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Back and Neck Injury/Woke up with Pain After Moving Heavy Furniture


Hello Doctor. I am a healthy 23 year old and I was helping my dad lift some furniture down some stairs. For the rest of the day i felt fine. I woke up the next day with sever back pain/aching. Most of the pain is on my mid back section on level with my ribs. Is there anything I can do to help it heal or is it something serious? Thanks in advance.

Hi Arnold,

Sorry to hear about it. Most likely this is a strain of a muscle. A strain is a tear of a muscle. Just like a cut on your finger, it bleeds, forms a scab, the scab falls off and you are left with some scar tissue. Moving your finger at first will be painful, just like your back. An indication that it is something more involved would be a sharp radiating pain extending along the rib area or into the leg. But, it is common for strains to act like this, the pain gradually getting worse over a period of time. Since there is some initial swelling and inflammation, you can use an ice pack, even a bag of frozen vegetables, on the area for 10 to 15 minutes every couple hours. If you are able, you can take something like Ibuprofen to help with inflammation. Take it easy for a while if you can so as not to strain the area further. The pain should gradually subside. As it does, you can start to apply some moist heat and a light massage would be beneficial. If you want, you can use a pain patch on the area and some topical analgesic applications. I provide the links as an example, because, I like these to have some healing properties and not just ingredients that are strictly counter-irritant. But, your local pharmacy should carry something similar. Just be careful applying heat if you use these types of products.

So, you should see a gradual improvement. If not, there may be some ligament damage (sprain), which would be more complicated and take longer to heal, or there could be a small fracture. If you find the pain is getting worse, see a doctor for some x-rays.

All the best to you and your Dad.

Dr. Steve

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Dr. Steve Ornstein


I can answer questions regarding neck and back pain treatment and general musculoskeletal conditions. Acute, chronic and degenerative conditions using various methods; exercise, rehabilitation, traction. Pain relief methods and professional quality products via website at which can be used at home.


Graduated Chiropractic College in 1987, working in numerous clinics within two states using a variety of manual and physiological therapies. Involved in martial arts for 20 years.

Chiropractor Sherman College, Certified in Physiological Therapeutics from National Chiropractic College, Certified Peer Review Consultant from New York Chiropractic College, Studied with Dr. Cox using Flexion Distraction Technique, Studied with Dr. Leahy using Active Release Technique. Myofascial Release with Dr. Rockwell - Parker Chiropractic College. Certified in Modic Antibiotic Spinal Therapy.

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