Nothing wrecks your week faster than a back injury. Lower back pain really hurts, and affects 80%-90% of adult Americans at some point during their lifetime. Most pain of this nature begins by pulling or twisting the muscles in your back, usually by doing out-of-the-ordinary physical activity. The resulting pain can last anywhere from a week to three months depending on your age and what you do to recover.
When suffering from an injury to your lower back, rest is not necessarily the best medicine. The discs in your back get their nourishment and strength from motion. Try taking it easy for a day or two, but then incorporating movement and exercise into your routine. Walking is a great way to get active without over-working your back. Also, do some light yoga or stretching specifically targeting your back and abdomen. Whereas this might cause some initial pain, your body will feel better in the long run. Icing your back will give you relief and help your muscles recover as well. It’s okay to take some over-the-counter medication for pain relief, although you should consider scheduling an appointment with your doctor if you don’t feel any improvement within a week.
Prevention ultimately makes for the best medicine. Living a sedentary lifestyle during the week and then pushing it hard on the weekend can easily lead to a back injury. Try your best to incorporate exercise into your everyday life. Simply getting up and walking around your office every hour or so can do wonders. If nothing else, make sure you stretch and warm up before jumping into a weekend basketball game, or getting to your “to-do” list.
When lifting heavy objects, make sure you engage your core muscles and lift with your legs. Doing abdominal exercises and target back-muscle strengthening will also ensure that you don’t injure your back when the time comes for heavy lifting. You won’t regret it!