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:
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:
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!
As a physical therapist, I saw a lot of runners in my clinic with running-related pain. The most common injuries that I see are IT band pain, knee pain, and foot/ankle problems. Inevitably during the conversation with these patients we get to the topic of working out. “So what do you do for exercise,” I ask. “Well I run,” is most-often the answer. People often don’t realize this one key concept – you need to be strong in order to run! Your legs and core have to be strong in order to support your body and sustain running 1,3, 6, 13, or 26 miles!! Today on the Fit Stop Blog, our running specialist, Jared Beckstrand, PT, DPT is sharing 5 of the best core exercises for runners to keep you strong, healthy, and out on the road! Keep reading for more…
Have a sore shoulder? Or maybe as a runner, your knee has started to bother you out of the blue, and you just don’t know why? Or maybe it’s that back or neck that just won’t get better? As a physical therapist, I deal with these problems all of the time, and I know how frustrating these aches and pains can be. They can really set us back and prevent us from doing what we enjoy most. However, I am a firm believer in the benefits of strength training and how it relates to pain. Simply put, people hurt less (and reduce the risk of these injuries in the first place) by moving more and improving/maintaining muscle strength. Even the most active among us (most often times ,the avid runner) have muscle weaknesses that need to be addressed.
So what are the muscle groups that get neglected the most-often? Today one of our sports-rehab specialists, Toby Bluth, PT, DPT, shares 5 of the most often-neglected muscle groups and how to strengthen them. Keep reading for more…
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:
Muscle strains – what they are and what you can do to help heal them.
We’ve all been there before (some of us more than others!) – it’s that one lift that was too heavy, the one sprint that was too fast, and even that one motion that tweaked things just right. Yep – today we’re talking pulled muscles here on The Fit Stop Blog! As a physical therapist this is a problem that I encounter in my patients on a daily basis. Knowing what they are and knowing the steps you need to take after it happens is vital to improving healing time and maximizing your potential for recovery. Today is all about muscle pulls – what they are, how they happen, and information you need to know to help you make a speedy and complete recovery.
The core… In today’s world of fitness this is a buzzword that occurs quite frequently. You hear it all the time – “keep your core tight”, “great core exercise”, etc. You’ve probably even heard it from one of us as your physical therapist a time or two. But what exactly is the core? What are the core muscles, how are they trained, and why are they so important? Today on the Fit Stop Blog, Jared Beckstrand, PT, DPT is answering your questions about core muscles and giving you some advice how to keep yours strong. Keep reading for more… More