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
We’ve all likely heard of whiplash before. However, if you’ve never actually experienced this type of an injury, you can never truly appreciate the pain and length of rehabilitation that can often be related to it. It is a nasty injury that usually takes a long time to get over. So what is whiplash? What are the best exercises after you have suffered a whiplash injury and what can your physical therapist do to help speed the recovery process? Today on the Fit Stop blog we’ve got one of our spine specialists, Toby Bluth, PT, DPT, answering those questions and sharing with us some of the best exercises for rehabilitating your neck.
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!
I love this time of year – the sun is getting warmer, the days are getting longer, the trees and flowers are blooming, and spring is in full swing. Of course with spring comes the start of a different time of the year… RUNNING SEASON! It’s time to get the running shoes out and get out there and hit the road! Did you know you can actually run longer, faster, and injury-free if you’re strong in the right muscle groups? We’ve got our resident running expert, Jared Beckstrand, PT, DPT here with us today discussing 5 essential exercises that every runner needs to be doing. And they are…
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!
Most of us have been through the cycle before. You’ve come to realize you need to start working out regularly in order to get healthier. Your new workout plan is going great for a couple of weeks when suddenly – WHAMMO – something starts hurting that didn’t hurt before you started. You take some time off rehabbing this injury and after a couple of weeks it starts to feel better, but you fail to pick up your fitness routine where you left off. Suddenly you’re back to your same old ways – thinking maybe one day again you’ll try working out.
As a doctor of physical therapy I see a lot of patients for a lot of different reasons. Some of these injuries are traumatic; some develop slowly over time. But I can say with a certain degree of confidence that many (if not most) of these injuries could actually be avoided if people would stick to the following six tips:
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!!
I have a question for all of you fellow laptop cradlers and cell phone junkies: Are you often plagued by neck or shoulder pain or tightness which slowly works its way up the back of your head and becomes a nagging headache? Often you eventually feel the headache settle behind your eyes and you can even get blurry vision. More often than not you blame it on your desk, on staring at the computer screen or on your work. Although these are contributing factors, the biggest problem is with your posture! Today one of our spine specialists, Cameron Garber, PT, DPT is talking all about shoulder and neck tension/pain – what it is, why you get it, and what you can do to eliminate it!