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Lower Back Pain

Broke your back while attempting the wheel pose? Here are some things you can do before you see your doctor.

So in the process of attempting the wheel pose, you busted your back. Ouch. Well, at least you know what compelled you to google, “lower back pain.” For the vast majority (85%) of lower back pain sufferers out there, the trigger or the underlying condition is not obvious. The good news is, statistically speaking, your pain should self resolve in about four weeks. I don’t care about statistics, you say. I just want the pain to go away!

Understandably, your impulse is to lie in bed, pop in pain killers, and Netflix your way out of the next couple of weeks. Don’t do that! The North American Spine Society recommends against bed rest for more than 48 hours. Long periods of bed rest or inactivity may be associated with worse outcomes for patients with lower back pain. So do yourself a favor: get up and remain active as tolerated. (To be clear, “active” does not mean doing a couple of burpees.)

There are a few drug-free ways to help relieve back pain, according to the American College of Physician. While you make your way out of bed, try applying a heat pad to your back, as heat may reduce muscle spasms. Acupuncture can also be helpful for pain control in some people, although studies fall short of showing improvements in functional status. Spinal manipulation has also been recommended to address back pain. This recommendation was based on low quality evidence showing that spinal manipulation was associated with a small positive effect on function. If you decide to undergo spinal manipulation, find a licensed, reputable therapist because following manipulation, serious adverse events (such as worsening lumbar disc herniation) while rare, can occur.

Hopefully, with good self care and guidance from your doctor, you’ll be mastering the wheel pose in no time.

low back pain infographic, ways to manage acute low back pain


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