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Done my back in - mixed advice

(9 Posts)
OscalBeale Sat 16-Aug-14 20:17:44

This afternoon I did my back in. Putting a child down from carrying them. Something I do 1000 times a day. Something went 'ping' and I couldn't move. Flipping horrible tightness, pain, spasms in my lower back and buttocks down my legs.

I'm tag-teaming ibuprofen and paracetamol and trying to do some gentle stretching but man, it hurts! Have had a fair bit of advice from family and friends but ended up more confused about what to do. Some say ice, some say heat, some say rest, some say movement.

I've had this happen before, in my early 20's and it was weeks and weeks of horror before it got better. I cannot afford that. I'm a Nanny, and self-employed, so if I don't work, I don't earn, and my employers also don't work. I'm freaking out about the responsibility and Monday morning.

Don't know what to do!

LordEmsworth Sat 16-Aug-14 20:33:47

The old medical advice for a bad back (generically, rather than a specific injury) was complete rest. The current medical advice is the opposite, to keep moving. That might be one reason why some people are confused...

For any injury (rather than a generic bad back), remember RICE - rest, ice, compression, elevation for the first couple of days. Not sure how you elevate your back, or compress it (for a leg I'd use a bandage, for example), but ice and rest for the first 72 hours. NO heat. www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Sprains/Pages/Treatment.aspx

Then get yourself to a physio, osteopath or sports massage type - physio for preference (c. £40 an hour). They can check the severity, massage, apply ultrasound, and give you recovery advice which will mean it gets better more quickly.

Get the ice out - bag of peas or ice blocks, wrapped in a towel, and keep it there.

HermioneWeasley Sat 16-Aug-14 20:36:21

Ice, ibuprofen, keep moving, get to a physio ASAP (even if you have to pay privately)

OscalBeale Sat 16-Aug-14 20:37:10

Ahh thanks. I've been wrapping myself up in a baby sling so will try and sleep in it to keep up the compression.

gamerchick Sat 16-Aug-14 20:44:06

Hot bath and some deep heat or ibuprofen gel. Take it easy tonight and tomorrow if you can with the gel and painkillers and get moving on monday is all I usually do. I put my back out on a regular basis. If I follow those rules.. heat to relax the muscles, plenty of painkillers and gel, one day of complete rest the next day it usually is bearable the day after.

Some people swear by the ice but I find the heat works better to get me moving. Might be worth trying both. Hope you're on the mend soon.

sunnyrosegarden Sat 16-Aug-14 20:51:07

Ice for the initial injury, the heat to stimulate the circulation later. An osteopath would probably advise you to let the initial injury heal before they touch it.

OscalBeale Sat 16-Aug-14 20:52:29

See, this is what I'm talking about!! Maybe I'll just rotate the heat and the ice and just hope for the best! At the moment the pain in my hips and legs is horrible. I don't know how I'll sleep. FFS. I feel like a fat old hag who's not looked after herself very well sad

Matildathecat Sun 17-Aug-14 10:09:31

Thing is some people find ice helpful and others heat. The general consensus on The Back Support thread ( feel free to join us) is that heat is best. Heat patches from the chemist are fab but a hot water bottle fine when lying down.

The advice re moving should be taken with a pinch of salt IMO. Fine, of course don't do bed rest but equally do rest. A lot. For me, lying quite flat with a pillow or two under my knees is best because it relieves the strain from the lower back. The spasms really preclude much activity anyway. A lot of us feel that if we had rested really well from the start out injuries might have actually healed more quickly rather than becoming chronic. Our mantra is rest, Potter, rest.

If the spasm is really bad call ooh and ask for diazepam. The drs will give you a short course to help. Also adding codeine to your paracetamol will help. However, I'd be really thinking seriously about taking some time off work because you'll take longer to recover in the longer term.

Sorry, probably not what you want to hear but do look after yourself and feel free to ask anything of us long term sufferers. And don't be scared of joining the 'old timers' lots of people get better as you know.smile

OscalBeale Sun 17-Aug-14 14:02:52

I'm gonna head over now and join you - GP visited this morning and prescribed diazepam... see you shortly.

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