When someone is in pain, their first instinct is usually to sit or lie down and rest. This is often the best move. Pain can indeed be an indicator that it’s time to get off our feet and indulge in some down time. However, this isn’t always the case. For example, for those suffering from back pain, too much rest can actually increase aches and pains.
Rest Can Make Back Pain Worse
This may seem counterintuitive, but too much rest can increase back pain. Some rest is needed for healing to take place, but the amount you need may be less than you think. Harvard Health Publishing stated,
“Bed rest, once a key part of treating back pain, has a limited role in healing sore backs. In very small doses, bed rest can give you a break when standing or sitting causes severe pain. Too much may make back pain worse.”
Believe it or not, exercise can be very effective at reducing back pain.
Why Exercise Can Reduce Back Pain
One of the main reasons exercise is good for easing back pain is because it gets some movement into a stiff and sore back. Exercise can strengthen the muscles that support your spine, which can ultimately lead to pain relief. Also, a contributor to Spine Health wrote,
“Engaging in exercise and fitness activities helps keep the back healthy by allowing discs to exchange fluids which is how the disc receives its nutrition. A healthy disc will swell with water and squeeze it out, similar to the action of a sponge. This sponge action distributes nutrients to the disc.”
If your back hurts, exercise could be crucial to your experiencing less pain and enjoying life more fully.
When Should You Rest Your Aching Back?
There are times when you should definitely take a load off and rest your back. For example, if you have just been injured and have not been seen by a physician yet, rest up until you have received instructions from your doctor.
Also, if your back pain is severe, you may want to take it easy and rest your back until you can see a physiotherapist. After your first appointment, they will give you instructions tailored specifically to your body and needs.
If your back is hurting as a result of an accident or injury, or if your pain is long-standing and severe, it is important that you see a healthcare provider who can get you some relief. If you live near Winnipeg, contact Elite Sports Injury Physiotherapy Clinics to make an appointment with an experienced physiotherapist who can help you get your back pain under control.