Physical activity can be a pleasant change for those used to a sedentary lifestyle. Often one becomes overenthusiastic and does not know when to stop. Suddenly, there is a pop followed by sharp, shooting pain. Acute pain can occur due to forceful or repeated stress such as from moving furniture, doing yard work or participating in sports. A back injury can be severe making it difficult to move and sometimes even breathe. Acute pain from spine injuries should always be evaluated by a doctor but there are certain measures you can take to ease your symptoms and protect your back.
The first thing to do is to stop the activity that caused the injury and rest. Walking or sitting can sometimes worsen symptoms so lying down may be better. However, this is not recommended for more than 1-2 days as your back can tighten up and become stiff without any movement.
Ice should be applied as soon as possible as it helps relieve swelling and pain and can reduce bleeding if present, inside the tissues. You can use a cold pack, ice bag or packet of frozen vegetables. Wrap it in a cloth and apply it to the injured site for about 20 minutes several times a day. A day or two after the injury, heat is beneficial and can relieve muscle strain. A warm shower or a hot tub soak is also recommended.
In most cases, acute pain responds to conservative treatment, but if pain lasts longer than a few weeks and is affecting your daily routine, its best to consult a doctor as there could be several other problems that need specific treatment. The American Spine Center specializes in the diagnosis and management of acute and chronic pain from orthopedic injuries. Our specialists are highly experienced and employ a wide range of sophisticated, cutting edge non-surgical treatments that promote healing and are effective for most cases of pain.