Ow! My Back is Killing Me!

It's happened to nearly 80% of us before.  One minute you're fine.  You were moving boxes, or just reaching behind you for something, and suddenly you feel a sharp pain in your lower back.  Sometimes this pain can be so severe that you can't walk or even get up. Commonly, this is known as "throwing your back out"

So what happened??  For most people, what's happened is a muscle spasm caused by sudden motion going in a direction the back isn't used to going in, or by excessive strain on the muscles.   And often there's an underlying cause to the spasm as well, such as degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis or osteoarthritis. Throwing your back out can also happen if you've herniated a disk.  This means that a rubbery disk in between the bony vertebrae in your back has developed a bulge or tear in it.  But in whatever case, throwing your back out is painful!  And it can often be debilitating.  

So what can you do if this has happened to you?  For the first 24 hours you can apply ice wrapped in a towel over the injury for 5 minutes at a time.  That can help local swelling and pain.  If you can't get up you should lie in bed face up with pillows propped up under your knees, and your upper body supported at a slight incline.  This takes pressure off of your lower back muscles allowing them to rest.  But when you can get up you should.  Light walking, and just going about your daily activities will increase circulation to the injured area helping it to heal faster.

And when you can make it in, get acupuncture.  Lower back injuries are one of the most common injuries that we treat.  And even if we do say so ourselves, acupuncture treats lower back pain exceptionally well.  Most people get immediate relief from even their first visit.  Beyond that, our physicians are always looking for the underlying cause of the injury as well, so that we can not only relieve your pain, but also help you keep it away.  Herbal medicine, nutrition, exercises, and acupuncture work together to knock out the pain, and strengthen your back, keeping it healthy for years to come.