Your New Physical Therapists! The Facts with Back Pain.
Rehab 2 Perform is thrilled to now serve Annapolis and the greater Anne Arundel County area! Experiencing Back Pain? While your lower back pain is certainly individual to you, it is important that you know many other individuals are also experiencing it. As Physical Therapists, it is the most common diagnosis we see at Rehab 2 Perform each year. Check out the information below regarding your back pain.
The Facts with Pain
Studies show that:
· As many as 80% of adults will experience an episode of low back pain at some point during their life.
· Low back pain is the leading cause of activity related impairment worldwide each year.
· Cases of chronic low back pain are increasing
What do I need to know about back pain? Individuals experiencing low back pain typically fall into three broad categories at Rehab 2 Perform:
Acute Low Back Pain
Acute low back pain episodes include pain that is generally less than 6 weeks in duration. It can be associated with a specific injury although that is not always necessary and can often occur without a clear cause. Individuals with low back pain can often determine a specific time or activity with which their episode of pain began (i.e. bending over or during activity like weight lifting a specific moment during activity).
Chronic Low Back Pain
Chronic low back pain includes episodes of pain that have generally lasted greater than 3 months. Chronic low back pain is often referred to as persistent back pain. Individuals that have had episodic back pain over months to years typically fall into this category. The intensity and quality of symptoms varies greatly in this category ranging from individuals significantly limited with daily activity, to those that are able to generally tolerate activity but maybe aren’t performing at their best as a result of their pain.
Post-Surgical Low Back Pain
Occasionally patients require surgical management to address their back pain. In these cases, our staff will work together with your surgical team to ensure a safe return to your prior activities. This course of care often presents similarly to an episode of acute low back pain with the addition of consideration for healing surgical incisions and post-operative guidelines.
How much pain is too much?
Pain can be a good indicator of tolerance for an activity, specifically in cases of acute injury. However, too much respect for pain intensity and response can be an inhibitor of progress and lead to more challenges down the road. At Rehab 2 Perform we like to utilize a “Traffic Light” system to describe painful symptoms and be a guide for tolerance of an activity.
Green Light - Green means GO! This can be used to describe activities that do not provoke symptoms. Continue your activity as tolerated.
Yellow Light - Proceed with caution. Yellow light symptoms are those that do cause some discomfort that is manageable in nature. We encourage you to continue activities that cause yellow light symptoms. This can assist in increasing your pain threshold, allowing you to better tolerate and complete more of a given activity in future sessions.
Red Light - These are symptoms that are sharp or shooting in nature, causing a change facial expression, limp, or otherwise significantly altering the way you do a task. We encourage you to hold off on these activities and have a discussion with our staff to determine comparable tasks you may better tolerate in the meantime.
What else can you do to help the process?
· Make physical activity a part of your daily routine. View these Exercises HERE to help start your morning.
· Stay Positive! Mood can have a big effect on your pain and your progress towards goals.
· Eat properly, get your rest, and control what you can control! Nutrition Recommendations & Resource HERE
· Just like seeing your dentist or primary care physician, your Physical Therapist can conduct Movement Screens and provide recommendations to keep you moving pain free.
Need more assistance or looking to schedule Physical Therapy, give us a call at 301.798.4838 or visit Rehab2Perform.com to schedule at our new Annapolis location!