Back pain is one of the most disruptive and potentially painful conditions you can suffer from – even if the injury itself is relatively minor. The simple reason for this is that your spine houses the central nervous system, which is the meeting point for different sets of important muscle groups and is a key participant in your full range of motion. Therefore, if there is a problem with any of these vital elements of your body in your back, you are going to know about it immediately. 

What is alarming is the severity of the symptoms, even if you have just pulled a muscle or trapped a nerve. Intense back pain can prevent you from completing even the simplest of tasks. Bending down to pick up an object off the floor, driving to the shops or turning over in bed can be enough to send your back into spasm, so it is vital that you have an action plan for a quick recovery.

This is how to recover from back pain quickly:

Undergo physiotherapy

If you are suffering from severe back pain that is preventing you from accessing your full range of motion or keeping you up at night in pain then you need to speak to a specialist.

Your first port of call should be a medical professional who can diagnose the problem and reassure you that it is nothing overly serious.

The next step is to consult with a physiotherapist – such as these physiotherapy Edinburgh experts – who can give you actionable steps to fast-track your recovery. This could involve them setting you basic exercises to complete, offering you advice about pain relief, or educating you about how back pain is caused and how to prevent it in the future.

Stay active, but avoid any intense exercise

One of the trickiest aspects of recovery from back pain is the fine balancing act between exercising your back muscles to help them grow stronger and launching into an exercise routine which might damage your back injury further.

While you should consult a medical or physiological professional before engaging in any exercise, as a general rule, it is best to start with very light exercise before slowly increasing the intensity. 

Regular light exercise will help reduce muscle stiffness, increase blood flow and release pain-relieving endorphins – all of which are crucial to a swift recovery.

Try hot or cold therapy

One of the best ways to reduce swelling and relax the muscles in your back is to apply a hot or cold object to the afflicted area. While similar in effectiveness, they should be used at different times. 

Cold objects (most typically an ice pack) are at their most useful if you have only just suffered the injury and the pain has just begun. It will reduce the immediate swelling and inflammation, which will help your recovery. It can also be used as a numbing agent if your back pain deteriorates.  On the other hand, a hot object can reduce muscle stiffness, relieve you of aches and pains, and increase body flexibility. This is ideal if you have been bed-bound for a few days and need to start increasing your mobility.