“The body will become better at whatever you do, or don’t do. If you don’t move, your body will make you better at not moving. If you move, your body will allow more movement.” – Ido Portal
When it comes to managing chronic pain, having a detailed and specific treatment plan is key. However, we must ensure that we do not overlook how we move outside of our rehabilitation program and in our day-to-day lives. The more we can educate our clients on the importance of daily movement and listening to their bodies, the more we can empower them to progress through their conditions and gain a full recovery.
When an injury is present, fear can build for the individual that may restrict them from moving to prevent further injury/re-injury. However, studies have found that fear of movement was predictive of future perceived disability and suggest that interventions aimed at reducing pain-related fear in the acute stage of LBP might prevent restrictions of activity and participation because of pain, and might be a way of preventing the transition from acute to chronic LBP.
So what does this mean for an individual suffering from injury & pain?
Once you have been set up with an individualised rehabilitation program, it is important to not only follow its guidelines on frequency and duration, it is also important to assess how you spend the rest of your day. If your rehabilitation program takes 30 minutes daily, look at how you are spending the other 23.5 hours of that day and how you can nourish your body with movement.
When you provide movement to your body, it does not have to be strenuous, it only needs to be consistent with small increments spread out throughout your day. Look at how you are spending your time and where you can change up some simple activities that will allow you to gain more movement to your daily routine.
The Australian Government’s Department of Health has a Get Active campaign that helps you sit less & build more movement into your day.
Some simple steps include;
- Walk instead of drive, especially for short trips.
- Carry your shopping instead of pushing a trolley
- Stand up more. Find opportunities to stand – for example, when you talk on the phone or during meetings or presentations at work.
- Sit less, if you are sitting at home spend time on the floor instead of your sofa
- Get your family and friends involved.
Please remember to listen to your body and do not push yourself through pain or discomfort.
If you are looking for ways to increase your daily movement and help rehabilitate an injury, Absolute Balance’s team of Accredited Exercise Physiologists specialise in providing individualised, evidence-based exercise rehabilitation services and will be more than happy to assist.
Fin McKenna (BSc Hons. Sports & Exercise Rehabilitation)
Accredited Exercise Scientist (ESSA)
Swinkels-Meewisse, et al (2006) Fear of Movement/(Re)Injury Predicting Chronic Disabling Low Back Pain: A Prospective Inception Cohort Study. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins –Spine Journal. March 2006 – Vol 31 Issue 6 p658-664
Australian Government – Department of Health – Get Active; Build More Movement Into Your Day (2018) healthyweight.health.gov.au/wps/portal/Home/get-active/building-more-movement-into-your-day/