Rehabilitation: How to Recover From a Back Injury

You might think that after an injury it is best to rest as much as possible; however, this can not be farther from the truth. Modern experts recommend resuming daily activities as soon as possible preceding injury. It is suggested to perform gentle stretching and strengthening of the back muscles as soon as you can manage it. In this article, we will discuss the best practices for rehabilitation for a back injury.

Ice and Heat Therapy For Rehabilitation

Once a back injury occurs, your body will go through the inflammatory stage. Applying ice or a cold pack on the affected area will help reduce inflammation and numb the pain. It is recommended to apply an ice pack for a maximum of 10 minutes. After resting for  10-20 minutes, you can proceed to apply a heat pack to facilitate blood circulation. Keep applying ice and heat intermittently for several hours or days until the pain is bearable.


Stretching improves your flexibility and helps release tensions in the muscles. After an injury, it’s wise to follow a regular stretching routine once your body can tolerate it.

Here are some lower back stretching exercises you can perform following an injury:

Back Extension

Start this exercise by lying on your stomach. Proceed to place your hands on the ground, and push yourself upwards until a gentle stretch is felt. Hold this position for 15 seconds and then return to the starting position. Repeat this exercise 10 more times.

Cat Stretch

Initiate by placing your hands and knees on the floor. Arch your back upwards, mimicking that of a cat until you feel a gentle stretch in your back. Hold this position for 15 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat 10 more times.

Hip Rolls

Begin by lying on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Turn your head to the left while rotating your knees to the right until they touch the floor. Hold this position for 5 seconds and return to the initial position. Repeat this with the other side. You can repeat this 10 more times for each side.

Before starting any exercise, always consult your physician or doctor. If any of these exercises cause more pain, then stop immediately.

Sleep for Rehabilitation

It is important to adapt to a sleeping position that puts minimal strain on your back. When sleeping on your side, it is recommended to place a pillow between your knees to keep your hips, pelvis, and spine in better alignment. Another sleeping position that can help to reduce strain on your back is sleeping on your side in a curled-up fetal position. This position helps the space between your vertebrae to open up.

An incredibly soft mattress can also place some strain on the back, so it Is advised to sleep on a firmer mattress. Get up to 7-9 hours of sleep daily as sleep is the key to proper recovery.

Rehabilitation for an injury is tough. However, following a good stretching routine and changing how you sleep can ensure a quick recovery.