From lifting a heavy load to holding an awkward posture while sitting, there are a number of ways to hurt your lower back at work. Suffering a back injury can produce a lot of pain and make it impossible to go back to work for the next few days or even over a week. If you do suffer a lower back injury, you should have an idea of how your treatment will proceed.
Healthline explains various methods that many people use to treat their back injuries. Workplace injuries take many different forms, so the kind of treatment you will undergo will depend on your circumstances and what your doctor says.
Use ice and heat
Applying ice might reduce the swelling in the immediate aftermath of a back injury. Medical professionals do not recommend placing the ice directly on the affected area but to instead put it in a towel before applying to your back. Once a few days have passed, you may apply heat to the sore area, but be careful that you do not fall asleep with a heating pad on your skin.
You might consider a trip to the pharmacy for anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen. These medicines minimize swelling and inflammation, making them effective pain relievers. However, anti-inflammatory medicines may also produce side effects and might not mix well with other medications. Consultation with a doctor may be necessary to discuss possible health risks.
Another method of combating pain and swelling is to wear a brace that compresses the affected muscles. In the case of a lower back injury, you may need to wear a brace on your lower back. Still, keeping a brace on too long may become counterproductive since it can obstruct blood flow which your lower back needs to heal.
Limited bed rest
Your doctor will probably not recommend frequent bed rest. You may need more rest to ease your pain, but too much time in bed could actually hamper your recovery since you are not using your muscles. Your doctor may suggest that you only limit physical activity for a couple of days and then begin limited exercises and activities to rebuild your strength.