Thursday, September 16, 2010

Low Back Pain - Measures for Self-Care

Back pain can be sharp, dull, acute, or chronic.

Measures for Self-Care:
  • Take an over-the-counter medicine for relieving the pain, if needed.
  • For the first 48 hours, apply a cold pack to the pain-afflicted area. Do this for five to ten minutes at a time, several times a day.
  • After 48 hours, apply heat (e.g., hot water bottle, hot shower), several times a day. - Continue your regular activities to the extent possible. Rest your back if you must, but don't remain in bed for more than 2 to 3 days, even if your back hurts a lot.
Call your doctor for:
  • Pain that spreads down the legs and below the knee.
  • Pain that is very intense, or has lasted five days or more.
  • Increased pain when you move, cough, sneeze, lift something, or strain.
  • Loss of control over bladder or bowel.
  • Sensation of pain, burning, or itching when you pass urine, or if urine turns bloody or cloudy.
  • Fever or vomiting.
Get Immediate Care for:
  • Any serious injury affecting the neck, spine, or back.
  • The onset of pain being sudden and starting with a "cracking" sound.
  • Back pain accompanied by difficulty in breathing and lightheadedness.

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