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Put a Spring in Your Step

Updated: May 4, 2023


Person gardening

As the first daffodils of the year start to appear and daylight hours start to increase, we are more likely to get outside and get moving! This is great news for our physical and mental health. It is also great news for those managing acute and chronic back pain, as keeping active whilst preventing re-injury, helps in the recovery and prevention of back pain (Eliks et al., 2019 and Hodges et al., 2019). Every-day movements such as going for a walk to the shops, doing the gardening, vacuuming the house, is enough to make a difference.



Spring gardening a daffodil

When returning to previous activities and starting new activities, the key is to start off slowly (having got clearance from your healthcare provider if required) and gently. A certain amount of soreness the following day can be expected but generally, only work to a level that is comfortable to you. If it doesn't feel right, it is better to stop rather than push through and pay for it later. A good recovery includes gentle stretching, movement, good hydration and nutrition. Having regular activities each day is ideal and exercising just once or twice a week can start to have a positive impact on reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke (NHS, 2021). Mixing up your activities between cardio, strength and resistance training and stretching or flexibility can help give you an overall, well-rounded fitness. NHS guidelines are to aim for 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week, ideally over 4-5 days a week or every other day (NHS, 2021). Rather than put pressure on yourself to go big, just incorporating more movement in to your day, little and often, will help put a spring in your step this Spring.







References:


Eliks, M., Zgorzalewicz-Stacowiak., Zenczac-Praga, K. (2019). Application of Pilates-based exercises in the treatment of non-specific low back pain: State of the art. Postgraduate Medical Journal, 95(1119) pp. 41-45 [online] Available at: Application of Pilates-based exercises in the treatment of chronic non-specific low back pain: state of the art | Postgraduate Medical Journal (bmj.com) (Accessed 28.02.2023).


Hodges, P. and Daneels, L. (2019). Changes in structure and function of the back muscles in low back pain: Different time points, observations and mechanisms. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy 49(6) pp. 464-476 [Online]. Available at: Changes in Structure and Function of the Back Muscles in Low Back Pain: Different Time Points, Observations, and Mechanisms | Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy (jospt.org) (Accessed 28.02.2023).


NHS, (2021). Physical activity guidelines for adults aged 19-64 [Online]. Available at: Physical activity guidelines for adults aged 19 to 64 - NHS (www.nhs.uk) (Accessed 28.02.2023).

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