The Origins In years past, doctors tended to assume the worst -that back pain as a sign of a serious injury-and thought the way to heal was to stay off your feet. Today we know that most soreness stems from the muscles, ligaments and joints. Yet “many ER and primary care doctor still default to ‘rest’out of uncertainly or a fear of liability”, says Robert Eastlack, MD, co-director of the San Diego Spine Fellowship at the Scripps Clinic for Orthopedic Surgery.
Science Says The vast majority of back problems-from lumbar sprains to slipped disk- benefits from activity, according to 2007 guidelines from the American College of Physicians.
Studies have shown that bed rest actually makes pain worse and last longer. “The key is to keep moving,” says Dr. Eastlack -to stretch out tight muscle fibers and prevent your joints from stiffening. He suggest starting with gentle daily exercise,like walking or swimming .
Then gradually work your way up to more vigorous activities, like running, yoga or spin, as you become able to tolerate them. If the pain worsen or hasn’t improved significantly in four to six weeks get it checked out by your doctor.