Do you experience frequent back pain? If so, is it mild, moderate, or severe? If you don’t get back pain on a regular basis, have you ever suffered from acute discomfort in your neck, upper back, or lower back? Perhaps you lifted something that was too heavy or yanked open a door the wrong way. In any case, you understand how painful a sore back can be, and its effect on daily activities involved with your job or your family. Simple actions like getting into a car or climbing steps can become excruciatingly difficult when your back has been injured in a significant way.
After experiencing an injury, fall, or other event that may precipitate back pain, make an appointment to see your doctor for a physical exam and any diagnostic tests that need to be done. Your physician will evaluate your symptoms and establish an impression of your condition, along with a plan of care for treating it. Often a back injury will require plenty of rest. But the doctor also may prescribe medication like painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicine that can help to reduce pain and swelling. Your doctor may advise bed rest or restricted activities to give any strains or tears a chance to heal. In some cases, you may need to take physical or occupational therapy to learn how to reuse some muscles or bones in your back if they have been injured or have had to recuperate.
At home on your own, you can take several important steps to help your condition improve. The most important thing you can do is to follow the doctor’s orders. Don’t try to second-guess a medical expert. Just do as you’re told unless you have a serious concern that the doctor’s advice is way off base. Then you can seek a second opinion from a qualified medical expert to see whether it confirms or contradicts the first expert’s opinion. Another thing you can do is report any negative change in your symptoms to the doctor. He or she may need to reevaluate your condition and perhaps change the treatment plan. If you experience an allergic reaction or side effect to the medication, the doctor will want to know about it and provide alternative medicine.
Don’t overexert yourself at home. Let family members help with household tasks, and allow them to assist you with daily care, as needed. Avoid undertaking any strenuous activities that could lead to a setback in your recovery. Take medications as prescribed, since taking more than recommended could lead to an overdose or drug dependency, and taking less than what you need may extend the recovery period or increase pain and inflammation.
No one enjoys a back injury. It can cause you to lose work, be unable to enjoy leisure activities, and make life more difficult in many ways. That’s why you should take advantage of any at-home rest therapy that is ordered and don’t try to rush things on your own.