Over 80% of people will experience back pain at some point in their lives. And many of those people will have recurring episodes of back pain. The pain subsides, they think they’re out of the woods and then 6 months later it comes back. And then it goes away….and then only 3 months later it comes back and now it’s not going away so fast. And so on and so on.
And the person gets increasingly frustrated each time the pain comes back and now they worry about it happening just about every day. They can’t enjoy the active lifestyle they once had because either they physically can’t do those things anymore or even if they can, they are afraid it will cause the pain to come back.
So why does the pain go away for a while and then come back?
Here are the 5 reasons I have come across most often in my 10+ years of treating athletes and active people:
1. You Haven't Actually Done Anything to Fix the Problem..
This is by far the most common reason people’s back pain cycles on and off. When I meet people and tell them what I do for a living (physical therapist), so many people go on to tell me about their back pain and how it’s annoying, frustrating, etc. And when I ask them what they have done for it, the typical response is nothing… or they've just been taking pain meds!
How can you expect your pain problem to get better if all you do for it is say a prayer at night and hope it will go away on its own!?
And the more people have talked to me about their back problem (really any problem), I realize that a lot of people choose not to do anything because they simply don’t know which of the many options out there is the best choice for them. And they’re afraid of making the wrong decision or confused about where to start. So instead, they live in this paralyzing state of indecision and continued pain that limits their active lifestyle.
This is why I set up my clinic to offer a few different free options to help people BEFORE they commit to us. It’s a way for people to learn what they can do for their problem and see what option works best for them.
Ready to actually doing something about it? Inquire About Cost & Availability.
2. Past Treatment(s) Didn't Address the Underlying Issue
Have you received some form of treatment in the past for your back pain, only for that pain to come back later?
There's a good chance that the treatment you received (i.e. injections, medications, unspecific/rushed PT, etc.) only took care of the symptoms (your pain) and didn't address the underlying reason for your problem.
It's like having someone help you bail water out of your sinking ship versus having someone help you plug the hole. It's the difference between constantly having to worry about it happening again and being able to enjoy the things you love to do without worry.
3.You Didn't Follow Through With Your Treatment Plan and/or "Homework"
There are times when someone is getting great treatment that is working on the underlying cause, but when they start to feel much better, they decide to stop the treatment plan early...and a few months later they're back in with a "flare-up." And this "flare-up" may have been avoided had they seen their treatment plan all the way through and not quit just when the pain went away. Remember, addressing the underlying issue is key!
Other times, people don't do their physical therapy "homework" - the tips and advice given to them to do on their own time. If you see us 2 x week for an hour each time, that's only 2% of your entire week. What you do in the other 98% will have a HUGE effect on your outcome.
4. You Progressed Your Activity Level Too Quickly
Another classic reason for someone's back pain to come back... they start feeling a lot better so they decide that a 10 mile bike ride is okay to do... even though they haven't ridden in a couple months. Or they're feeling good because they're finally back to their at home workouts... and they decide the "boot camp" class that's free on youtube is a great idea. Or a friend asks them to do a charity 5k with them... I men, it's for charity so it's got to be ok, right!?
You're probably chuckling right now... not because the examples are that funny, but because you know you've been guilty of this too.
I understand that when the pain starts to go away, you get excited to do the things you love again. Our job is to help you make sure your activity level makes sense with your treatment plan - both short and long-term.
Arrange a Free Phone Conversation with a Physical Therapist
5. The Rest of Your Life Isn't Healthy
You don't sleep well. You're stressed. You work too much. You don't eat well. You get the idea...
All these things play a role in your recovery and can affect your expected outcome - both the amount of relief expected and the time it will take to get that relief. We're here to help you find ways to live a healthier lifestyle year long, life long... not just for 3 weeks! Here at Empower, we're all about results that LAST.
So there you have it - the 5 most common reasons back pain comes back. I hope this article is able to help you make a better decision for your health and if you think a friend or family member would benefit from reading this (or needs to read it), feel free to forward it to them.
Let's work toward results that LAST.
P.S. Join us for a FREE Virtual Back Pain Workshop on Wednesday June 10th 2020 at 6pm! You can save your spot here - limited availability, so don't wait... we will see you then!
Do you sometimes laugh so hard that you pee just a little?
Are you always wearing a panty liner to workout or play with the kids “just in case”?
Do you feel like it’s getting weak down there as you get older?
Well, ladies... you’re NOT alone.
Many women suffer from what we call stress urinary incontinence which is just a fancy way to say you pee or leak urine when you cough, sneeze, laugh, jump, or exercise.
This is very COMMON among women, especially those that have given birth, but it is NOT NORMAL. I will repeat that... this is NOT NORMAL and we can help.
You don’t have to live the rest of your life worrying about working out in groups. Or laughing too hard with the ladies. Or having to remember if you brought any panty liners with you. And you don’t have to fear the dreaded trampoline with the kids.
Those embarrassing moments CAN end and NEED to end!
You CAN improve this pretty easily, in fact... and I don’t care how old you are!
Why is this happening then??
