Does this sound familiar? I had a few days of back pain a year ago, but it went away. No big deal. Right?
Actually it can be the start of a painful path if you don’t re-train your true core muscles. Earlier blogs described what muscles actually make up our ‘core’ including the transverse abdominals, multifidus, and pelvic floor muscles.
Unfortunately, these muscles become inhibited (shut down) under conditions of injury, inflammation, and pain. Yes, even just a few days of back pain can shut down your very important core stabilizing system. In fact, recurrence rate for low back pain (LBP) within a year is 30 percent IF you re-train your ‘core’ and 84% if you don’t (Hides, Jull, Richardson. Spine 2001, June 1; 26(11):E243-8).
So what does this mean? It means even if you have only had one episode of LBP you should consider seeing a skilled physical therapist to make sure you are recruiting your core muscles correctly and that you know how to re-train them. It may only be a one-time visit, but it could save you from recurrent episodes of LBP.
So tell your friends–and your doctors–because LBP is a huge epidemic in our country, and if we can stop it before it gets bad we can make a huge difference in the quality of life for many people.
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