Back-Saving Tips for People With Rheumatoid Arthritis

When you have rheumatoid arthritis, you know that it’s always good to prepared. Here, quick tips and facts on what to do if your back goes out.

Paula Dranov
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It happens to most of us sooner or later—you pick up a suitcase, sleep the wrong way or bend over to tie your shoelace—and your back goes out. Here, Sheeraz Qureshi, MD, a spine surgeon at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, explains what to do.

  • Medicate
    Take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen ASAP.
  • Chill  
    Put an ice pack on your back (heat will worsen the inflammation that’s causing the pain).
  • Stay on your feet  
    Don’t go to bed; immobility could make things worse.
  • Try some gentle back stretches
    Lie on your bed face down, push your belly into the mattress and raise your head. Do three sets of 10 repetitions three times a day.

Odds are you’ll feel better within 72 hours, but if the pain persists, travels into your buttocks and down your leg, or won’t quit, see your healthcare provider.

April 2013