There are certain thumb rules for winning the battle with low back pain. They apply to the most general type of low back pain which mainly hit the back accompanied by some pain in the buttock or thigh.
Most people who suffer from an attack of back pain will improve in a week or so – nevertheless it can take up to a month to go away entirely.
All attacks of back pain recuperate from an initial short span of rest to allow them the best chance of recovery. Spend as little time as possible in bed because the muscles and bones of the spine will start losing some of their natural strength. Try to lie on a hard high bed if possible. When you are in standing position, you have to encourage circulation of blood in your spine by gently moving back and forward.
Even though a facet joint is perhaps stimulating the pain, it is often muscle cramp which keeps the lower back pain going. If you can start to ease this spasm then things will settle faster. Apply a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel to administer heat for nearly twenty minutes. Gently ease the spine afterward by encouraging gentle, small back and forward movements and then administer ice.
Try simple paracetamol or aspirin - despite attractive advertisements from drug companies. If this is not easing in twenty four hours then don’t take risk and consult your doctor to prescribe something a bit stronger.
After some time of initial rest you must receive the same regular flow of blood around the spine. The heat and ice process elucidated above will help you but nothing beats soft movement - discs depend on it to maintain their nourishment. If possible, ask someone to gently massage the stiff muscles of the spine. Then lie on your side and start movement by curling up the legs towards your abdomen. Continue these types of spinal movement going for several days when you are back on your feet again. Get into this habit and you may prevent further traumas.
Smoking is bad for your back. The chemicals in the smoke reduce the body’s ability to repair damage. Smoking during an acute attack is traumatic.
Small amount of alcohol can ease pain and cramp but avoid the habit to use it as a pain killer. An inflamed disc requires as much water as possible for speedy recovery but alcohol lead to fluid loss from the body. Hence drinking more than a glass or two of wine everyday will diminish the recovery process.
If you are bedridden for a day or two then take the chance to evaluate your overall lifestyle. Are you obese? Do you actually get as much exercise as required? Make a few guidelines as you lie there and convert the negative experience of back pain into one with a positive and fruitful outcome.
And if you are inclined to recurrent spells of back ache frequently then you should be taking a close note at either your bed or your mattress or both. Is it too firm or too soft?
Following the general guidelines above will witness most of you well on the way to recovery within two or three days. But in any case if your condition is not improving by that stage then seek the assistance of someone expert in "hands on" manual therapy for your back pain. This could be a chiropractor, an osteopath, or a physiotherapist based on availability or your requirement.
For those of you unfortunate enough to experience an attack of true sciatica then also most of the above applies. Real sciatica is nerve pain that runs down the leg, often approaching the foot. It will manifest an electric shock type of sensation and the slightest movement of the back is sufficient to turn if on. The sufferer may have only slight back pain and sometimes often have no pain in the back - it can all be accumulated in the leg. Pins and needles or numbness can also be experienced.
It is still worth administering the techniques above, nevertheless the pain of sciatica is more severe mostly people get better without any particular treatment after a week or two. Heat and ice will also assist and a positive attitude is what that makes a great difference to the results. Strong painkillers are to be avoided in many cases. Ensure that they don't make you constipated. Take the painkillers but use a laxative too.