Emergency Care for Low Back Injury

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1. For a recent strain or sprain apply cold to painful area – never heat!   A reusable, gel type, cold compress is preferable for this purpose, as it molds to the area and is not messy.  However, in a pinch, you can use a bag of frozen vegetables. Always wrap cold pack in a light-weight towel.  Apply cold pack to injured area for 20 minutes.  Return cold pack to freezer and wait one hour. Repeat 4 to 6 times.

2. Avoid sitting.  If however, it cannot be avoided, get up and move around every 15 to 20 minutes.  When seated be sure your knees are higher than your hips.  Put a rolled up towel behind the small of your back for extra support.

3. Stand tall.

4. Sit tall.

5. Tighten stomach muscles when moving.

6. Avoid lifting, bending, and twisting.

7. When driving, keep your knees higher than your hips.  Bring the car seat forward to accomplish this.  Support your low back.

8. Never stand with your knees locked!  When standing for a long period of time elevate one leg by placing it on a stool.  When standing at the kitchen sink, open the cabinet door below and rest one foot on the shelf.

9. Sleep on a firm mattress!  The floor, on the other hand, may be too firm.  Do not sleep on a waterbed.  Sleep on your side with your knees bent and a small pillow between your knees or on your back with a pillow under your knees.  When you get out of bed, roll to one side, then push yourself up with your arms.

10. Walking is usually good exercise for a sore back.

Your muscles will stay in spasm and tighten if not stretched.

11. When getting into the car, sit on the edge of the seat first.  Then place your feet inside the car.

12. Make an appointment to come in as soon as possible after an injury.  It is crucial that a correction be made quickly to ensure proper healing occurs.

 

 Related: When Seeking Medical Care

 

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