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Tips for Self-Management Acute Low Back Pain

Tips for Self-Management Acute Low Back Pain

by Trever Heppe, PT, DPT

Low back pain is common in society, with research showing about 80% of the population will experience low back pain at some point in their lifetime. This is regardless of age and can range from mild to debilitating.

Unfortunately, back pain has become somewhat of a common occurrence in society today, but that doesn't mean it's the end of the world.

So, what can you do for yourself during these painful times? There is no magic cure or pill that can take away your pain, but there is something you can do to help yourself. Here are a few things to do when you begin to experience acute low back pain:

1.Relax, try not to worry, and stay positive: Majority of low back pain subsides on its own and majority isn' t threatening unless associated with some sort of trauma. Worrying and being fearful about your low back pain or movement has been shown to prolong pain or make it worse.

Pain and tissue damage are not correlated,so, increased pain with certain movements does not mean you're damaging your back more.

Pain is a protective mechanism and is meant to keep you alive to avoid perceived threat or danger. One good strategy is to remain positive that you can overcome this pain. Performing some stress relieving or relaxation techniques can be helpful. Anything that helps you relax can be constructive, such as diaphragmatic breathing or meditating.  

2. Keep Moving: The urge can be overwhelming, but bed rest has been shown to make low back pain worse. Modifying your daily activities may be necessary to ensure you are still able to move. Walks are an option, for those suffering with pain, that's not overly strenuous to perform and allows to maintain some level of activity. Always try modifying a task that you must perform throughout the day while experiencing low back pain rather than just avoiding it all together.

If you're overweight, movement is even more important. When you gain extra weight it strains the musculoskeletal system, your body has to work harder to hold itself up; this includes the heart working vigorously for the demand it has from the added weight. Small changes in lifestyle, such as what we eat, can greatly impact us in the long run. For example, adding turmeric can help alleviate inflammation and help in the process of weight loss. 

3.Finding a meaningful activity to perform: This goes along with the previous point, but I feel it's important enough to be mentioned separately. Finding an activity you enjoy performing while having back pain can be greatly beneficial in the long run. This will allow you to perform an activity you enjoy doing within tolerable amounts of pain. This can do wonders for your motivation and positivity. Though you may not be able to perform the activity the same way, modifying the activity to allow for participation is always an option. 

The best outcomes are those where you take an active role in your recovery. These are just a few examples of what you can do to help yourself. Pain is a human experience. Learning self-management strategies can be effective for low back pain and many other situations. When you will likely experience pain again at some point in your life, hang in there! You got this!

Trever Heppe works at Optimal Therapy an Affiliated Company (previously Affiliated Therapy) located on 215 and Windmill in South Las Vegas. 

The address is 1525 E Windmill Lane #102 Las Vegas, NV, 89123

To schedule an appointment call 702-564-6712 or click here to see a list of our locations.

Trever Heppe was born in northern California but was raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. After graduating from Coronado High School, Trever 

completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from UNLV. Trever became interested in physical therapy through his background in sports and while working for several clinics as a physical therapy technician throughout the pursuit of his undergraduate degree. He graduated with his Doctor of Physical Therapy from Touro University Nevada.

Trever wishes to specialize in treating young athletes of all sports. His goal is to obtain his specialty in sports. Because soccer is a huge part of Trever’s life, he also aspires to one day become a youth soccer coach.

Trever enjoys remaining active in his spare time. He enjoys watching soccer and playing in several leagues around town. He also enjoys snowboarding, Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, and rock climbing.

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