Back pain that lasts less than two weeks is acute. If the pain is tolerable and not accompanied by fever, numbness or other symptoms, treat it at home by applying ice to the area. If you experience stiffness or spasms, alternate the ice with moist heat.
If pain persists, try taking NSAIDS such as Motrin or Advil as directed, in addition to mild back stretching exercises. We normally do not recommend bed rest. Immobilizing muscles may increase weakness and may make matters worse.
To learn more about back and spine care at Commonwealth Orthopaedic Centers, visit the Spine page.
Richard M. Hoblitzell, M.D. specializes in general orthopaedics and total joint replacement with a particular interest in the care and management of low back pain.