How to Handle Back Pain

First Response Measures For Back Pain

Are you experiencing back pain? Are you using medication (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin) to help relieve pain and don’t think it is helping or want to explore alternatives?


A study was done to see the time it took to become pain free using acetaminophen after acute back pain had occurred. For people who used acetaminophen only when their back pain bothered them it took 17 days until complete relief. For those taking the medication three times a day it also took an average of 17 days until pain was fully relieved. A group taking a placebo took 16 days to reach full pain relief from their back pain.

This means that for the average person, acetaminophen may not be the best medicine for relief of back pain. Some people may find that acetaminophen does work for them. Remember due to the risks associated with this medication (it damages the liver) it should not be taken in excess or for long periods of time.

First Response Measures:

Chiropractic and Acupuncture care- these healing arts may be able to help you with acute back pain. Many studies have been conducted supporting their use as pain relief therapies.

Ice- depending on your condition ice may help relive pain within the first 48 hours after an injury. After that time heat may be more beneficial.

Movement- rest is needed after an injury, but still doing restrictive movements and stretching can help keep the body flexible and the blood/body fluids circulating. Specific exercises and stretches can be recommended based on your diagnosis to help heal acute injuries and prevent future episodes.


The side effects of these first response measures are mild compared to the alternatives. If they don’t work for you, you can always move into other modalities of treatment to find pain relief. Your treatment should have an endpoint, and build to support your lifestyle and your health goals! Healing takes time, so don’t get discouraged. Be sure to continue an open dialogue with your healthcare providers so your treatment can be specifically tailored for your needs.


Other Health Topics:


Everyday Stretches

Proper Lifting Technique


Back to School Health Tips

Daily Nutrition with Supplements

Wellness Programs

Remember that this information is for educational purposes only. Seek the advice of a health specialist before making any changes to your healthcare.


Proper Lifting Technique

The Proper Way To Lift

Proper lifting technique is a must at home and at work. It is estimated that approximately 222,290 work related back injuries occurred in 2008. Musculoskeletal injuries accounted for 34% of all lost time injuries in 2012.

I hope these simple directions can help with your lifting and carrying technique in order to decrease injuries, as well as increase ability.


–       Assess the size and shape of the load to be lifted and be sure you are able to lift it. Test the weight to be sure it is not too heavy.

–       If it is too large or bulky, get someone to help you.

–       If the load is not safely packed (nails, rough edges, breaking) do not lift it until properly fixed.

–       Be sure the area where you are moving the load is clear.

–       Use supportive equipment if available or enforced (depending on your job, and medical condition).

–       Use carts, dollies, and teamwork whenever possible.


–       Get as close to the object being lifted as possible.

–       Be sure your feet are shoulder width apart, and firmly on the floor.

–       Be sure to keep your back straight, head up, and stomach muscles tightened.

–       Bend at the knees and lift with your legs.

–       When initiating a squat to lift, be sure you hip-hinge, and push your glutes back (as if you were closing a car door with your rear).

–       Use a slow and smooth motion when lifting.

–       Do not twist your torso when lifting.

–       When turning be sure to use your whole body, and shift with your feet first.


–       When carrying keep the load close to your body.

–       Do not carry something that obstructs your view. Be sure you see where you are going.

–       Do not twist.

–       Keep your back straight, head up, and stomach muscles firm.


–       Keep the object close to your body.

–       Do not bend with your back. Bend at the knees and push your glutes back. Keep your back straight, head up, and stomach muscles firm.

–       Do not reach out or stretch to place the object down. Place it down, and then slide it into place.

–       Be mindful to keep your hands and feet out of the way of the object.


–       The squat lift puts the least amount of pressure on the spine when done correctly.

–       When team lifting, be vocal about lifting, carrying, and lowering the load.

–       Bending over and twisting while lifting puts the most pressure on the spine and increases the risk of injuring your back.

–       If you are fatigued, your form suffers and this can lead to increased risk of injury. Be sure to take a break for your body to recover in between lifts.


For more information on preventing back injuries everyday, check out my posts on proper Sitting Position and Sleeping Position.


This information is for educational purposes only. Seek the advice of a health specialist before making any changes to your healthcare.Image