Many people think that when their back hurts they should lay on the couch and refrain from movement. While resting and time will help the pain and inflammation go away, it doesn’t make the problem go away. The more we learn about the body, the more we’re finding that a lack of movement causes more problems than it helps. In fact, study after study shows that people with back pain have poor muscular activation patterns, which sets them up for reoccurrence of back pain.
When your pain is acute (sharp and severe) it is important to ice the area, take anti-inflammatories if appropriate, and minimize movements that aggravate the area. However, once the initial inflammation has reduced it is important to get back to moving and stabilizing the spine.
Exercise lubricates joints and allows blood to flow which helps reduce inflammation and tension. But doing the right kind of exercise is extremely important since you don’t want to cause another flare up.
Start with exercises in a neutral spine, such as “dead bugs” and “bird dogs.” When you start to feel a little better, you can add oblique twists and bridging to increase muscle activation to stabilize the area. These exercises are found on our Organizing Your Body handout.
If exercises increase your pain, make sure you speak with a physical therapist. Don’t make an injury an excuse not to move, find out what new ways you can move and how to come back even stronger.
If you’re interested in scheduling, call 410.381.1574 or email us.