One of the best parts of my job as a physical therapist is the opportunity I have to get to know my patients on a personal level. Physical therapists are unique in the healthcare field because we are able to spend a significant amount of one-on-one time with each of our patients (typical visits last about an hour). In comparison to the busy world of medicine, this is a welcome change of pace for patients. During this time together, I enjoy hearing their stories. I find the history behind my patient’s physical challenges and rehabilitation truly inspirational. A fairly unique aspect about working in such close proximity to a health club at the Fit Stop is to be able to see my patients through the transition from rehabilitation to wellness in the gym. I get excited when I see that transition happen!
For example, I have worked with several individuals who have suffered extensive injuries as a result of a car accident or other work-related injury. Following the arduous task of rehab in PT, many of these patients continue to independently perform their gym routine as was established in PT. Speaking from experience – each of these patients would be in a much worse state in regards to their pain and overall function if not for sticking with that routine. I guess there is no real way of proving that assertion. However, I read an article relating to low back pain the other day which seems to support that premonition in a pretty impressive way. A new systematic review published in JAMA Internal Medicine looked at the effect of exercise on low back pain. This study combined the results of 23 different studies, consisting of 30,850 participants. The results are quite impressive. They found that exercise alone was linked to a 35% reduction on low back pain risk and a 45% reduction when exercise was combined with education. Also, exercise was found to reduce the likelihood of sick days at work by 78%. Now, an interesting part of this analysis lies in the carryover of these benefits, because they were only found to be maintained for 1 year. However, there is reported in the study, that a significant dropoff in the exercise was found in some of the participants. This idea supports my “hunch” mentioned at the beginning of this post: for exercise to be an effective means of treating pain in the long run, IT HAS TO BE KEPT UP! For pain (particularly for low back pain as mentioned in this study), it’s vital that you keep doing the work, even when you start to feel better. If not, there is a good chance that your pain can return (and now we even have evidence supporting that thought!),
So, all this being said, what exactly does “exercise to prevent low back pain” mean. What are the best exercises to prevent low back pain? Well, we here on the Fit Stop blog have been preaching these exercises for some time now. I believe that a good, comprehensive exercise routine to prevent low back pain should consist of the following general components:
1. Aerobic Exercise: at least 30 minutes, 4-5 days per week of a moderate intensity (See our post: “How much physical activity do I need?”
2. Strengthening: 2-3 times per week, with focus on “core” muscle groups and leg strengthening (See our posts: “6 Core Muscles You Didn’t Know You Had – And How To Train Them!”, and “What are the core muscles and how do I strengthen them?”)
3. Flexibility training: 2-3 times per week (see our post: “5 Great Stretches For Low Back Pain”)
So for low back pain, (and I personally believe this concept applies to most musculoskeletal pain out there) the idea is pretty simple: exercise=hurting less. My hardworking patients that have dedicated themselves to a life of consistent exercise at the Fit Stop have figured this idea out for themselves. Their commitment and effort is inspirational to me, and I am grateful to witness this on a daily basis.
Remember to come see us at Fit Stop PT if you have any questions about low back pain or any of the exercises mentioned above. We would love to address some of your concerns and recommend what kind of exercise is best for your low back pain. Please contact us by clicking on the clinic location nearest to you:
Toby Bluth, PT, DPT
Fit Stop Physical Therapy – Heber City
345 West 600 South Suite 200
Heber City, UT 84032
When you think of a “physical therapy patient” what comes to your mind? I’ll bet that for most people it’s someone who just had surgery and is rehabilitating their knee or shoulder. While it’s true that many conditions we treat are following surgery, did you know that the majority of our patients never set foot in an operating room?! Today on the Fit Stop Blog, Jared Beckstrand, PT, DPT, is discussing some of other common conditions we treat as physical therapists – some that you may not even know we treat! Keep reading for more…
How many of you have ever had an injury? Okay, okay – put all your hands down. Now how many of you have had an injury that lasted a little longer than normal? Maybe you thought “if I just rest it and give it time it will get better on its own” and then after 2, 3, 6, even 24 weeks it was still hurting you. It honestly happens to all of us. But what if there were a way to know when you should probably call up your doc for an injury that just won’t get better on its own? Well you’re in luck – today we’ve got one of our resident back pain specialists, Cameron Garber, PT, DPT here discussing important signs that will indicate to you whether your back will get better on its own with time or if you need to jump on the phone and get an appointment scheduled…
A common question we get here at the Fit Stop goes something like this: “My (fill in with any joint: knee, hip, shoulder, etc) has been hurting for quite some time now. My doctor tells me I have arthritis. There’s not really anything I can do about it, is there? Can Physical Therapy help at all?” Have you ever had this thought before? Truth be told there is A LOT that PT can do to alleviate the pain associated with arthritis. Today on the “Fit Stop Blog” Toby Bluth, PT, DPT will be talking about the most important treatments that PT can provide to help alleviate the painful effects of arthritis.
