The other day a friend called me in tears. She threw her back out and was lying on her back in incredible pain. She thought she should get up and walk around to stretch it out. I told her walking around was one of the worst things she could do.
If you are in intense pain, do not try to stretch while standing. Instead, stretch while laying or seated.
When you are in severe pain, your muscles are not working correctly. When your muscles are not working correctly, you can more easily hurt yourself when you are walking or moving.
The best thing you can do to decrease intense pain is to gently stretch and move while in a comfortable position. Ideally this position will be laying down or seated in a chair. You do not want to use your muscles any more than is necessary. Stretch and move your muscles, but don’t make them hold your body weight. Don’t lift your legs high in the air. Keep your body as relaxed as possible as you slowly and gently move and stretch.
If you feel most comfortable while standing, keep both feet on the floor while you stretch. Avoid any stretches that require you to balance on one foot or have your weight more on one leg than the other.
And of course, get adjusted! It is rare that patients at Chiropractic First have intense, acute back pain. Usually we are able to catch it and stop it before it gets to the point where you are lying on the floor in pain. But if life got away from you, and you were not able to get adjusted before the pain began, there is a lot we can do to decrease the pain. Slowly and gently walk into the office, and we will adjust you.