Lumbar Strains and Physical Therapy
September 19, 2023
It happened to me! I was cleaning up the garage and moving some tables after a gathering. When bending down to lift the 5th table to be moved I was worried more about what I needed to get done that day versus what I was supposed to be focusing on. As I lifted and turned I lost my lifting mechanics and tweaked my back. I had immediate spasms of my lower back and could not stand up with resting me hands and arms onto something to help hold me up. For the rest of the day I laid in bed and tried not to move too fast or in the wrong direction. I tried taking some meds to decrease pain and spasm, I used heat packs and warm water baths to try to relax the muscles. Both of these took the edge off but did not improve my symptoms overall.
The next day I started doing some basic therapy mobility exercises to get my back moving without increasing my spasms. I used a TENS unit to decrease the pain so that I could get up and move more effectively. I went to therapy and got some work done to decrease my spasm and tone and to improve the mobility of my back. By the next day I was back on my feet all day long and work and moving more normally, but not yet 100%. I continued to do these exercises and keep moving and by the third day I was back without any restrictions.
Often when we have acute back pain we take some meds and stay in bed. That is what I did the first day. However, that is not what experience and the research say is best for the immediate resolution of our symptoms and the long term benefit of our backs. Most of the time the faster you can access care for your low back the quicker it gets better. The research shows that starting physical therapy within a day or two of the back pain starting gives you a better chance of relieving the backpain without needing stronger prescription strength drugs, injections, or possibly surgery. This recent example of my issue and treatment helps to prove that theory. I was able to access therapy 24 hours after the initial injury and I was able to continue to do these activities for the next few days to get back on my feet at 48 hours after the injury and be back to 100% 72 hours after the initial injury.
I have the benefit of having physical therapy at my fingertips, but so do you. If you have an injury you can call Witte Physical Therapy and we can start to get you help right away. You have direct access to come directly to the clinic for care, meaning that you do not have to see the physician first. Sometimes it may be appropriate for you to see your physician prior to starting therapy and we can help you through the steps to make that process as efficient as possible. If you have any aches or pains, don’t hesitate to give us a call and we can help get you moving and back on the road to being 100% you faster!