What's The Best Medicine For Your Back Pain?

By Jackie Oliver, DPT
jackie@excelptmt.com

It’s summer time and all you want to do is to be outside enjoying the weather and many outdoor activities that Bozeman has to offer. The only problem is, you have this nagging low back pain holding you back. You keep thinking, should I stay home and rest it or do you push forward and continue participating in the activities that you love? Will you hurt your back more if you charge full steam ahead? 

Statistics show that up to 80% of people will experience low back pain at some point in their lives. It is considered the leading cause of activity, limitation and work absence throughout much of the world. The good news is that most of the time, low back pain has a favorable diagnosis. The question remains, what do you do in the meantime? 

Research shows that even though it might feel like you are doing your back a favor by taking a few rest days. In reality, you are doing yourself a disservice. It has been demonstrated that best rest after an acute onset of low back pain can lead to secondary complications such as depression, blood clots and decreased muscle tone. 

Studies show that moving is the best medicine for your low back. Early resumption of normal or vocational activities will help you get back on your feet sooner.  Promoting movement, such as stretching, while avoiding aggravating activities will help your back feel better. By incorporating low intensity, submaximal fitness and endurance type activities into your daily routine, you will help keep your back strong and decrease your chance of suffering from reoccurring low back pain. Specifically, exercises that target your core, low back and legs will help support your spine. 

The thing to remember is that there are many different causes of low back pain and many ways to treat it. If movement and exercise doesn’t decrease your low back pain and it continues to persist, a visit to your local physical therapist may be beneficial to help get you on the fast track to feeling better.

 

Jackie Oliver, DPT completed her Doctorate in Physical Therapy at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. Jackie is a certified dry needling provider with advanced training from Evidence in Motion and KinetaCore. Jackie has an intense passion for helping and educating others as well as preventative medicine. Because of her college sports background, Jackie loves working with athletes and has experience with biomechanical training and injury prevention in sports. Prior to completing her Doctorate in Physical Therapy, Jackie played basketball for Carroll College in Helena, Montana, while also obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in Health Science. Jackie was Academic All-American her last two years at Carroll. Jackie enjoys outdoor activities such as downhill skiing, trail running, disc golf and especially enjoys hiking with her husband and two dogs. 

Are You an “ACTIVE" Couch Potato? 

By Jackie Oliver, DPT
jackie@excelptmt.com

A big draw to the city of Bozeman, Montana is the proximity to recreational activities and easy access to outdoors. In this community, we are above average when it comes to being active but have we really decreased our health risks? We exercise on a regular basis so we don’t have to worry about the slogan “sitting is the new smoking”, right? Wrong. A growing body of evidence has demonstrated a decreased life expectancy for those individuals who sit for most of the day, even if they exercise on a regular basis. It is entirely possible to meet the current physical activity guidelines outlined by the World Health Organization, while still being incredibly sedentary. (more…)

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