Something we regularly recommend to those we work with is to ‘explore movement’.
As often is the case with people experiencing chronic pain, or pain following an injury, we tend to move less and move differently. This can be a part of a normal healing and recovery process, though if we avoid certain activity or movement all together for extended periods, it is often more difficult to re-engage in those activities even when the original injury may have healed.
Lower back injuries are often associated with high levels of pain and disability. Making normal daily tasks such as bending and twisting difficult. In the absence of significant tissue damage, it is often safe to move and load our lower backs and attempt as many of our regular daily activities as our discomfort may allow. Now this does not mean to ‘push through’ all discomfort, but rather let tolerable levels of discomfort guide us in what we are comfortable and confident to attempt despite our pain.
|For example, bending to put your socks on or reaching to get something from a low cupboard. Try several gentle, yet deep breathes as you bend forward into tolerable discomfort. You can even try things like bending with a deliberate bend in your back, or bend with a straight back, or bend your knees slightly. Anything goes. It is time to put aside previous beliefs around ‘correct’ ways to move. (Hot tip: There are many efficient, safe, and effective ways to move – one size does not fit all!) Even if this is very difficult or painful in the first instances, persisting to your tolerable limit regularly can increase your ability to do that task. The more you can apply this to, the less likely your pain is to restrict you from all that gives you independence which is an integral part of a successful recovery.
Remember, be confident in attempting activities that are important to you, listen to the feedback your body is giving you. Small, incremental improvements are what you are looking for! Take control of your pain and understand it.
If you or someone you know would like to know more about how you can rebuild self-efficacy and self-confidence to move with discomfort, do not hesitate to get in touch!