How To Avoid Relapses When Recovering From Low Back Pain [T.R.E.A.T]
One of the big challenges people with back pain face is the prevalence of relapses on the journey to becoming back pain free. These relapses are often caused by every day activities however, sometimes they can be cause by the introduction of new tasks or reintroduction of old hobbies. In addition to this new intensities or workouts can also prove to be too much triggering aggravation. These relapses can really play on the individuals confidence and so having a strategy to follow to test these things safely can really make a difference.
In this video we talk in depth about the T.R.E.A.T protocol that we cover with our members to help them effectively move through the program and reintroduce extra curricular activities with success. However, things aren’t always successful, sometimes it is just too soon. Rather than being confused and in pain, the T.R.E.A.T protocol gives us a framework to test specific variables effectively, review their effectiveness and make decisions on whether or not we’re ready for this or a few more days or weeks are required.
Below is a brief overview of the protocol so you can start incorporating it into your recovery, whether it is back pain like many of our members or another injury, this strategy gives you the control to make smarter decisions.
T – Test
The first step is to identify and test a new activity and only one new activity. This could be moving from one workout to a more intense one. In the context of the Back In Shape Program this could be to move from Phase 2 to Phase 3. For others it might be the return to golf, or gardening. Whatever the test is, test one thing at a time.
R – Rest
This is to say that we don’t test our new intensity or activity, as well as walk the dog, run lots of errands etc. The important thing here is that the Rest means don’t do anything out of the ordinary for the rest of the day. It does not mean go to bed either! Just give yourself the rest of the day and the nights sleep ready for the next step.
E – Evaluate
This is the important next step, to evaluate how your feeling in the context of your daily pattern. This means that if your pain regularly fluctuates sporadically, has this changed at all? Admittedly those of you with more stable symptoms will find it easier to make this evaluation effectively. Those who do experience more on and off bouts of their symptoms will find this a little more challenging to do, it is easy to jump to the conclusion that the pain is worse, when actually it just fits the pattern of randomness that the pain previously displayed. This will ultimately give us an answer, no, nothing has changed, in which case the test was a success and we can consider making this new activity part of our routine. In the case that there is a significant change in symptoms for the worse, then we have our answer. It is too soon.
A – Adjust
With the information from the evaluation step you can then adjust your course of action over the coming days and weeks as necessary.
T – Test Again
From this point we can then give ourselves some time either with the new level or activity incorporated, or at the old intensity before testing once again.
If you start to incorporate this protocol into your progression you’ll find you have a greater understanding of how your body is responding to new activities or intensities of workout. As a result the occasional blips that come from overreaching will be much more easily identified and worked around as opposed to becoming a crisis derailing your progress.
For those reading this who aren’t already part of the Back In Shape Program, and want to follow a program that works with support that makes all the difference, use the link below to learn more about the Premium Membership.