What I do When a Back Flare Up Hits

Yesterday I has my first back flare up in about two years.

I was a work and I was in an awkward posture lifting something.  As soon as I lifted, I felt that little click.  I hoped it was nothing but I could feel the pain increase in my back and all the muscle in my lower back tighten up.

I was right in the middle of work and could go now where.  I had to keep working.  There was no lieing down.  I had to take care of it right now.  I was able to get through the day by managed my back pain and doing 3 things to decreased my lower back pain.

Let me share with you a three things that I did right away as soon as I felt my lower back flare up in order to decrease the pain.

#1 – Keep Moving

I kept moving.  I wanted to stop and not do anything but I knew that if I stopped and rested, in the end things would get worse.  I kept walking around and moving around.  This kept me lose and decreased the likelihood that my back would lock up.

#2 – Deep Breathing

Every few  minutes I would stop and stand in place and perform belly breathing.

I would focus on my breathing for a few breaths.  I would not let my chest elevated and just focus on my belly elevating.  I would concentrate on the air entering my lungs and entering into my belly.  Then breathing out my nose in a controlled manner, letting out all the air out of my stomach.  As I breath out I focus on blowing out all the tension in the muscles in my lower back and I tell myself the back pain will pass.

#3 – Setting My Core

You want to stand up straight but in order to get through the work day you need to move around.  When you have to bend forward, reach or squat, remember to activate your deep abdominal muscles in order to help them assist in stabilizing your back.

Often times when you flare up your back these muscle begin to not working properly even though they are key in stabilizing your back.  By setting your core, you wake them up and get them to help stabilize your back and decrease the stress on your back.

There is a lot you can do when your back flares up to address the initial pain.  What I do and I know it will help you is to keep moving in order to prevent the back from locking up, stop to take a few belly breaths to battle the tension in your lower back and take an extra second to set your core prior to movement.

I hope this helps you.  I know this was key in the pain phase of my back flare up.  In future blog posts I will talk about the mobility and muscle imbalances phases.

Rick Kaselj, MS

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