How Long Does it Take for Lower Back Pain to Heal?
It can be frustrating to deal with back pain because it can affect every aspect of your life. Here’s your chance to learn more about how long it takes for lower back pain to heal and what you can do at home to treat it.
How Long Does Lower Back Muscle Pain Last?
When you have lower back pain, you can’t wait to feel better, but how long can a back muscle strain even last? For acute pain, if you rest and allow your back to heal naturally, you should be feeling normal in about two weeks. In some cases where there is a more severe injury or strain, it can take up to four weeks for your back to heal fully.
Chronic pain is defined as persistent pain that lasts for longer than 12 weeks. Because of this, there is no timeline for when to expect relief from chronic lower back pain. Some treatments can reduce chronic pain symptoms, but there is no cure.
How Is Back Pain Treated
While acute back pain will improve on its own, there are still a few treatment options that can help speed up the recovery time and prevent future injuries.
The most common treatment for acute pain is medication. This is a broad category of treatments and can include analgesics (pain relief medication like acetaminophen and aspirin), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), muscle relaxants, and topical pain relief creams, sprays, patches, or gels.
While medications can help relieve pain and make your back feel better, it’s important to remember that they do not speed up the healing process. While you may experience less pain and feel like you can resume your normal activities, you should still give your back the time it needs to heal properly. If you don’t avoid compounding your injury, pain and even longer recovery times can increase.
Ice and Heat
Ice and heat compresses are a great treatment solution when you first injure your back. Cooling the injury will help reduce inflammation, swelling, and nerve activity. Gently heating the injured area will help relax tense muscles, improve blood flow, and even improve overall recovery time.
Ice and heat compress for a maximum of 20 minutes at a time to avoid damaging sensitive tissues. Let your body rest for 15 to 20 minutes and normalize your skin temperature before applying the subsequent treatment. You should never switch from cold to hot or from hot to cold. The sudden temperature change can be jarring for your body and lead to additional injury.
Gentle Stretching and Exercise
One of the best things you can do to help your back feel better is to move. By staying perfectly still and doing nothing, you can set yourself up for more pain and a longer recovery time. Instead, you should continually stretch and move as you heal.
Remember to take it slow for at least two weeks after you experience back pain. You won’t be as fast or strong as you are used to during recovery, which is accepted and appropriate. By taking your time, you are helping your body stretch and maintain your strength without putting unnecessary strain that could exacerbate your existing injury.
NeuroMD is a back pain relief device that can help reduce your pain while helping you maintain your overall strength and health. NeuroMD uses neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) to help treat your back pain. It sends electrical impulses deep into your muscles, causing them to contract. This creates a controlled setting where your muscles can exercise and function without overextension or the risk of aggravating your existing injury.
Home Remedies for Quick Back Pain Relief
Your home is the first place you can fight back pain. Here are some of the fastest ways you can find relief from back pain at home.
Yoga and gentle stretches can help loosen your muscles, improve mobility, and are temperate enough not to cause unwanted damage to your back.
Improve Your Posture
Your posture and how you treat your back can be essential in keeping your back pain-free. Focusing on your posture as you walk, sit, and sleep helps fight against lower back pain and prevent future injuries.
Get a New Pair of Shoes
It’s a slight shift, but unsupportive footwear can put your back in dangerous positions and create an additional risk of injury. By buying a quality pair of supportive shoes, you’ll help your body be better aligned and help fight against lower back pain.
Improve Your Emotional Health
Emotional factors like stress, anxiety, and depression can directly impact your pain levels. By focusing on your emotional health, you will be more relaxed, which will help reduce your acute lower back pain.
When Should You See a Doctor?
While acute back pain can resolve on its own, there are times when it’s better to visit a doctor.
If your pain is consistent and lasts for more than four weeks, you should consult a doctor as there is a chance that there is a complication or a more severe injury that needs to be addressed.
You should see a doctor if your pain becomes so strong that you cannot perform basic daily tasks. This could signify that you have a muscle tear that requires professional attention rather than a sprain or a muscle pull.
If your back pain comes after direct trauma or injury to your back, you should automatically visit your doctor. Spinal injuries can quickly become life-changing injuries and should be treated as such. Even minor spills, falls, or simple trauma to your spine should be double-checked by a medical professional just to guarantee there is no lasting or meaningful damage to your spine.
Anatomy of the Back
Your back is a complex structure of bones and muscle groups that serve as the foundation for movement and stability. The key muscle groups in your back are the: splenius capitis, splenius cervicis, levator scapulae, trapezius, rhomboid major, rhomboid minor, erector spinae, latissimus dorsi, trees minor, tres major, infraspinatus, serratus posterior inferior, and posterior deltoid.
Any muscle in your back can be pulled, strained, or otherwise injured, leading to back pain. Additionally, each of the muscle groups is anchored to your body with tendons, which can also be damaged and lead to back pain.
The final key component of your back is your spinal cord. It is a series of 33 vertebrae separated by discs that act as shock-absorbers between each bone. Your back pain can also come from the spongy discs between your vertebrae slipping, bulging, or herniating. In most cases, a herniated disc will heal on its own in a similar timeline to an injury to one of your back muscles and should be treated in the same way.
NeuroMD can help you find relief from back pain by treating the affected area instead of just tricking your brain and numbing the pain. Get your own back pain relief device today for 50% off. If you have any questions or want to learn more, contact us today, and we’ll happily answer any questions you have.