If you've suddenly developed back pain, you may be wondering if it will ever go away. Because your back is so central to your ability to move normally, even mild pain can seem like it's more serious than it is. That isn't to say you should ignore back pain, but don't assume that you're now facing lifelong disability and chronic pain. Your back pain could be a lot easier to treat with mild methods that benefit your life overall.
Relax, but Not Too Much
A bout of acute pain that came on quickly can make you feel weak and exhausted, and you may want to just rest up for a while. That's OK for a short time -- maybe a weekend or so. But low-impact exercise and movement, like easy walking or swimming, if they don't cause you more pain, can really help you feel better. Your doctor or a back specialist, like the ones at Southwest Florida Neurosurgical Associates, can give you more exercises and help you create a good strengthening routine. Many times acute back pain is due to simply tweaking your back, twisting the wrong way, lifting incorrectly, or doing something else that just strained your back. If you can increase your strength and general health, you can avoid more pain.
Learn to Lift
While learning to lift items is usually meant to help you avoid back pain, in this case it can help your current back troubles by not creating more strain. You shouldn't be lifting anything if it makes your back hurt, but if you've reached the point in your recovery where you're OK lifting things like a pair of shoes off the floor, you don't want to make the pain worse by moving incorrectly. Review the process for carefully and correctly lifting anything -- even light items -- with your doctor to ensure you don't set back your recovery.
Somewhat in Your Head
You may also want to investigate any emotional and psychological roots of the pain. That's not to say that your pain is imaginary. However, physical pain can have its origin in job or marital stress, depression, and so on. It might be worth double-checking whether a toxic workplace or troubled relationship (just as examples) could be contributing to your pain.
When You Do Need to See a Doctor Quickly
If the pain is incredibly severe, does not stop, radiates into your legs, or is accompanied by confusion or nerve weakness, get to your doctor immediately. If the pain is occurring after you've been in a car accident, were thrown from a bike or horse, or from another accident, you need to see a doctor quickly then, too.
Back pain is a lot less terrifying than many people make it out to be. It certainly is horrible when you have it, but chances are you can make the pain go away with milder management techniques.