What to do when you have a severe flare of low back pain and cannot get into your doctor?

If you are experiencing severe low back pain, it is important to seek medical attention. Severe low back pain can be caused by a variety of conditions and can sometimes be a sign of a more serious problem, such as a herniated disk or spinal stenosis. A healthcare provider can help determine the cause of the pain and recommend appropriate treatment.

In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to help manage the pain:

 

  • Apply heat or cold: Applying heat or cold to the affected area can help to reduce pain and inflammation. You can use a heating pad, hot water bottle, or warm compress to apply heat, or you can use an ice pack or cold compress to apply cold.
  • Take over-the-counter pain medications: Over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil), can help to reduce pain and inflammation.

Follow the instructions on the label or ask your healthcare provider for guidance on how much to take.

  • Use good body mechanics: Good body mechanics can help to reduce the strain on your back. When standing or sitting, keep your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent. When lifting, bend your knees and keep the object close to your body. Avoid twisting your back or carrying heavy objects for long periods of time.
  • Try gentle stretches: Gentle stretches can help to loosen tight muscles and improve flexibility. Examples of stretches that may be helpful include the cat-cow stretch, the Child’s pose, and the cobra stretch.
  • Take breaks: If you have to be on your feet for a long time, take breaks and stretch periodically to reduce the strain on your back.

It is important to avoid activities that increase the pain or make it worse. If the pain does not improve or if it is severe, contact your healthcare provider for further evaluation and treatment

Dr. Raj Desai