I often hear clients say they've "thrown out" their backs. This phrase is applied to sudden, crippling pain caused by any number of factors that often relate to vertebrae that are moving too much. In my experience, manipulation or mobilization of the spine only adds to the problem. Stabilization is what's needed.
Lie on your back with knees bent and your lower legs up on a chair or stool. This position unloads the disks between the vertebrae and the tissues interacting with them, such as certain hip flexor muscles. Get into this position and just try to relax. Ice is often helpful to reduce the pain.
Those with extension problems (movement dysfunction wherein the spine is unable to flex adequately or the abdominals cannot stabilize the spine's extension) will benefit from letting their backs relax into the floor, supporting the lower spine or flattening it out a bit. Those with rotation problems (spine that is stuck in a rotated position to the right or left) may find that a folded towel under one hip or under one side of their lower backs helps ease the pain. Find the position that works best for you and maintain it. The first priority is to let the irritated nerves calm down.
As the pain subsides and while in ideal alignment, gently practice stabilizing your back by firing your abdominals. Forceful exhaling will help activate these muscles.
Then you can move into a sitting position in which your back is supported similarly to your position on the floor. Rest and allow the nerves to calm down.
Eventually, try standing with your back up against the wall for support in the same manner as it was supported while sitting. Stabilize your spine. Gradually walk away from the wall with your spine stabilized to protect it. You may not get any further than one step before you feel the need to lean against the wall again. That's okay. Return to the wall and relax your back again. Continue attempting to walk with your spine stabilized and in good alignment.
I often hear clients say they've "thrown out" their backs. This
phrase is applied to sudden, crippling pain caused by any number of
factors that often relate to vertebrae that are moving too much. In
my experience, manipulation or... More