Allowing A Back Problem To Progress Without Rehab Makes You Worse!One of the biggest frustrations we experience in the Back In Shape program, is the person that decides they shouldn’t do any exercises until they’ve spoken to their professional, GP or otherwise before they start rehabilitation exercises, very often, in the UK anyway, this means waiting weeks on end doing “nothing” until being given the all clear. Now this might sound sensible, until we dissect this statement a little more. Let’s start with agreement. Yes, you should seek help in certain emergency cases, and if you’re completely bed-bound then most certainly an emergency investigation is warranted. However, most people that come across the Back In Shape program are usually searching on the internet for help with their back pain. Hardly the sort of thing you’d do if you back pain was an emergency, you’d get straight down to accident & emergency for the necessary investigation. If you’ve just fallen out of a tree onto your back, exercises aren’t what you need, get yourself checked out now and then move forward with the necessary subsequent steps. But this scenario is rare. More commonly we find people will be in a greater or lesser degree of pain, come across the program and then pause, not wanting to do any exercises that might make their back worse. Again, completely understandable, until we get to the topic of today’s video!
You’re Still Doing All This?
In the scenario above, we find that people are concerned about doing anything that might make the back worse, yet they’re far from bed bound, dragging themselves, through the tasks of daily living, not considering the damage these activities can be doing.
All the while, too cautious to start an expert directed program that in the first instance, Phase 1, begins with the requirement to lie on the floor, or can be done on the bed.
In this video & article we’ll talk about the 10 things that you’re likely doing that puts more stress on your back than Phase 1 & even Phase 2 of the Back In Shape Program.
Not Already In The Back In Shape Program?
- Gentle protocols in Phase 1 specifically chosen because they put next to no load through your spine when followed properly.
- Protocols developed by experts used with thousands of clinical patients over the years based on the intimate understanding of spine biomechanics & structure.
If Your Doing Any Of These Activities, You Really Should Be Doing The Exercises
We’ll breifly mention each of the 10 activities mentioned in the video below, but let’s just take one of the examples, getting off the toilet seat. This is a squat, or for some maybe not so much of a good squat. Getting of the loo is an activity that most people will do on a daily basis whether or not your back is bad. It involves potentially quite a lot of strain on the back, often a degree of pain too!
Learning how to do this movement properly immediately would really help you avoid making things worse during this daily occurrence. Why then would you want to avoid learning how to do this movement properly, whilst you’re continuing to do what is essentially a squat multiple times a day. Getting out of bed, getting in and out of the car, sitting at the dining table, sitting in front of the TV, there are numerous opportunities here on a daily basis to squat, to put a lot of strain through your back. Perhaps spending a little of that time on a focused, and curated set of simple exercises will help decrease the strain on the back when undertaking these tasks.
Getting On/Off The Toilet Seat
A gross movement requrieing the stabilisiation of the core, and coordination with the lower body muscles to slowly lower or raise the torso. Poor form here will load the lower lumbar spine significantly.
Cooking & Washing Up
An activity that increases the load through the lumbar spine & demand on the lower back and leg muscles, due to the slight forward tilt of the body towards the work surface.
Going Up & Down Stairs
Bracing of the core here with good posture & integration with one leg whilst stabilising the spine. It’s no wonder the untrained back pain sufferer could really get into trouble with this one.
Walking The Dog
Runnig the risk of being suddenly dragged off in one direction plus the extreme bending required to pick up after him or her. This activity poses real challenges for an injured lower back.
Emptying The Bins
A complex activity requiring a degree of bending and then asymetrical load through the back. Perhaps luging a larger wheely bin too. All micro-tasks placing mechancical strain through the back beyond the normal load of gravity.
Getting Dressed & Undressed
With or without socks & shoes the actions of full flexion, bending and twisting are often a real challenge, yet most of us endure these in spite of the pain in the back they elicit, either immediately or afterwards.
Bathing & Showering
Another activity involving balance & or bending to get all those hard to reach bits. Maximally flexing the trunk, with or without twisting poses real challenges for a low back issue trying to heal.
Working At The Desk
Consistent increased strain through the lumbar spine, even if you’re sat perfectly the whole time. These actions place atypical strain on your lower back and the muscles that support it.
Brushing Teeth & Washing Face
The creation of a forward bend, invariably with poor form, especially first thing in the morning puts serious strain on the lower back at a time it’s often most vulnerable.
Emptying & Loading The Dishwasher
You’ll no doubt have seen this in the video above, by now you should hopefully know that this one just is not good for you!
What’s The Point Of All This?
Now, you might be thinking, well that’s great but what’s your point, are you saying not to do all these things becuase that’s just not possible. You’re correct, it’s about time we get to the point of this article.
It’s not to say don’t do all the activities, as living in the real world, that’s just not happening. That being said, before you discount the carefully put together Phase 1 program (that is free to join) or the equally carefully constructed Phase 2, consider this you’re already doing some or all of these terrible things on a daily basis! We know from research and experience, that the longer back problems go unaided the longer the recovery process. If you’re doing these activities above too, you may well be making things a lot worse while you’re waiting for that GP appointment or scan as well!
You don’t have to join the Premium Program, if you like what we do here at Back In Shape, we know we can help you more and joining our Premium Program or having a Virtual Consultation to get answers faster is always an option. But at its simplest, the program is free, and the instruction & support is vast.
This rather “ranty” article is here to encorage you to take the reins, watch and re-watch the coaching videos for Phase 1, check out the Lockdown livestreams page for 150, 30 to 60 minute collated & organised videos to learn about your back and how it works, so you can better understand your own back injury.
We’ve seen many thousands of patients clinically over the years as well as reached over 10,000 people globally though the Back In Shape Program. Those will all sorts of back pain will have to do rehabilitation exercises those exercises may well be nuanced later on, but in the first instance the principles are simple & safe, and detailed in Phase 1.
Just start it!
What About If It’s REALLY bad!?
Guess what, you still need to do the same exercises, the same principles, you may progress slowly, but we know that you still need to get your rehab done. Many of your reading this will be nowhere near the need for surgery of the spine, but we thought it would be relevant to help hit the point home.
The video here is a longer video on spinal surgery and the role & benefits of exercises for these patients. If you haven’t been convinced thus far, please go and check out the video here, for a little more free guidance!