Any kind of back injury can stunt your daily life for a while until you are recovered from it and back on your feet. Apart from unforeseen accidents, back injury can be due to sudden and heavy wrong movement, herniated discs and certain conditions that arise due to aging.
Some of the most common back injury conditions include herniated discs, fractured discs, sprains and strains. Fortunately, conditions like these heal over time without any need for surgery, mostly. But back injuries usually require some time to recover from. There are things you can do to hasten the recovery.
Restrict the movement of your back
The first thing the doctor will recommend is to restrict the movement of your back. Any micro-motions or movement of your spinal structure can result in pain. In conditions like herniated discs (or slip-disc), even simple movements like sitting or bending can result in sharp, shooting pain.
You can easily arrest the movement of your back with the help of a back brace. A back brace is a belt that is designed to arrest your spinal movement, support your back and help in posture correction.
Getting a good back brace is the first priority. A good back brace will have enough rigidity to restrict the movement and also be comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Depending on your condition, you can wear a back brace with lesser or higher rigidity.
For example, for a condition like herniated disc (slip-disc), a more rigid back brace might be needed to completely restrict the movement, since in many cases, any back movement causes severe pain in this condition.
In some other cases, normal physical activity is recommended and for that a less rigid back brace is needed so that it is restricting basic physical activity. Something like SandPuppy Backbrace Support which is rigid enough to restrict any jarring motions while allowing normal physical activity.
Do not resort to complete bed rest
Many doctors and physiotherapists will not recommend complete bed rest while you are in the recovery phase. Although if your condition is severe and causes severe pain, bed rest is the way to go until the condition and back pain has subsided a bit.
But in most cases, staying active to some degree is advisable. Indulging in even simple activities like walking releases endorphins which helps in faster recovery. The release of endorphins by indulging in low-impact activities can improve your mood and reduce your perception of pain.
You might be scared to get on your feet and exercise while in recovery and that’s understandable but if you can, indulging in light exercises like yoga, stretching will reduce your back pain and strengthen your muscles.
Try doing some light exercises or walking around to check your limits. Do not push your limits though. Do it with care and avoid any sudden movements.
Heat Therapy and Ice
Heat therapy is particularly helpful in easing the pain you experience. Daily 15-20 minutes of applying heat on your back will help in relieving your pain. But, more importantly, heat therapy helps in faster healing.
Heat increases the blood flow to the applied area which increases oxygen circulation in that area. Anything warm like a warm shower, hot packs, bath, will help. Although it is better to have a good, safe electric heating belt for the back.
Something like SandPuppy Flash is perfect for everyday heat therapy. It’s Far Infra-Red heating technology, the heat penetrates deep into the skin and provides effective heating and healing. FIR technology also makes it easier to use the heating pad since it doesn’t burn the skin with direct heat.
Cold therapy when coupled with heat therapy, can give some excellent results while in recovery. Many doctors recommend cold therapy along with heat therapy to reduce any inflammation or symptoms. Use cold packs or a cold gel pack for 15-20 minutes everyday.
Please keep in mind that freezing cold ice cubes are not ideal to use for cold therapy since the optimum temperature for cooling is 4-14oC. Use something like SandPuppy Iceheal to cover you back. It will provide effective cooling required for healing and will not cause cold burns.
Talk to your doctor or a qualified physiotherapist to recommend some physical activities, exercises or physical therapy to optimize the healing process.
Your physiotherapist will most likely get you on a low-impact exercise regime like simple stretches, yoga and educate you on proper postures. The overall goal is to inhibit symptoms, help with your posture, keep your back & core healthy and strong.
Make sure not to do any exercises that may cause more harm to your back. Consult your doctor or physiotherapist before going into any exercise regime.
Calm Your Mind
Research shows that your state of mind can affect your perception and actual pain. If you are feeling anxious or your mind is agitated, you are more likely to have pain.
Keeping your mind in a calm state will help you mentally to face your back pain that might arise in the recovery stage.