Chronic low back pain (LBP) is the most common musculoskeletal problem. LBP usually responds to physical therapy, activity modification, and the passage of time. The good news is that approximately 90% of acute LBP resolves within 6-12 weeks. 60% experience recurrent symptoms. Poorly conditioned bodies, poor posture and body mechanics and various psycho-social issues predispose us to pain. Therefore, there is much we can do to reduce the experience of low back pain. We also need to be aware of the health of our nervous system and think positive thoughts about our recovery.
Don’t become your medical diagnosis! Your well-being may not be directly related to abnormal anatomy. Many people have abnormal findings on imaging and have no symptoms. As your symptoms subside, corresponding anatomical changes probably will not occur. Pay attention to the activities which aggravate and relieve your symptoms and how you think about your pain, not your diagnosis. We can alter your health and comfort and you will get better!
Controlling Your Pain: Think positively about your future!
Rest: Complete rest in a comfortable position may be helpful for the first two days. Then, intermittent rests combined with guided activity. Long term bed rest will cause more harm than good. Remaining relatively activity with attention to provocative positions is best for your recovery.
Changing positions can rest tissues while you continue to work. For example, standing will rest structures that are stressed during sitting, walking will rest tissues stressed by standing still. Sitting also may allow tissues to recover, but be careful to avoid sitting in a slumped position. If you want to sit to recover, it is best to recline.
Changing positions every 30-60 minutes provides a healthy change of pace and allows structures to recover from static stresses. Prolonged flexion can irritate your symptoms.
Take 10 minute breaks every 30 minutes from activities which involve repetitive bending, such as yard work. Allow your back to recover from each session by changing to an activity which doesn’t involve bending. DO NOT REST BY SITTING. You may want to lie down, do the flexion counteracting movements or walk.
A Healthy Life
Modify your postures and activities to keep your spine healthy.
Change positions frequently and minimize sitting to avoid static stress to your spinal tissues.
Move daily. Include walking and a few exercises as instructed, to keep your body strong and limber. If standing is comfortable, try standing at least 60% of your day.
Unload your spine by elongating it like a spring.
Eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight.
Get 7-8 hours of sleep daily.
Improve your health with positive thoughts and meditation. Use your exercise time to clear your mind and enhance your immune system.
Our specialist will guide you through your recovery with education in proper posture, body mechanics and ergonomics as well as instruct you in a customized exercise program.
Your surgeon will have a specific rehabilitation protocol which we will use as a guide to your recovery progression. These are time based to allow proper healing of the tissue.
Our therapist will perform ongoing analysis of your condition, including range of motion, strength, stability and functional capacity, in addition to your surgeon’s guidelines, to determine your rate of progress. Education about your surgery and how to continue to care for yourself with independent activities is the most important aspect of our therapy. You must know how to care for yourself!
We consider your age and other medical conditions when we consider your recovery progress.
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