Why Resting After you Hurt Your Back May Make Your Back Pain Worst!

Resting immediately after hurting your back is a common misconception!
February 26, 2024

The first thing most people think immediately after sensing back pain, is that they should rest.  However, resting immediately after hurting your back is a common misconception!


While it may seem intuitive to rest and avoid moving when you experience back pain, in many cases, complete rest can actually be counterproductive.


Here are some reasons why you should not always rest after hurting your back:


  • Stiffness: Resting for too long can cause your back muscles and joints to become stiff, making it harder to regain your normal range of motion. This stiffness can exacerbate your pain and make it more challenging to resume your regular activities.
  • Delayed Healing: In some cases, gentle movement and light physical activity can actually promote the healing process. Activity can help improve blood flow to the injured area, which can aid in the delivery of essential nutrients and oxygen to the damaged tissues.
  • Risk of Deconditioning: Resting too much can lead to deconditioning of your entire body, not just your back muscles. This can result in a decreased overall level of fitness and make it harder to recover and return to your normal activities.
  • Muscle Weakness: Prolonged rest can lead to muscle weakness and atrophy. When you don't use your back muscles, they can become deconditioned and less able to support your spine, potentially prolonging your recovery.
  • Psychological Impact: Prolonged inactivity can also have a negative psychological impact. Being immobile and unable to engage in your usual activities can lead to feelings of frustration, depression, and anxiety, which can, in turn, worsen your perception of pain.
  • Risk of Chronic Pain: Overly long periods of rest can contribute to the development of chronic pain. It's important to strike a balance between rest and gradual, appropriate physical activity to avoid this potential outcome.


That said, it's crucial to consult with a healthcare professional if you've hurt your back to determine the specific cause and severity of your pain. They can provide guidance on the best course of action for your particular situation, which may include a combination of rest, physical therapy, exercises, and pain management techniques. In some cases, such as with serious injuries or conditions, rest may be necessary initially, but it should be followed by a gradual return to normal activity under professional guidance.