3 Ways To eliminate your back pain for good
3 Ways to Eliminate Your Back Pain for Good
Back pain is a very common, yet tricky condition to recover from. You may feel like you’ve tried every exercise, stretch, and medication without the relief you’ve been looking for. There happens to be a million gimmicky things to buy that claim to get rid of your back pain, but unfortunately most of them are totally fraudulent.
At Transform Rehabilitation we use specific movement techniques, strengthening, and stretching exercises to help decrease back pain. Physical Therapy been shown to be the most effective conservative intervention in treating back pain. The only tricky part with physical therapy is that not every person responds the same way to our exercises and interventions, even if it helped somebody else with the same exact complaints. We can’t just give you a specific list of exercises to perform, and voilà, your back pain is cured. We need to figure out what works specifically for you.
One way to determine what exercises are appropriate (specific to you) is based off of how your pain responds to certain repetitive movements. We use a technique called repeated motion testing to determine what movements your back prefers, and what direction we should be encouraging your back to move into. For instance, I’ll tell one of my patients with back pain to perform a repeated prone press up just to see how their back pain responds to the movement. We’re interested in knowing how the back pain was altered. Did the pain intensity increase, decrease, or did it remain unchanged? Also, it is important to know if the pain changed in location or overall size. The way you respond to the repeated motion guides us to specific exercises that will help decrease your back pain.
Another thing we look at is core stability. Back pain will instinctively cause you to rest, avoid activating your core, and be more sedentary to avoid increasing the pain. Prolonged inactivity will cause your muscles to get smaller and weaker, even after only a few days. Most of the time a person’s back pain will feel better after rest, but their core has become weak and are now more vulnerable for re-injury. If that person attempts to bend over or lift something heavy, they are at higher risk of injuring their back due to their weakness. When we train our patients to re-engage the core musculature in order to get strong again, we focus on strengthening the four parts of the core: the abdomen, the lumbar musculature, the diaphragm, and the pelvic floor. We assess each of those four components of the core to determine what needs the most attention to get stronger. Then we train to activate all four parts of the core equally during functional movements to ensure the risk for re-injury is reduced. Remember, strengthening is not all about the weight!
When somebody’s back is painful and weak one of the first things that happens as a response is the trunk becoming stiff and ridged. This is a protective response to prevent pain and re-injury, but many people will accommodate to a more ridged trunk as their new normal. One may think that a stiff trunk is a strong trunk, but don’t be fooled. Limitations in range of motion are usually an indicator for weakness and instability. Having full trunk rotation, flexion and extension range of motion is important, but even more important is being strong and having full control in all planes of your range of motion. Trunk/spine stretching to obtain all of your available range of motion and performing core stability exercises in every part of your range of motion is crucial to eliminate your back pain and reduce the chances of reoccurrence.
Interested in getting rid of your back pain once and for all? Let us figure out what works best for you. Leave your contact information below and we’ll get in touch. Feel free to ask any questions you may have, and we will get back to you quickly.