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Should you rest or stay active with low back pain?

10 June 2014 No Comment

Pictured is the Astronaut Position, which is a great way to relieve back pain. In this post I’m going to discuss the results of a study which has found that when you suffer a back injury you are better off staying active than resting.

Now, it may not seem terribly important, I mean, how bad could a couple of days on the couch be? Well, here are the stats: “more than three quarters of individuals will have a recurrence of their symptoms within a year from the initial onset, and up to 40% report a permanent reduction in activity participation“. That’s huge – most people have a relapse, nearly half have PERMANENTLY effects in the form of a reduced ability to participate in daily activities.

So if there are things you should be doing when you have low back pain to try to prevent it from returning – you would want to know about them right?

What they found in this study was that “fear of movement and avoidance of physical activity participation have been associated with a less than desirable prognosis, often times leading to chronicity”, so it becomes really important that you understand what you are dealing with and what you can and can’t do. It is in your best interests to see someone so that a) they can do some treatment on you (proven to be better than not getting treatment http://www.chrisjonesosteo.com.au/?p=130) and b) give you advice on what you should be doing, because if you can be active, you really should be.

Other great quotes from this study:

“Exercise has many benefits for those patients with Low Back Pain, including positive effects on mood, anxiety, and depression, which often plague these patients.”

“Another study found that an exercise program of 20 group sessions significantly reduced the incidence of LBP recurrences in a population with a history of the condition.”

“A multifactorial conditioning program that included aerobic conditioning was effective in reducing the number of sick days for some workers with chronic back pain in one investigation, thus affirming the benefits of conditioning.”

Now, let’s not get carried away, there are certainly times when you want to rest – acute disc herniations, ruptured ligaments etc, what we’re talking about here is simple low back pain. If you’re unable to move or experience obvious aggravation with movement, then you should probably be resting til you can move without severe aggravation. But for the rest of you, up and at it.

To read the study, click here.

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