You may be worried about going back to work. Once you have had low back pain, you may be afraid that the pain will come back. This fear may cause you to limit your activities.
Low back pain can be acute or chronic. If it has lasted less than 3 months, it is acute. It is chronic if it has lasted more than 3 months. Staying active while protecting your back may help keep your pain from becoming chronic.
If your work involves a lot of sitting, standing, or lifting, you may need to change the way you do your job. But getting back to work and other activities may actually help you get better. This is because movement keeps your back flexible and the muscles strong, and staying in bed or avoiding activity for more than a day or two can actually make your pain worse.
You will probably feel better being back in your normal routine. A positive outlook can help speed your recovery.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Talk to your supervisor or human resources department. They may have good ideas on how you can protect your back at work. Some companies have experts who can suggest different tools or ways to do your job.
Ergonomics means matching the human body to the job. By studying your work environment and the tools you use, you can reduce your chances of back pain.
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Current as of: September 20, 2018
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Joan Rigg PT, OCS - Physical Therapy
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