Recent research tells us that bed rest is not the best option for the treatment of acute and severe back pain and should be used for no more than two days. Those involved in that research, however, may alter their view if they ever personally experience a severe bout of back pain.
A study conducted in the United States demonstrated that patients who rested in bed for two days recovered as well as those who stayed in bed for seven days. But patients who continued to walk and move were able to go back to work sooner than those who rested for either two or seven days.
They had become used to driving to the office of the physical therapist or chiropractor or physician, waiting to be called into the treatment room, partially undressing, having the health professional “work on them,” and driving back to their jobs or homes. These visits, travel included, would take hours every week, and sometimes hundreds of hours a year, that could be put to other use. The patients had become used to seeing large amounts of money transferred to the health professional’s office or health maintenance organization—their money or an insurance company’s money, or some combination. They had believed they were in a dark, endless tunnel lined with time and money.