View Full Version : Any Tricks to Help a Back Injury

12-13-2012, 08:44 PM
I injured my back shoveling the 16 inches of snow off my driveway last Sunday. Was lifting up a shovelfull and felt a sharp twinge in the lumbar region of my back. This has happened to me before, but usually after a couple days of anti-inflammatories and heat it gets better. Well, not this week. I can barely stand up straight and have since had to take time off of work. I will be visiting the MD tomorrow. Until then the pain sucks....other than the two above, any suggestions for helping injured backs?

12-13-2012, 08:51 PM
Massage therapy - md may give you referral

12-13-2012, 08:51 PM
Muscle relaxer if you have one tonight. Otherwise, wait to see what the doctor says.

12-13-2012, 08:54 PM
Both of the above. Just make sure it doesn't seize up overnight. Had a hell of a time getting out of the bed in the morning last time I threw mine out.

12-14-2012, 12:09 AM
Muscle relaxer if you have one tonight. Otherwise, wait to see what the doctor says.

Generally, a shower as hot as you can stand it, followed by some Ben Gay or your favorite heat grease, and what Tom mentioned above.

Your MD will probably Rx some minor PT your way.

Since this appears to be a second injury to your lumbar area, some advice for future lifting chores would be to wear a quality lumbar belt. This will give you great lower back support when lifting heavy objects:2

12-14-2012, 01:13 AM
A heat pad can also help numb out the area...

Ed M
12-14-2012, 06:58 AM
Forget MD and Meds. See a Chiropractor. I have had back problems and The Chiropractor is the ONLY thing that helped.

12-14-2012, 07:15 AM
Forget MD and Meds. See a Chiropractor. I have had back problems and The Chiropractor is the ONLY thing that helped.

I have worked in construction for going on 35 yrs and have had good results with chiropractic care.

And a snow blower :D

12-14-2012, 07:18 AM
I concur, if it's muscle pain, heat is the way to go. However, if it's joint or spine pain, try icing it down, 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off. Works for me (along with chiro as needed).

12-14-2012, 07:19 AM
Last January, I had a trigger point in my left shoulder area and bulging disc around C6-C7. Meds and chiropractor were no help, but a single visit to an accupuncture doc along with PT helped the most. If insurance covered accupuncture, I would go back for regular appointments.

12-14-2012, 08:35 AM
The vast majority of back pain is mechanical, in other words, it does not involve the lumbar nerve roots. If you don't have pain traveling down a leg, numbness/tingling or a sense of weakness in a leg, you most likely have mechanical back pain. If you have any difficulty with bowel or bladder function, or numbness in your groin, see an MD right away.

As far as treatment, active is better than passive (massage and chiro). Backs need to keep moving. I would suggest finding a good physiotherapist and getting on a home exercise program to strengthen your core and stay conditioned.

Try alternating heat and cold, 1 minute heat, 30 seconds cold. Repeat several times.

12-14-2012, 10:14 AM
I broke my back and it's full of rods and screws.
Kevin is right, core strengthening is the best way to keep it from tweaking. Since I do little of that other than staying active, I sometimes have to doctor it.
Muscle relaxers will loosen things up, but that's a beginning. Then I manage the swelling that's aggravating the nerve. Ice and lots of ibuprofen will do that. Make a big ice pack from 4 or 5 1-gallon ziplocks placed one inside the other (the first filled with ice).
Stay on it until you've just about got frostbite, take a break, and get back on it.
Once you have your back tamed down, continue for a few days afterward until it's all healed up.

Kevin is right, you need to know if the problem is mechanical or nerve related in order to treat it correctly. If you hit the ice and ibuprofen, you'll soon be good to go. You need to keep treating it after it's under control, and then get more active if you don't want to blow it out every time you shovel snow. :)