Know when to ice, when to heat
Apply ice immediately after you injure yourself to limit inflammation. Freeze the ice into a paper cup and massage it into your hurt muscle or tendon by rolling it over the area for 20 minutes at a time during the first two days of the injury. After that, use a heating pad, warm bath water, or hot compress for 20 minutes at a time to increase blood circulation, which speeds healing.
Exercise beats back pain
Exercise helps back pain more than resting, according to a study from the British Medical Journal. The benefits don't show up right away, however; you probably won't see results until six months to a year after the injury. Remember that with any back injury, check with a doctor first to determine the cause and severity. Back pain can signal serious conditions that might require treatment other than exercise.
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