First aid for back pain

In the case of minor back injuries, it is recommended to follow a modified version of the P.R.I.C.E. therapy principle. This series of treatment methods can be applied at home for at least the first 2 - 3 days. P.R.I.C.E. stands for Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.

  • Protection - Protect the injury from further damage. For back injuries this is one of the most important principles to follow.  Where possible avoid the movement that caused the back pain the first place.  This is usually bending forward, heavy lifting or bending and twisting combined.
  • Rest - Refrain from exercise and try to reduce the demands of your daily activity to encourage recovery.  Heavy lifting should definitely be avoided.
  • Ice - The topical application of ice or cold therapy can assist in reducing the symptoms of pain and inflammation.  Ice wrapped in a damp towel should be applied to the back for 15 mins maximum. 
  • Compression – This is not possible for back injuries.
  • Elevation - This is not possible for back injuries.

Read more about all of the the P.R.I.C.E principles.