You may have a back strain or a pinched nerve (especially if there's tingling going down one leg).
Immediately after you feel the pain:
- Stop the activity that caused the pain, such as bending over.
- Apply a cold compress to the injured area.
- If the back is stiff, but there is little or no pain, apply a heating pad to relax muscles. Do not apply heating pad if there is swelling in back.
- Lie down flat on the floor with a pillow under the neck and knees.
Over the next few days:
- Avoid complete bed rest. This can lead to deconditioning and make the pain worse.
- Take pain medications. Ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen are helpful. Do not mix these medicines together. You can take acetaminophen (Tylenol®) with any of the above. Don't take ibuprofen, aspirin or naproxen if you have ulcers or allergies to these medicines. NOTE: Do not give aspirin to children younger than 16 years of age. Pregnant and nursing women should talk to their doctors before taking any medications.
- Apply cold compresses regularly for 20 minutes at a time for the first day, then switch to a warm heating pad or hot shower to soothe muscles.
There's been improvement and I can still move, but I'm so tired of hurting that I'm getting emotionally spent and crying about it. I just want to go to sleep and wake up and feel better.