occurrences do not always require a health care visit. There are several things you can try to help alleviate back pain before seeing a board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor, or physiatrist.
The following are suggestions to help while in discomfort;
- Light Exercise – when you are in pain, it is natural to want to remain still. In many cases, this can be more harmful and slow down the healing process. Your muscles can become weaker and tighter causing more pain in the long run. Try to stay as active as possible.
- Find a comfortable position – when in rest mode, aim to find a position that relieves the pain. There are many examples to try depending on where your pain is located. Using pillows to help stay in a certain position or to take pressure off certain sore spots, can be a comfortable tool to use. One example is to lie on your back with your hips and knees bent and placing the pillow under your knees. If lying on your side is better, bend knees and place the pillow between them.
- Heat or Ice – Alternating heat and ice can be an effective way to manage back pain. Ice can lessen the pain while heat helps loosen tight muscles. Place an ice pack or frozen peas on the area of pain or a heating pad always using a towel between the cold or hot vessel and skin’s surface to avoid skin and nerve damage.
- Pain Reliever Medications – Over the counter pain medications can help manage soreness. These may include Tylenol, Acetaminophen, or ibuprofen products such as Advil, Aleve, or Motrin. Additionally, this type of medication can help with inflammation. Be sure and check with your health care physician before starting any new medication.
Once you have tried these methods and feel better, you can return to normal activities. If your pain continues or worsens, reach out to your doctor to determine if it is more serious.
The board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation doctors at Tarpon Interventional Pain & Spine Care would be happy to answer any questions. Visit our website, www.tarponpa.com to learn more.