Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: March 19, 2019
When it comes to preventing and treating back pain, there are a number of different things you can do to help your spine. One of the simplest things you can do is rest, and while it may seem like it’s providing you with pain relief, it may not be the best option for your back. Today, we explain why inactivity and rest can actually cause more problems for your back than it’s worth.
Actively Treating Your Back Pain
For a number of injuries, rest is great. When you break your collarbone, putting it in a sling and resting it is integral to the healing process. But oftentimes treating back issues is much different. While rest can be important for the first 48 hours, after that, it may be preventing you from reaching your maximum healing. Here’s why:
- Reduced Flexibility – Remaining inactive for long periods while you’re recovering from back pain or an operation can limit your flexibility in a region. You want to move so that you can keep these areas loose, limber and capable of performing everyday movements and supporting normal stress.
- Loss of Muscle Tone – If you don’t challenge your spinal muscles and they remain stagnant for days or weeks, you’re going to lose muscle tone, and that can leave you at an increased risk for future back issues because these muscles can no longer shoulder as much weight and stress. Activity helps to keep and build muscle tone.
- Decreased Scar Tissue – After surgery, physical therapy and other movement exercises can help to prevent scar tissue from enveloping nerve or other structures that could lead to pain.
- Blood Clots – If you lay in bed for long periods nursing a back injury, you have an increased risk of developing blood clots in your legs. Movement is key for your whole body, not just your spine when recovering from a back injury.
- Depression – Finally, studies have also shown that activity is beneficial for your mental health while you’re dealing with an injury. If you remain inactive for long periods, it can have a negative effect on your mental state. Endorphins released with exercise can help to keep you in a positive mindset.
These tips are general in nature and should not be substituted in place of individualized advice from your treating physician, but for mild or moderate back injuries, activity does typically play a key role in the recovery process. So if you are wondering how to best deal with your back injury or discomfort, do yourself a favor and set up an appointment with Dr. Sinicropi and his team today. We will help diagnose your pain and set you up with a comprehensive treatment plan that will likely involve mobility exercises to give you the best chance at making a full recovery. For more information, reach out to our office today.