Back Pain Remedies For Dummies
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At its best, back pain makes it hard to think about anything else; but at its worst, back pain can be debilitating. When your back suddenly acts up, try the following regime to get your pain attack under control:

  • Go to bed, but not for long: Limited bed rest (one to three days) can help calm down back pain.

  • Use ice and heat: Applying ice and heat to your back can help control the symptoms and make you more comfortable.

  • Use anti-inflammatory medication: Unless you have a medical reason for not taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, Advil, Aleve, Motrin, Nuprin, and other medications work very well for pain.

  • Start moving around even during the bed rest phase: Limited bed rest is helpful, but you should gradually increase your activity as soon as you can. Walking is one of the best and safest exercises.

  • Return to normal activity: After limited bed rest, gradually increase your activities each day until you return to your normal levels.

  • Seek professional help: If you experience any of the warning signs mentioned in the preceding section get professional help.

If this self-management approach to your back pain doesn't provide significant relief after about one week, then you should see a doctor if you have not already done so.

About This Article

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About the book authors:

Michael S. Sinel, MD, and William W. Deardorff, PhD, a clinical health psychologist, are renowned back specialists who teach at UCLA School of Medicine and practice at California Orthopedic and Rehabilitation.

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