Lower back pain is a common symptom of many conditions and injuries, ranging from chronic issues like arthritis to acute instances like bending the wrong way. Car accidents can bring on lower back pain suddenly, as the body reacts to the unnatural forces placed upon it during impact. This may occur where no pain was present before or may bring up symptoms of an old, dormant injury, but in either case, lower back pain requires treatment by a chiropractor in College Park. Depending upon your exact injury and needs, a chiropractor may recommend home remedies, in-office treatment, or more invasive methods like surgery to relieve this pain.
Top Treatments for Lower Back Pain
1. Anti-Inflammatory Medications
While chiropractors do not rely on medication to treat injuries, there is a place for them in reducing pain to allow you to get through treatment and daily life. When you begin to notice pain in the lower back, the use of over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) or naproxen (Aleve) can reduce your back pain. In addition to the relief you may feel, these drugs are known as NSAIDs and have anti-inflammatory properties that can address inflammation resulting from your injury. This can help the back heal more quickly, meaning that when they are taken in moderation, they have a range of positive effects.
2. Hot and Cold Therapy
For the first couple of days following your car accident injury, cold therapy will be beneficial. Not only will it numb an area and relieve pain, but it can also help reduce swelling as it shuts down capillaries and reduces blood flow to the injured area. This can be achieved using ice packs or something as simple as frozen peas applied for 20 minutes at a time throughout the day.
After the first few days, you can switch to using a heating pad for those 20-minute intervals. Heat can loosen tight muscles and increase circulation to the injured area, promoting faster healing.
3. Stretch, But Gently
Your instinct may be to rest as much as possible when you’ve suffered a lower back injury, and this has some merit. You should avoid any physical activity that may strain your back, including sitting at a desk for prolonged periods of time. However, complete immobility will not help your back to heal. Instead, you should be sure to stand up periodically, walk around, and perform gentle stretches throughout the day to stabilize the spine and prevent muscle imbalances. Some of this may be self-guided, but a physical therapist will often be helpful as well.
4. Rely on an Expert
While you may be able to manage symptoms at home, it is also important to address the root cause of your pain and treat the injury you sustained. A chiropractor in College Park will be able to perform a full evaluation, including diagnostic imaging, to help identify this root cause and develop a plan specific to your needs. You should always seek the advice of a professional who can guide you on what may worsen your injury as opposed to making it better.
One part of this will likely be undergoing regular chiropractic adjustments, in which a chiropractor makes physical adjustments to the spine to return it to alignment. This can reduce stiffness, discomfort, and pain while improving mobility when applied regularly by a professional chiropractor in College Park.
5. Prescription Medications
In the case of severe injuries to the lower back, non-invasive methods may not be enough to fully heal the injury and other options will need to be explored. This may include the targeted use of medications to allow the body to heal. Options like topical creams and ointments may be enough to reduce pain in a way that allows you to stretch and move better, promoting healing in the body.
Muscle relaxants can also be prescribed and must be used in strict accordance with your doctor’s guidelines. By allowing the muscles to relax, they may be easier to use during physical therapy and regain their strength. If these methods don’t work, you may be sent for injections of cortisone directly into the back. This potent anti-inflammatory can provide relief from pain for a few months, allowing you to pursue treatment without pain in that time.
If you have recently been in a car accident or are suffering from pain in the lower back, it is important to seek treatment as early as possible. This allows you to take a proactive approach to your pain and increases your chances of a full recovery. You might wonder what doctor to see after an accident. At AICA College Park, you will have access to a range of experts who can work together to develop the right plan for you. Don’t wait- schedule your consultation today!