Low Back pain (LBP) is an alignment that affects a majority of the population (85% of people experience LBP in their lifetime). It is the most common musculoskeletal complaint worldwide. For some it is a short term problem as a result of an injury. And for others it is a way of life, having to deal with the aches and pain of day to day living. Arthritis, degenerative joint disease, pathological fractures, stenosis, disk herniation, are all medical terms thrown around as if they mean anything to the masses. Take vitamin D, Calcium, chondroitin, lose weight, and eat healthier says the astute physician.
Your day begins as you stiffly roll out of bed due to your back pain, you get to the bathroom to choke down the handful of vitamins the doc says to take, while you hunt for the 25th hour in your day to lose weight, go to the gym, or get to rehab. Compromised by space and time, surgery seems like a great solution.
With all of this advice, your physician was right about Exercise. It is often recommended to patients with LBP as it is thought to help maintain or restore flexibility, strength and endurance. Studies have suggested that exercise may reverse some of the pain associated with your injury. And although bed rest seems logical, it is counterproductive; individuals should stay active as possible.
So your physician says go exercise. What does that mean? What should you do? How do you do it?
Popular exercise approach for LBP:
- Walking: it is the simplest and most readily available form of exercise for chronic LBP.
- Aerobic Exercise: bicycling, swimming, treadmill walking, and elliptical trainers maybe effective in decreasing pain intensity and improve physical function.
- Community based programs: programs consistent of 10 weeks of group classes through your hospital, LHIN, CCAC, Nursing Home, and community centers, have shown 48% improvement in pain, and 60% improvement in disability
- Pilates: Focusing on controlled movements of the whole body that specific to the core (back and abdomen). Individuals see improvement in body alignment, breathing, strength, coordination, and balance. Some studies have shown Pilates is more effective than any other exercise for chronic LBP.
- Yoga: focusing on spiritual and physical practices that promote controlled breathing, stretches, and meditation.
- Core Exercise and Spine Stabilization: deficiencies in core muscles result in poor posture and movement, contributing to low back pain. Ideal movement, requires use of the abdominal wall, low back, pelvis, and diaphragm. Core exercises are general taught by physiotherapist to promote a pain free movement of your lower back during activities.
In the management of non-medication and non-surgical approach to LBP, education, counseling, and preventative care are imperative. Individual expectations need to be managed. Expect to initially feel worse before feeling better, this is normal. False assumptions need to be forgotten. The belief that certain exercises that stress the spine causing pain are considered unsafe; are false notions. Preventative care is integral to the avoidance of LBP. Exercise decreases the risk of LBP. As such, it is important to continue to be active, avoid undo stress with ergonomic appropriate techniques, and take advantage of ancillary services such as massage and physiotherapy.
For individuals in significant pain, unable to walk, let alone drive, there are service that come to your home within the areas of Brampton, Mississauga, Etobicoke, North York, and downtown Toronto. Services cover the Entire GTA, so that you can have the best outcome to your LBP rehabilitation. Take advantage of your local CCAC, physiotherapist, LHIN, and on demand services like in-home physiotherapy platform Therapia. Their physiotherapist manage many aspects of rehab care, including LBP. Be proactive, be aware, and most important, get active, so you don’t have to live limited by your pain.