As a physical therapist, I am in the business of prescribing exercise. It is something I do all the time – all day, every day. As a physical therapist, I am also in the business of treating pain related to the joints in the back and knees. These two joints contribute a good portion of the pain that a lot of us experience every day. At the Fit Stop, these two areas (back and knees) make up the largest portion of what we treat every day. That being said, it may come as something of a surprise, that when I prescribe exercise for these two joints, a good chunk of those exercises actually have to do with the hip joints. Does this make sense? I believe it makes a lot of sense. Today, one of our orthopedic specialists, Toby Bluth, will explain why we look to the hips when we treat back and knee pain, and share a few of his favorite hip exercises with you.
Approximately 60% of all Physical Therapy visits nation-wide are for the treatment of low-back or neck pain. This means we see A LOT of patients with back pain in our Fit Stop clinics. It also means that physical therapists are leaders in the field of best treatment options for the management of your low back pain. Today Cameron Garber, PT, DPT is sharing some of the best exercises you can do at home to treat your back pain and get it under control. Keep reading for more!
Back pain is one of the most common problems we experience. In fact, it’s estimated that 8 out of every 10 of us will experience back pain at some point in their lives. It’s the number one reason for missing days at work and the number two reason for people to consult with their doctors (number one is upper respiratory infection). While the causes of low back pain are numerous, the treatments to get rid of it are just as plentiful. These treatments can range from incredibly expensive all the way down to simple lifestyle changes! Often when people come in to our PT clinics I find most patients’ back pain can be reduced by these very simple solutions; many of which cost little to no money. Today on the Fit Stop Blog, one of our back pain specialists, Cameron Garber, PT, DPT, is sharing a few of his favorite inexpensive tips for getting rid of back pain. How many of them will help your pain…?
We’ve all experienced it before. Whether it woke you up from a dead sleep, pushed long and hard on the basketball court, or have been putting in extra miles in preparation for that upcoming race, muscle cramping can be debilitating and very painful. Cramps can literally, stop us right in our tracks, and put us out of the game. Luckily, the pain is typically brief, lasting for a few seconds until we are able to simply “stretch it out”. But what is the deal with muscle cramps anyway? And most importantly, is there anything that can be done to prevent them in the first place? Today on the Fit Stop blog one of our experts, Toby Bluth, PT, DPT, will answer all your questions about muscle cramping – what they are, why you get them, and how you can prevent them!
Most of us have been there before; many of us probably didn’t even realize it. Maybe it happened while you were playing soccer. Football? It might have been while skiing, playing basketball, running, slipping, tripping, or even simply reaching up and over your head (trust me – we’ve seen it all). Today we’ve got one of our sports injury specialists, Jared Beckstrand, PT, DPT, talking all about ligament sprains – what they are, how you get them, and some advice about some of your options once you have one! A word of advice – don’t call your surgeon until you’ve read this through!!
Who amongst us hasn’t experienced some degree of low back pain before? Collectively it’s the most-common complaint we see in our physical therapy clinics. Luckily there’s a lot that PT can do for it, and all it starts with stretching structures that are tight and strengthening areas that are weak. Today one of our low back pain experts, Jared Beckstrand, PT, DPT is sharing 5 of his favorite stretches to help relax that tight back and alleviate some of the pain you may be experiencing. Read more below!