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Sunday, August 31, 2014

2 Easy steps to dealing with Right and Left Lower Back Pain

2 Easy steps to dealing with Right and Left Lower Back Pain

Statistically left and right lower back pain accounts for up to 40% of missed days at work in the US. Notwithstanding any serious injury including fracture, I decided to summarize a series of things that may be done at home in order to speed the healing process and potentially decrease the disability associated with these types of acute injuries.

First.  Keep moving.

Chances are that if you hurt your back, you went to your doctor and he prescribed you pain medication, anti inflammatory pills, and possibly a muscle relaxer.  He then told you to lay down in bed and rest your back for a week.   It turns out that often times is the wrong plan. Although I won't comment on the use of prescription medication, I can tell you that laying in bed can actually delay your recovery.

I suggest to most of my patients to get up and try and walk when they have acute left or right lower back pain.  You shouldn't necessarily do any type of exercise that requires physical exertion, but you should get up on your feet and at least just try walking.  This does wonders for back pain, and I have found that the quicker you get on your feet and walk, possibly even before the inflammation sets in, the better you are going to be.

Second.  Do some stretching.

1.  I like the torso twist.  You can sit or lay on your back and slowly twist your body.  Think of it like you are gently ringing out a towel.  You would need to do the twist to the left and right and just hold yourself in that twisted position on each side for at least 30 seconds.

2.  Do a cat stretch.  The way you do this is to get on the ground or your bed on your knees and hands.  You will then try and arch your back toward the ceiling and hold for at least 30 seconds.  Next you are going to stay in the hands and knees position and arch your back downward toward the floor.

3.  Last, I usually recommend lower extremity stretches.  The usual sitting down and touching toes.  This gets the hamstrings.  Also I recommend trying to stretch the quadriceps by lying face up and trying to flex the knee and put the foot behind your thigh.  Lastly, I advise people to do groin stretches and the best way to do this is in the sitting position on the floor, taking both feet in toward your body and trying to place the soles of the feet together.  From this point, you can slowly and gently pull the feet in toward the body.  Hold for at least 30 seconds to a minute.

So.  Walk and stretch.  The formula is to keep moving.  

I have been in practice since 1996.  I am located in Miramar Florida.  My office number is                          954-659-8600.  My cell phone is 305-979-5549