Five Steps to Take When Back Pain Strikes

  • You wake up one morning and you can’t get out of bed – your low back’s gone into complete spasm…..
  • You generously offered to help your friend move.  After that last box got hauled up the fourth floor walk-up, your back starts to tell you that you’ve been a little too generous…
  • At last – your long awaited vacation!  The five hour plane ride was uneventful, though the seat felt a bit uncomfortable.  Then the real discomfort starts when the plane lands and you have to haul yourself out of the seat…

What do you do?

Emergency Back Pain Management

First – a disclaimer: everyone’s body is different and everyone’s back problem is different, so there isn’t a set approach that will work most effectively for everyone.  I can only make some suggestions that might be helpful based on many years’ experience as a doctor of chiropractic helping people find practical solutions to back pain.

Here are the first five things you should do…

1.     Apply ice to your back.

15 minutes at a stretch.  Then give it a rest for half an hour, and repeat the ice application.

2.    Get a lumbar support belt.lumbar support belt

A lumbar support belt is an orthopedic support that tightens around your low back and takes the
pressure off your discs.

3.     Find a favorable rest position or gentle movement that seems to give relief.

Once you find your favorable position or movement, use it repeatedly throughout the day.  Oftentimes the position you want to try is spinal extension.  This topic deserves an entire article devoted just to it.  Fortunately, I’ve written an article on the use of spine extension for low back pain.

4.     Here’s how to organize your day

Spend about 15 minutes engaged in light activity (walking, perhaps) followed by fifteen minutes of ice, followed by fifteen minutes of gentle back limbering movements, followed by fifteen minutes of rest.  Keep cycling through this sequence throughout the day.

5.     Call your doctor of chiropractic.

Chiropractors have a proven track record of using effective, scientifically-based, hands-on treatment to alleviate back pain.


About Ronald Lavine, D.C.

Dr. Lavine has more than thirty years' experience helping patients alleviate pain and restore health using diverse, scientifically-based manual therapy and therapeutic exercise and alignment methods. His website,, provides more information about his approach. Please contact him at or at 212-400-9663.
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One Response to Five Steps to Take When Back Pain Strikes

  1. George Blomme says:

    Good,useful article.

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