Low back pain can flare up unexpectedly at any time or place. There are do-it-yourself suggestions that can be helpful, but many of these methods aren’t successful. Some home remedies can even be detrimental to your condition. Here are some tips to keep in mind when self-managing low back pain.

Using ice and heat

In many cases, people aren’t sure if ice or heat is better for their back. This choice can be very beneficial or harmful, depending on your injury. Typically, ice is a good decision because it reduces inflammation and swelling of the area. Applying ice is usually effective; however the initial sensation isn’t a very comfortable feeling. For this reason most people will mistakenly choose heat to begin treating their pain. This decision generally isn’t wise because heat pulls blood into an injured area that’s inflamed already, so increasing the amount of fluid actually causes more discomfort. At first, heat makes your back feel better, but usually the pain and its frequency intensify. When low back pain has long lasted a long time, or is chronic, heat can be beneficial since it relaxes muscles and improves mobility by decreasing muscle tension. However, never apply heat for more than 20 minutes at a time. Some people even burn themselves with the heating pad when they leave it on for too long. Don’t make that mistake. There are numerous ways to use ice. Even 5-10 minutes helps more than nothing at all. A recommended approach is to apply an ice pack or bag and alternate the application with 15 minutes with ice on, and then 15 minutes off, for a total of about 1 hour and 15 minutes. The time off allows your blood to return to the iced area and will help the area warm up again, which prevents frost bite and creates a pumping action. Contrast therapy is even more effective. Start with ice for approximately10 minutes, use heat for 5 minutes and repeat this pattern for about 40 minutes. This therapy strengthens the action that pushes fluids out with ice and then pulls them back in with heat. Both methods are valuable methods for managing low back pain. If icing seems to aggravate your condition, contact Spennetta Family Care Chiropractic Clinic in Madison, WI immediately to assess your unique circumstance.

Resuming activity

It’s natural for us to take on too much activity to get us back into our normal routine. Even though warning signs are present, we ignore them and push the low back tissues beyond their capacity, which often results in further injury. It’s normally best to be somewhat active than too stationary, but remember there is also a limit. If bending down causes an intensely sharp pain in your low back, stop and evaluate the situation. Your comfort level is important and will influence the type of movement that is most beneficial for you. If bending down decreases your low back pain, lift your knees to your chest. If bending back helps to alleviate your pain, Dr. Spennetta will determine which low back extensions are best for you. At Spennetta Family Care Chiropractic Clinic we’ll help you create a personalized exercise plan and guidelines for stretching. Don’t forget that back muscles weaken from too much sitting or lying around. Yet, concentrate on positions that feel good and prevent any sharp, stabbing pain.

At Spennetta Family Care Chiropractic Clinic we identify the source of your low back pain. If you, a loved one or a family member suffers from low back pain, call Dr. Spennetta at Spennetta Family Care Chiropractic Clinic in Madison, WI. Our number here is (608)273-2225. We would be pleased to offer our expert service and chiropractic care.