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…
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.
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!
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!
Ah, New Year’s. A time where we’re encouraged look back on the year that was and make some changes for the year that is coming. Did you know that the most commonly-made New Year’s resolutions have to deal with you health and fitness? Regardless of where you are on the fitness spectrum, all of us could benefit from some renewed goals and amplified commitment. Today one of our health and wellness experts, Jared Beckstrand, PT, DPT is sharing 5 fitness resolutions that you should make for 2016 to make it the healthiest yet!
Well, it’s that time of the year again. The Christmas tree has been taken down and New Year’s party preparations are in full swing. Along with the New Year’s celebrations typically come New Year’s resolutions – this is a time for us all to pause and reflect on our lives and things we want to do better in the upcoming year. Inevitably the most-made resolution is to “lose weight” or “be more healthy” – but rarely do people come up with a concrete plan on how to make that happen. One of the best ways to improve your fitness is to increase your daily activity and make this change permanent. I know sometimes it’s difficult to get in some activity in the winter months, but it certainly doesn’t have be! Today on the Fit Stop Blog one of our exercise specialists, Jared Beckstrand, PT, DPT, is sharing 5 of the absolute best ways to increase your daily activity even when the weather outside is frightful! Keep reading for more!