We continue with the infographics that summarize the most current scientific evidence, this time I present the most important facts about exercise and back pain. There are already 3 infographies (here and here the other 2) about back pain in the blog, with all the information your patient should know. The information has been kindly provided by Dr Mary O’Keeffee (University of Limerick), Dr Kieran O’Sullivan (Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar) and Professor Chris Maher (The George Institute for Global Health, Sydney Medical School).
The infographic says as follows…
1. Exercise is helpful for back pain
Staying as active as possible and returning to all usual activities gradually is very important in aiding recovery. You can start by doing some gentle activity and then increase your levels when you feel confident to do so.
2. Rest is not helpful, but getting back to moving and to normal activities is
Scientific studies now indicate that prolonged rest and avoidance of activity for people with low back pain actually leads to higher levels of pain, greater disability, poorer recovery and longer absence from work.
3. Exercise can prevent recurrence of back pain
Exercise can significantly prevent the recurrence of an episode of low back pain. Exercise also helps reduce low back pain and disability levels, when people stick with it in the long-term.
4. Moving with confidence and without fear is important for back pain
Many people start moving slowly and minding themselves. Moving slowly and tensing actually puts more strain on your muscles.
5. Exercising in a relaxed manner is important
Doing the exercises in a relaxed manner (eg, moving normally, not guarding and not breath-holding) and progressing gradually is also important.
6. The best exercise is the one you enjoy
People should do an exercise that they enjoy, that is affordable and easy to access (eg, not too far or difficult to fit into your daily routine). For example, walking, running, cycling, swimming, yoga and pilates, all have similar effects for back pain.
7. Feeling sore after exercise does not indicate damage to your body
Underused muscles get sore more quickly than healthy muscles. Feeling stiff and sore after exercise does not indicate harm or damage to your body, it simply reflects your body not being used to the activity.
8. Exercise regularly is a must
The amount of exercise you do is probably more important than the type of exercise. The greatest gains result when an inactive person starts doing any exercise. Getting more than 150 minutes a week has the greatest health benefits.
9. Running on the road and swimming the breaststroke are not bad for back
Scientific research does not show that any of these activities are bad for your back or “wear out” your joints. The amount of exercise you do is more important than the type of exercise. Any amount you can manage will result in benefit, but more than 30 minutes per day would be ideal.
10. No drug or tablet delivers the diverse range of benefits as exercise
This is a fact that is often overlooked as part of the management of low back pain. Be aware too that all low back pain is not the same. So if you have tried one form of exercise that has not helped you, talk to a healthcare professional who can set a specific programme.
Link to the original article here.