Stress urinary incontinence happens when there is an excessive amount of stress on the bladder that the pelvic floor can not withstand. And this happens because there is a failure in one or all parts of the “system”, which is the deep core. I talk more about that here.
Please don’t ignore this.
The longer women wait the harder it will be to fix and the more problems it can cause. Most of my clients have put it off for 10, 15, even 20 years. But that’s not really their fault...they didn’t know any better.
They have never been told by any doctors, OBGYNs, or other health care professionals that this is a problem and that there IS help out there for it. Sadly, our society has totally normalized this issue because we are too uncomfortable to talk about and actually address it.
But not to worry! If this sounds like you and you’re thinking you’re doomed, think again. We have helped so many women that have suffered for years.
Take Kristen for example...
She is 43 years old and has three kids - aged 13, 8, and 6. She runs and works out a few days a week but has to wear a pad EVERY time she is active because she will leak right through it.
She was worried it would get so bad that she would be wearing pads all day every day for the rest of her life... and she isn't even that old yet!
When Kristen heard about us from a friend she was so excited that there was help for her...
After only a few sessions she had so much more confidence and LESS leakage! Kristen is no longer worried about the future of relying on pads or anxious about another embarrassing moment.
There is HOPE for you too!
If you’ve been looking for help but didn’t know where to turn OR you didn’t know there WAS help, then this FREE report will help you.
Or if you want to get the help that Kristen got, you can apply for our FREE 30 Minute Discovery Session where we can help you discover what is causing your problem and how you can fix it.
p.s. Difficulty getting a babysitter? Or a bit embarrassed about coming in person the first time? Apply for a VIRTUAL first 30 min discovery visit and start building toward the future now. It's time!
What are the 3 things you MUST have to
sport healthy joints and live pain-free & injury-free?
Without one or more of these you are at a greater risk of pain, stiffness, and injury....
Let me explain...
Flexibility is the full length of a muscle when stretched to end range (think how far you can stretch your hamstring). This is forced.
Stability is a joint’s ability to stay put when outside forces are acting upon it. Think of this as your ability to control your movement, like balancing on one leg with perfect alignment with zero swaying or ankle wobble.
Mobility is how much a joint (bone to bone) can move before being restricted by the surrounding tissue such as tendons, muscle, ligaments, and fascia. Mobility is moving your shoulder in a circle or your ability to move your hip freely. Unlike flexibility, this is not forced movement.
Now that you know what each one is…
Why are they important??
Well, they all affect each other. If we don’t have good stability we may lose our mobility. And despite what you may have been told... simply stretching will not improve your mobility. So yoga and only yoga will not keep you injury free... and in fact might even CAUSE injury.
We need all 3 to move and function at our best.
“True flexibility can be achieved only when all muscles are uniformly developed.” - Joseph Pilates
Does your fitness or workout routine focus on ALL THREE?
Does the treatment you are receiving for your back, knee, or shoulder work on ALL 3 of these?
Most likely not…
The focus on all mobility, stability AND flexibility in a holistic way is usually a HUGE missing component in many exercise/fitness routines AND even in some health and wellness treatments.
Here at Empower, when we treat an injury we focus first on making it feel better with mobility (massage, dry needling, adjustments, joint mobilizations, etc. Then we add flexibility (dynamic stretching exercises) and then we MUST teach this area to protect itself going forward, which is stability. This combination is what gets YOU lasting benefits.
Many treatment styles or methods only focus on one, maybe two of these components.
And the one that gets left out is usually STABILITY.
Stability is the control and protection of a joint, and we need this protection in order to stay pain and injury free.
Our joints need stability to feel SAFE.
If they don’t feel safe then, to compensate, we often sacrifice our mobility and flexibility to simulate that safety.
So that stiffness you feel (aka your lack of mobility) may actually be a stability issue - and it's not going to get any better if your trainer just keeps making you do mobility drills over and over and over again.
This is why the combination of working with an expert Physical Therapist and a certified Pilates-based rehab specialist is one of the best ways to improve overall movement, function, and physical health.
So if you’re constantly foam rolling and/or stretching and not getting anywhere...you might be missing an essential component.
If that weekly or monthly massage or chiropractic adjustment feels great but is only giving you temporary relief….you might be missing an essential component.
You may require expert help to figure out what other healthcare providers couldn’t do for you.
But here's the good news - with the right help, you will no longer have to deal with these injuries on an ongoing basis.
I help hundreds of people each year find and fix that missing component and get them back to better health and movement. By looking at the body more holistically and focusing not just on the symptoms but on the ROOT CAUSE of your problem, I'm able to get you lasting results.
If you want to know if I can help you, apply for a Free Discovery Session here.
This is a 30 minute visit with an expert PT to help get you started on your road to recovery - and, even better, we can do a VIRTUAL video call in order to get you started this week.
You've been dealing with this for too long already. It's time. Call us today.
Or join our next 8 week Pilates series - all about creating the perfect balance of stability, mobility, and flexibility to help you improve your posture. You'll stand TALL & PROUD & stop having to worry about your low back pain in the middle of the night. Join us!
