Advice for Dealing with Acute Back Pain


When our back hurts, we want it to stop NOW! It’s not just the pain, but the way that back pain affects everything we do. It can be very restricting and can limit the way we live. Whilst these techniques will only relieve back pain temporarily until the underlying problem is corrected, they are best way to naturally feel better without have to resort to drugs/medication. Be sure to get your spine adjusted by us ASAP too so we can make sure you are quickly jumping with joy again!


1. Go for a walk. Walking is our most natural movement. If you are able to walk without too much pain, this is the one thing that will start to improve your back pain quickly.

2. Use ice packs. This is most useful if you have a recent back injury. Wrap something from your freezer (ice, frozen vegetables, an ice pack if you have one) in a small towel and apply it directly onto the painful area. It should feel cold, but not ‘freezing’ or painful. Leave the ice pack on for 10 minutes, but no longer. This can be repeated every hour.

3. Drink lots of water. The spinal discs like water. A lot of back pain comes from injury or damage to the spinal discs, being well hydrated keeps them happy!

4. Don’t sit! More and more research is showing that excessive sitting can be damaging our backs. It is important if you have a sedentary lifestyle that involves hours of sitting each day, that you get up and give your back a rest regularly. You should not sit for longer than 20 minutes at a time.

5. Rest lying on your back with your knees bent. This can be on your bed with a couple of pillows under your knees, or on the floor with your feet and lower legs up on a chair. This position takes all the pressure off your back.

6. Lastly: Do no H.A.R.M. Heat increases blood flow, which is good for chronic muscle spasm, but very bad for inflammation and swelling (see point 2). Alcohol also increases blood flow and will make inflammation worse. Running or any kind of vigorous activity could further strain the injury. Massage can be very tempting, but again will increase blood flow and potentially do more damage to the injured tissue if applied in the first few days.

Obviously if you are suffering with acute back pain, you need to get in to see us as quickly as possible so we can get you back on track fast. In the mean time, try these simple tricks at home which are the best way to relieve back pain at home until we can find out the exact cause of your back pain and correct it for you.