Keep It Simple:
A recent article featured in the New York Times examined a review of all available literature to determine the best way to prevent low back pain and the results were surprisingly simpler than you may imagine. Forget all of the fancy gadgets, throw away your low back braces and orthotics, the best thing to prevent low back pain is EXERCISE.
Exercise & Education:
The researchers examined over 6,000 articles concerning various treatments for low back pain and found “the protective effect from exercise was quite large” and that when patients received exercises combined with education “the risk of an episode of low back pain in the next year was reduced by 45%. In other words, it almost halved the risk.” Both exercises and education on body mechanics are tools any good Physical Therapist will use to treat their patients.
Just Get Moving:
According to the recent review “the type of exercise program didn’t matter” and that by simply just getting yourself moving you can successfully prevent low back pain recurrence. Every individual person should get personally evaluated by a licensed physical therapist to determine which type of exercise program is best suited for that person, based upon their goals and current deficits. Aquatic therapy, cardiovascular training, balance, and core strengthening are all possible treatment interventions. Braces are particularly detrimental, as they take the place of the muscles, creating muscle wasting and weakness—called atrophy— and prolong the overall recovery process.
The Take-Home Point:
The article concluded: “of all the options currently available to prevent low back pain, exercise is really the only one with any evidence that it works.” I couldn’t agree more.
Stay moving friends,
Cole Racich, PT, DPT, OCS
For links to the NY Times article and original research article: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/01/27/to-prevent-back-pain-orthotics-are-out-exercise-is-in/?_r=0