Are you suffering from lower back pain? Maybe you've recently started working from home and are spending long hours sitting in your dining room chair... Whether it's a new discomfort or something that's been bothering you for years, lower back pain affects most people at some point in their lives. In a majority of cases, lower back pain can be significantly reduced or completely relieved with Pilates.
Nagging back pain can come at any age, and far too many of us are familiar with it. In fact, 8 out of 10 Americans will experience an episode of lower back pain at some point in their lives. It is one of the most common reasons for missed work and back pain sufferers are spending an average of nearly $3,000 a year in the U.S. on top of other medical expenses to try to combat it... and most of the time, they aren't getting any relief.
The good news is that most back pain isn't caused by a serious medical condition, but rather by everyday habits like poor posture, exercise, or simply sitting too much. And it can be easily managed by physical therapy and Pilates.
A combination of deep abdominal strengthening, postural awareness, and dynamic stretching exercises makes Pilates extremely effective in the prevention and treatment of lower back pain. However, it is also important to apply the techniques taught in Pilates into your everyday life. (You can read more about the many other benefits of Pilates here.)
The Pilates exercises below will help you to connect with your deep core muscles so they can begin supporting your back again and remove any added strain. To really feel a difference, you’ll want to do this routine 3-4 times a week consistently.
IMPORTANT: when dealing with any pain, it is always best to consult a physical therapist to get to the root cause of the problem before starting a program like this on your own.
Remember to go slowly and gently, and always listen to your body—you should never do anything that hurts!
If any of these moves do hurt or you don’t feel like you’re doing them correctly, I suggest you take advantage of our Free Discovery Session (now offered virtually!). We specialize in back pain and Pilates-based rehab and can help you discover exactly what is causing your pain in order to help you learn to move correctly.
Cat, Cow & Tail Wag
The Roll Down
Single leg stretch (prep exercise)
Looking for individualized Pilates instruction tailored specifically to YOU and your body?
Ask us today if you're the right fit for a 30 minute (free!) Pilates taster with a certified Pilates instructor. Now available virtually so that we can meet you where you are!
Do you find yourself wondering how and when you got so old?
Are you waking up each morning finding it harder and harder to get out of bed?
Does it take you a while to get moving in the morning or after sitting too long?
You’re not alone!
This happens to a lot of people as they enter into their 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s.
So why does this happen…
There are 2 big reasons so many people experience joint stiffness or pain as they age.
As we enter into each decade of life we are compounding years and years of less than optimal posture, bad habits, and lots of wear and tear on our joints.
We enter into our 20’s and 30’s and begin careers and families that take up most of our time and usually lead to us being much less active. We run our kids around and sit behind desks for 8-10 hours a day. Even if we are engaging in regular exercise (which is of course good for you), our muscles do more sitting than moving and therefore they are not as cooperative as we need them to be during that run or weight lifting session.
This leads to compensation and a host of other problems.
Our muscles become less and less supportive of our joints and that’s when they begin to yell and scream each morning or throughout the day.
Another big reason for joint stiffness that the traditional healthcare system won’t tell you about is that our diets and environments have become more toxic than ever, leading to excessive and chronic inflammation in the body.
That inflammation in our joints does not feel good and leads to stiffness and pain.
The average American's diets consist of processed foods including chemicals, dyes, and sugar... foods that lack any real nutrients. This all-too-common diet is also full of inflammation-causing foods like gluten, dairy, and meat.... with far too few nutrient-dense foods like fruits and vegetables.
All of this puts stress on our body’s immune system creating chronic inflammation throughout the body. The problem is, most people just accept this as a fact of aging and think that they just have to live with it!
And I’m here to tell you that is absolutely NOT the truth.
Here at Empower, we help people every day to learn how to move better, stay active, and create healthy lifestyle habits which promote quick recovery and renewed vitality.
In fact, let me tell you about my client Mike.
He was experiencing joint stiffness every single morning. This stiffness had gotten so bad that he had to take a hot shower and spend a few minutes stretching just to get moving in the morning. He has an active job and an active lifestyle but had to be very careful not to push his limits... or else he would pay for it for days and sometimes weeks afterward. He began avoiding the things he had previously loved - like hiking 14ers and running - because of this.
After working with us, not only does Mike no longer need to stretch AT ALL to get going in the morning... but he is more active for longer periods of time (with NO pain the next day) than he was 10 years ago!
So my question is, are you going to be one of those people that just accept pain or stiffness as a part of aging?
Or are you going to be like Mike - searching for a real solution NOW, so that you can enjoy the life you imagined for years to come...
If you have a little bit of hope and believe that you have more active years ahead of you - and want to really enjoy them - then I would love for you to apply for our free Discovery Session. We will answer all your questions about Physical Therapy, learn more about you and the lifestyle you want to lead, and together create an individualized plan to get you there.
It's a quick 30 minute session with an expert Physical Therapist, it's FREE, and you can schedule a virtual session too - no commute necessary!
There's no reason to wait. Apply for your Free Discovery Session today.
Empower PT & Pilates
We help you find a LASTING SOLUTION to back, hip, and pelvic issues so you can age with ease -without having to rely on painkillers, injections, or surgery!
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