Suffering a back injury can be intensely painful and frustrating. The frustration is often a result of not being able to physically do the things you used to do, such as walking long distances, lifting objects, running, or even sitting comfortably for long periods of time.
There are steps you can take to assist your recovery from a back injury. Of course, the most important aspect of your rehabilitation is to follow your doctor’s advice and attend physiotherapy. And before doing any of the suggestions mentioned in this article, you should consult your health professional.
Contrary to popular belief, bed-rest is not the best cure for back pain, especially for lower-back pain. The spine is made to move, and lying still for too long can cause it to stiffen and slow down the healing process. No one is suggesting that you attempt to run a marathon shortly after sustaining a back injury, but after a couple of days’ rest, gently return to normal activities such as walking around the house, making beds, etc. If this feels comfortable, perhaps try some supervised yoga to help stretch your back and increase flexibility.
Use ice and heat
Both ice and heat play an important role in managing pain caused by a back injury. Ice can help reduce inflammation and discomfort immediately after the injury to your back occurs.
Applying heat can help reduce muscle spasms and soften tense ligaments. Wait three days before using heat packs as warmth can increase inflammation if applied too soon after you receive the injury.
Studies have shown that victims of back injuries who drink plenty of water have reduced pain.
Between every two vertebrae lies a disk, which functions as a shock absorber for all that we put our backs through everyday. This disk has two parts: an outer, flexible but very tough ring, which is filled with a gelatinous substance, called the nucleus pulposis. This inner substance is primarily water. All day long, as gravity works on our upright spine, water is slowly squeezed out of the disks.
Increasing your water intake will ensure the disks stay hydrated. Water can also help flush out any lactic acid discharged when a knotted muscle is treated in massage therapy.
A fully trained massage therapist specialising in treating back injuries can employ techniques specifically designed to help speed up recovery and ease back pain.
Massage therapy works by ‘massaging out’ the scar tissue that can form hard lines after a strain or pulled muscle occurs. By employing massage to dispel the tissue which can hamper the way healthy back muscles function, and combining this with gentle strengthening exercises, you may be able to increase the speed of your recovery.
Alternative treatments such as osteopathy and chiropractic therapy
Osteopathy and chiropractic treatments may assist you with recovering from back pain and injury.
Osteopaths use physical manipulation, stretching and massage, with the aim of:
- increasing the mobility of joints
- relieving muscle tension
- enhancing the blood supply to tissues
- helping the body to heal
According to the NHS website, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends osteopathy as a treatment for lower back pain.
Chiropractic treatment providersuse their hands in a variety of ways to manipulate the spine. They also offer advice on diet, and provide rehabilitation tips and exercises you can do at home. Like osteopathy, there is evidence that chiropractic treatment can be effective on lower back pain.
If you do try alternative treatments, make sure you choose a practitioner who belongs to a governing body. By law, osteopaths must be registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) and chiropractors must belong to the General Chiropractic Council.
Claiming compensation for a back injury
If you have received a back injury and you believe it was caused by another person or organisation’s negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
Come and speak to our friendly team of solicitors, who can quickly establish whether a claim exists.
Back injuries can be debilitating, but with time and care, you should be able to return to normal activities and get on with an active life.
At Russell Worth Solicitors we specialise in personal injury claims. If you have suffered an injury as a result of an accident that was not your fault and would like a free claim assessment, please call us now on 0800 028 2060 or complete our Online Claim Assessment.