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Doctor insights on: Low Back Strain Recovery Time

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I encountered low back strain due to bending down too low, last Friday night. Still a lot of pain at times. What is the general rule on ice vs. heat?

I encountered low back strain due to bending down too low, last Friday night. Still a lot of pain at times.  What is the general rule on ice vs. heat?

Varies somewhat: In general, if you have pulled a muscle and created a spasm; moist heat is particularly helpful to relieve; whereas ice tends to make people tighten up but can help to numb a superficial cause of pain. For some it is a little of trial and error. ...Read more

Dr. Ryan Pflugner
Board Certified, Sports Medicine
9 years in practice
121.0K people helped
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I strained my low back while putting groceries away. My low back is getting better, but now having pain and tightness on the sides of my hips. Why would the low back strain would affect my hips?

I strained my low back while putting groceries away.  My low back is getting better, but now having pain and tightness on the sides of my hips. Why would the low  back strain would affect my hips?

You are One Unit: Your back, your pelvis, your hips (and the rest of your body) is one unit of function. Said differently, the muscles and other soft tissues of your low back are connected to the muscles and soft tissues of your pelvis, hips, legs. You should get some guidance (from a PT and/or Physiatrist) how to do a general lumbo-pelvic stretching and strengthening. And do it for the rest of your life. ...Read more

Dr. Ryan Pflugner
Board Certified, Sports Medicine
9 years in practice
121.0K people helped
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Managing Back Pain (Checklist)

Stretch your muscles
10 Min, Daily, forever
Breathe into the area of pain
Once
Visualize the area in spasm relaxing
Once
Take supplements that support your joints
Daily
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I strained my low back, bending down to put gtoceries into a low cart. Normally I have some back strain, but never this bad (pain). No other trauma. What is best treatment for the first few days?

See details: Rest and heat help as acute strains take 1-3 weeks to resolve. Take the ibuprofen with each meal. See your doctor or an orthopedist if the pain persists. Consider starting physical therapy. Finally, get off the Vicodin. ...Read more

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I have left low back pain and left front thigh pain when standing fully erect after a back strain. 62, lean, very fit dancer. What is treatment?

I have left low back pain and left front thigh pain when standing  fully erect after a back strain. 62, lean, very fit dancer. What is treatment?

Visit Your Doctor: It is possible that you have lumbar degenerative disease with possible nerve root impingement causing the pain in your thigh which is referred to as radicular pain when coming from the back. You should see your primary care physician to be evaluated as other conditions could also cause these symptoms and you are deserving of an examination and work-up. ...Read more

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Managing Back Pain (Checklist)

Lose weight
Once
Reduce stress by moving gracefully with tai chi, yoga, or dance
Daily
Increase flexibility with gentle exercises and/or physical therapy
Daily
Gradually increase muscle tone and strength to support your back
Once
Board Certified, Sports Medicine
9 years in practice
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How do I soothe lower back strain?

How do I soothe lower back strain?

Rest heat OTC meda: Generally most just get better with activity restriction and rest but one can apply heat or cold depending what feels best and take over the counter pills like tylenol or advil if no medical reasons to not recommend these medications. ...Read more

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Managing Back Pain (Checklist)

Get evaluated by a spine specialist
Once
Walk regularly
30 Min, 3x week, forever
Avoid smoking
Once
Perform gentle back exercises (examples at www.TheRehabZone.com)
20 Min, 3x week, forever
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How would I know if I have a lower back strain or something more serious?

See doctor: If your pain has persisted for a while would recommend that you see your pcp. ...Read more

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Dr. Ryan Pflugner
Board Certified, Sports Medicine
9 years in practice
121.0K people helped
Continue
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