Don't get trapped by these mistakes!
There are a lot of misconceptions and old, outdated advice that is given by doctors, friends, colleagues when it comes to recovering from low back pain. This week we discuss the most common mistakes people back when trying to recover from back pain.
It’s a shame that so many people are told to rest and mask their pain with pain killers in a hope that it goes away on it’s own. Not only does resting slow the healing process, but can lead to scar tissue buildup which limits range of motion once we are healed. Adding pain free movement and exercise to strengthen spinal stabilizers (that also place minimal load on the spine) is important to making a quick recovery from back pain.
The advice to ‘rest’ would be better said to ‘avoid activities that aggravate low back pain’ rather than avoid movement all together. Finding those movements that challenge and not aggravate the painful areas pivotal to progressing a painful back.
Stretching is more common advice given to those with back pain. While providing short term relief, they often place our spine in positions that slow the healing process. Pulling your knees to your chest is common stretch that provides short term relief but can hurt you in the long run. Spinal twists and knee rotations can also irritate your spine and discs if they are sensitive to those motions. Think of these movements as picking at a scab. If the scab is constantly picked at the healing process is delayed.
3. Back Braces
Many times we get asked if a back brace is a good thing to wear to protect the spine for daily activities. And the answer is almost always no. Recovering from back pain requires us to engage and strengthen the muscles surrounding the spine to protect the joints and discs.
If we use a back brace to do all the work - our muscles don’t learn how to support our spine and the result is more back pain. In most cases we have to find a level of challenge to begin with that will strengthen the back and supporting structures so we create our own brace of strength.
If these strategies have not been working for you or someone you know and it’s time for some serious changes in approach let's discuss the problem and see if we are a good fit.
Watch for information on our upcoming Low Back Workshop on December 8th.