Treatments for a Thrown-Out Back


Type of injury

Back pain originating from “throwing out the back” can be acute or subacute. If back pain is present for less than a month, it is considered acute; if it lasts one to three months, it is considered subacute. Either way, several treatment options can help ease the pain.


One of the worst things for back pain is to become sedentary; this only promotes weakened and deconditioned muscles. Gentle exercise, on the other hand, is the best way to recover from acute and subacute back pain. However, avoid overdoing it, especially with exercises that target the lower back, as it will aggravate the injury rather than promote healing.

Natural Remedies

Apply Ice

In the first 24-48 hours after a back injury, applying an ice compress to the affected area for 20-minute intervals helps reduce swelling, nerve activity, and pain.

Apply Heat

After the first 24-48 hours following a back injury, using a heating pad on the back for 20-minute intervals throughout the day increases blood flow to the area to repair damage.


Massage, especially a sports massage or deep-tissue massage, helps with pain and facilitates recovery.


Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese therapy that has become a valued treatment for pain in the Western world. Acupuncture stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the spinal cord, muscles, and brain which support pain relief.

Medication for Back Pain

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as ibuprofen and naproxen, are available over-the-counter and help ease back pain. If pain is more severe, a visit to a doctor may be in order. A doctor may prescribe a muscle relaxant, such as baclofen or tizanidine. These medications should only be used for a short time.