If your back hurts, you should just take a hot bath, right? Or how about treating your chronic pain by replacing your desk chair with one of those giant fitness balls?
A lot of the suggestions for treating chronic pain we see floating around online mean well, but they can actually be harmful in some circumstances. So we decided to bust a few of the most common back pain myths!
A hot bath will help
Hot baths can be soothing, but their effectiveness will vary wildly based on what type of pain you are experiencing. An acute injury can actually be worsened by a soak in a hot tub. The heat can cause inflammation to spike. Instead, try treating an acute injury with ice packs in 15 to 20 minute intervals for the first 24 to 48 hours after receiving the injury. Make sure the ice is not directly in contact with the skin!
A hot bath can be helpful for chronic pain. A hot pack is also a great option!
Fitness balls are better than office chairs
The idea here is that a fitness ball will help your back pain by engaging your core muscles. The trouble is, a fitness ball doesn’t guarantee an engaged core, and the lack of support can be an added problem.
If you want to go this route, make sure you find a ball that is the proper size. Your thighs should be parallel to the floor. If you do decide to try the fitness ball, consider alternating it with your office chair throughout the day.
Get a massage
A massage can help in some cases and hurt in others. It all depends on the cause of the pain. Depending on the cause, a massage can actually be more harmful. It is important to have your pain evaluated and determine whether a massage is something that will help.
Like massage, stretching can help or hinder depending on the injury. Normally stretching the quadriceps and hamstrings can help a back injury caused by mechanical issues like normal stress and strain. But if the spine is inflamed, stretches like this could cause more damage. Come on by and let us take a look. We can let you know if stretching will help or hinder your injury.