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! More
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. 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! More
“Pitchers and catchers reporting!” I love to hear the sports announcers say it. It means that baseball is right around the corner. Though there is still snow on the ground in some states, kids, parents, and coaches are starting to get their arms ready for the rigors of the baseball season ahead.
The overhead throwing motion is a very unnatural motion. Furthermore, for a growing & developing athlete, growth plates have not fully developed. It is important for even the highest level baseball player to work through a gradual process of arm strengthening exercises to improve accuracy during the pre-season and remain consistent throughout the competitions. Today one of our throwing rehab specialists, Tyler Bluth, PT, MPT is discussing 5 important tips to ensure your little leaguer enjoys a healthy, productive season playing at his/her finest! Keep reading for more! 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! More
Four keys to maximize your physical therapy visits to recover faster and more completely!
For over six years now, I have been practicing physical therapy (PT) at the Fit Stop in our Heber City location. I love my job. I think that we as physical therapists have one of the most important and gratifying jobs out there. We are able to play a pivotal role in decreasing pain and improving our patient’s function and quality of life in a very safe and non-invasive way. One of the best aspects of my job is being able to see my patients get better. The majority of musculoskeletal injuries out there respond very well to PT treatment. However, sometimes it doesn’t quite work out that way. Sometimes, a patient does not improve as much as he/she hoped. This can be very frustrating for both therapist and patient, especially since nowadays the cost for care is generally quite expensive for the patient. Most patients have significant deductibles that need to be paid off before their insurance will even pay a dime for the PT. Then, even after the deductible is met, ever increasing co-pays can deter a patient from even seeking care in the first place. Considering these factors alone, it is understandable that a patient could get discouraged if progress with PT is not perceived to be meeting expectations.
So what can be done to give you the best chance possible of reaping maximum benefit from your PT? From my experience over the last few years, successful PT patients generally share a few of the following common characteristics… 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! More
Ever felt frustrated with your lack of results from exercising?
Did you know that as physical therapists we do a lot more than injury rehab? While pain is the most common issue that we treat, oftentimes people will come to us looking for exercise advice as well. Frequently we hear a story similar to “I’ve been working out for a couple of months now and at first the progress was great. However recently the results have started to slow down. Any idea why?” If you’ve ever felt this way you’re not alone! Luckily, we have the solution! Today one of our exercise and activity specialists, Jared Beckstrand, PT, DPT
, is sharing 6 ways that you can enhance your workout efforts and start seeing great results again!
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… More