Due to hurricane damage, the Havelock location is closed until further notice. Havelock therapists Hannah Zhang, Sarah Hall and Judy Hickes are available to see patients at the New Bern location. Please call the New Bern location at (252) 636-9800 to discuss your care.

Here is what you should do for your back pain

Back Pain

Nearly all of us will experience back pain at some point in our lives. While not all back pain is severe enough to seek immediate medical treatment, even minor back pain can be a detriment to enjoying our daily lives. So, when back pain does flare up, here are a few things that can help your back pain.

Get up and move

Your first inclination when dealing with back pain may be to rest in bed until the pain goes away. While rest can be beneficial, too much inactivity can atrophy your muscles, reduce flexibility in the spine and increase stiffness.

You are better off moderating your activity level and sticking to low impact exercises like yoga, walking or swimming. These types of activities will avoid flaring up back pain and increase blood flow to your back to help promote the natural healing process of the body.

Using ice and heat

When treating your back pain, hot and cold packs can help provide relief of your symptoms. Generally, you should stick to ice following the first 24 hours after a flare up. Apply ice 20 minutes at a time to avoid causing cold damage to the skin.

After the initial inflammation and swelling has been treated with ice, you can switch to heat to help relax tension in the muscles. The heat will also improve circulation and can inhibit pain signals.

Fix the posture

One of the most common causes of back pain is poor posture. Sitting for long periods of time without getting up, or staring at our computer screens or smartphones is terrible for our spinal health. The next time back pain flares up, try this simple exercise to release tension in the neck, shoulders and back.

  • Begin by standing straight up and with your head looking straight ahead.
  • Next, bring your shoulder blades back. Imagine trying to hold a coin between them to get into the correct position.
  • From this position, move your shoulder blades down toward your core. Hold for 8 to 10 seconds.

When done correctly, you should feel the tightness in your upper back, shoulders and neck relax. This exercise can also help train your body to maintain good posture.

Physical therapy for back pain

When at-home remedies are not relieving your back pain symptoms, physical therapy may help. Contact Peak Performance today to set up your initial appointment and discuss your treatment options.