Graded exposure can be a useful technique for persons living with chronic pain. Graded exposure is a method of finding movement that is pain-free and building on that. The idea is to break the brain's association between a particular movement and pain.
Got back pain? Call us!
Low back pain is one of the leading causes of disability in the United States. Everyone knows someone who suffers from back pain and most Americans will suffer from it some time in their life. In spite of its prevalence, successful treatment of low back pain remains elusive. No one has consistently good statistics in the treatment of low back pain.
What can we offer you?
We cannot promise results. However, we can promise this:
In July of 2011, Will Stewart of 3-D Optimal Performance interviewed Dr. Timothy Noakes, a South African exercise physiologist and author of Lore of Running. Noakes recently published Waterlogged: The Serious Problem of Overhydration in Endurance Sports , a book which addresses the little known hazards of drinking too much water, especially for women in endurance sports. The primary subject of this interview is the Central Governor model proposed by Noakes to explain the role of the brain in our experience of fatigue during physical exertion.
Low back pain is one of the most common and persistent pain problems, affecting millions of people. Besides working hands-on with clients, I try to help them understand how pain works and to find ways they can continue to help themselves at home.
Cory Blickenstaff is a physical therapist in Vancouver, WA. My clients have found his videos on "edgework" and "novel movements" to be helpful and enjoyable.
"Edgework" is finding the point in a movement where it begins to transition from easy and comfortable to slightly guarded or painful. Movements should be done slowly, watching carefully for the first sign of holding the breath, muscular tension, or pain. The movement presented in the video is one possible movement. Other movements can be used as "edgework" using the same approach.
"Novel movements" are movements that are a little different from the way we normally move. As Cory says, they are movements about which the brain has not yet formed an opinion. By practicing novel movements, we can try to find movements that are not painful and break the association between movement and pain.
If you want to get and stay fit, how often should you hit the gym? There's good news for those of you who want to exercise but have a hard time working out two or three times a week. Research accumulated over the last ten to twenty years shows that once a week may be enough.
Don't let this be an excuse not to exercise! If anything, it should help you get to the gym knowing that you don't have to hammer away at it as often as we've been led to believe. Get your body moving! It's one of the best things you can do for yourself.