1. Lying on a heating pad.
After any acute injury, where the symptoms are severe and come on quickly, ice is always the at- home treatment of choice. Inflammation is your body’s protective reaction to an injury. The cells in the damaged tissue release chemicals that signal an inflammatory response, which makes the injured area painful and difficult to move. While heat feels good initially, it will increase swelling, stiffness and inflammation and possibly delay recovery. Stay away from the heating pad and use an ice pack instead. Ice will help reduce pain by decreasing inflammation.
2.Prolonged bed rest.
When our back hurts, the first inclination is to head to bed and let our back “rest”. However, spending more than a couple of days in bed will actually not improve your back pain. Recent studies have shown bed rest for lower back pain, lasting more than 3 days, either didn’t improve symptoms or made the pain worse. Inactivity causes joints to stiffen and muscles to begin to weaken. Trying to continue your normal activities is unlikely to increase your pain but will facilitate joint movement and help your recovery. Modifying activities and taking breaks to move into different positions (like from sitting to standing or from standing to walking) are also important steps as your body heals.
3. Sleeping on your stomach.
Sleeping on your stomach is the worst sleep position for people with back pain. When you are on your stomach, your lumbar or lower spine is unsupported, making it very hard to keep your spine in a neutral position. This in turn puts strain on spinal ligaments and tendons , irritating nerves that branch out from the spinal cord. Breaking old sleeping habits is hard. The best sleep positions, if you have back pain, are sleeping on your back with a pillow under your knees or on your side with knees bent and a small pillow between them.
4. Poor body mechanics.
Twisting while lifting, sitting for long periods without breaks and using your back instead of your legs to lift are all common posture mistakes people make. But maintaining good body mechanics is essential to protecting your back and avoiding injury. There are correct ways to get up from a lying position, sit at your desk or in your car, stand for periods of time, in addition to correct bending and lifting techniques. Core strength is also important. We provide all new patients with a sheet of correct posture and "Do’s and Don’ts" for your back. If you need a refresher or more information, just ask.
5. Rushing into expensive diagnostic testing.
Most patients with lower back pain who stick to a treatment plan, will respond to conservative chiropractic care within 30 days. If a patient does not respond as expected, a change in treatment or further diagnostics may be necessary. Because a significant percentage of the population is walking around with no symptoms but with a "positive" finding that could be visualized on MRI or CT scan, caution is warranted. Positive findings on MRI or CT scans do not always correlate to a need for surgery.