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
As physical therapists, one of the problems that we encounter most frequently is low back pain. Did you know that statistics show that 8 in 10 people will experience an episode of low back pain in their lifetime? 80%! If you haven’t had to deal with back pain yet in your life get ready – chances are it’s coming! But did you also know that there’s a lot you can do to prevent pain/help it feel better? Whether you have back pain right now or have had it in the past, strengthening your core is one of the most important steps you can take in resolving/preventing this problem. Today on the Fit Stop Blog, one of our back pain specialists, Jared Beckstrand, PT, DPT will be sharing 5 of the best exercises you can do to strengthen your core muscles. Keep reading for more!
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!
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Are you ready?
The weather has definitely taken a turn here in Utah! Like the fall leaves the temperatures are dropping as winter is fast-approaching. In fact I woke up the other day and, while driving my 8 and 6-year-olds to school, noticed there was some snow up on the mountain tops. They perfectly summed up my feelings about the upcoming season when they literally replied in unison… “SNOW!!! Dad can we go skiing?!?!”
While there may not be enough white stuff to shred just yet, we know that it is coming! Are you ready?! Some of the most-common injuries we encounter through the winter are skiing/snowboarding related. Fortunately, many of these injuries can be avoided with the proper strengthening in key muscle groups of your legs, hips, and core. Today on The Fit Stop Blog, one of our outdoor recreation specialists, Jared Beckstrand, PT, DPT, is sharing 10 of the best exercises you can do to get ready for the upcoming ski/snowboard season. Get started right now to ensure an entire season of fun, healthy shredding!
One of the biggest key phrases you hear in fitness today is the “core.” We are continually told we should be strengthening the core. We hear a lot about core strengthening and core exercises and having shredded abs. Most people think core and abs are synonymous terms. Well, it is true that abdominal muscles are core muscles, but the “6-pack” rectus abdominis muscles most people associate with the core are functionally the least important of them all.
In truth, “core muscles” are any muscle which attaches one part of your trunk (chest and abdomen) to another or from your trunk to your shoulder blade or pelvis. Examples of these other core muscles are the trapezius muscles, shoulder and hip stabilizers, back extensors or deep abdominal muscles. Today on the Fit Stop Blog, one of our core muscle specialists, Cameron Garber, PT, DPT, is breaking down some of the lesser-known core muscles – what they are, why they’re important, and sharing some great at-home exercises you can do to strengthen them. Keep reading for more:
“That hurts my lower back.”
“It kind of feels like pinching right here.”
“How come that one hurts my back?”
Planks are one of our most-recommended exercises to increase abdominal strength. As far as core exercises go, you would be hard-pressed to find one single exercise that works as many muscles as efficiently as planks do. But what happens when planks hurt? One complaint that I hear often from my patients is that they feel a “pinch” in their lower back while doing planks. Today on the Fit Stop Blog I wanted to share with you the top three reasons why you may be experiencing back pain while planking and what you can do to correct this problem. We’ve even included some video instruction to explain it to you a little more effectively! Check it out below…