What to Do When You Have Back Pain?

Low back pain is very common and it can become disabling: difficulty sitting at work, pain when leaning forward, pain during activities, or discomfort when waking up. It is common to see people with back pain putting themselves to complete rest and ceasing their activities when the pain manifests itself. Yet, this type of behavior slows down recovery. Science tells us that the ideal way to deal with back pain is to keep moving, but how?

When low back pain occurs, it is best to stay active, even if it’s just a little. You can perform activities such as walking or going for a bike ride. Also, doing light cardiovascular activity can help you manage your pain better. It’s important to understand that choosing complete inactivity (bed rest for example) weakens the muscles whose role is to stabilize your back. Therefore, hobbies such as watching television or reading in a seated or reclining position can be detrimental. Inactivity maintains problematic patterns of movements that caused your pain in the first place.

Doing strengthening exercises is also recommended to engage your lumbar stabilizers and decrease your pain. Exercises such as the squat or deadlift are ideal to strengthen not only your back, but also your leg muscles, which will allow you to perform your daily activities more easily.

Your physiotherapist can help improve movement patterns to decrease your pain. Often, things as simple as standing up, turning in bed or getting up to walk can be painful and need to be modified . By developing the endurance and the strength of certain key muscles, you will be able to get back to the activities you enjoy!

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