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Back strain treatment; Back pain - home care: Low back pain - home care; Lumbar pain - home care
A common myth about back pain is that you need to rest and avoid activity for a long time. In fact, bed rest is NOT recommended. If you have no sign of a serious cause for your back pain (such as loss of bowel or bladder control, weakness, weight loss, or fever), then you should stay as active as possible. Here are some tips for how to handle back pain and activity early on:
EXERCISE AND YOUR BACK PAIN
Exercise is important for preventing future back pain. Through exercise you can:
A complete exercise program should include aerobic activity (such as walking, swimming, or riding a stationary bicycle), as well as stretching and strength training. Always follow the instructions of your doctor or physical therapist.
Begin with light cardiovascular training. Walking, riding a stationary bicycle, and swimming are great examples. Such aerobic activities can help improve blood flow to your back and promote healing. They also strengthen muscles in your stomach and back.
Stretching and strengthening exercises are important in the long run. However, starting these exercises too soon after an injury can make your pain worse. A physical therapist can help you determine when to begin stretching and strengthening exercises and how to do them.
Avoid these exercises during recovery, unless your doctor or physical therapist say it is okay:
PREVENTING YOUR BACK PAIN FROM COMING BACK
To prevent back pain, it is also very important to learn to lift and bend properly. Follow these tips:
Other measures to prevent back pain include:
Learn to relax. Try methods such as yoga, tai chi, or massage.
Anema JR, Steenstra IA, Bongers PM, de Vet HC, Knol DL, Loisel P, van Mechelen W. Multidisciplinary rehabilitation for subacute low back pain: graded activity or workplace intervention or both? A randomized controlled trial. Spine. 2007;32:291-298.
Chou R, Qaseem, Snow V, Casey D, Cross JT Jr., Shekelle P, et al. Diagnosis and treatment of low back pain: a joint clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society. Ann Intern Med. 2007;147:478-491.
Chou R, Loeser JD, Owens DK, Rosenquist RW, et al. American Pain Society Low Back Pain Guideline Panel. Interventional therapies, surgery, and interdisciplinary rehabilitation for low back pain: an evidence-based clinical practice guideline from the American Pain Society. Spine. 2009;34(10):1066-77.
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