Back Care First AidIn most cases, do-it-yourself back care for low back pain should center on a combination of:
- A short course of rest, limited to one to two days
- Pain medication, such as NSAIDs (e.g. ibuprofen) and/or acetaminophen
- Application of ice and/or heat on the lower back to decrease inflammation.
Other Forms of Lower Back CareWalking is often an excellent exercise for low back pain since it is gentle on the back and helps oxygenate the soft tissues in the back to stimulate a healing response. If walking is too painful, exercising in the water (water therapy or pool therapy) is usually tolerable. Such back care is typically beneficial for lower back pain because the water counteracts gravity and helps to support the patient’s weight in a controlled fashion.
When to Seek Lower Back Care from a Medical Professionalchiropractor. The assessment of the patient begins with a history of the patient’s low back pain and includes questions such as:
- Where is the back pain?
- Is there more low back pain or more leg pain?
- How long has the pain been present?
- Does anything make the lower back pain better?
- Does anything make the low back pain worse?
- What back pain care has been tried?
- Have there been other episodes of lower back pain?
Initial Back Care and Lower Back Pain HelpCombining the information from the patient’s history, physical exam, and diagnostic studies, the health provider will then recommend a course of back care for the lower back pain. Generally, conservative (non-surgical) treatments for the low back pain will be recommended first.
If conservative back care fails, back surgery may be a reasonable option to try to cure the lower back pain.