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Does Your Body Need a Spring Tune-up?

I wonder how many people in Sandpoint suffer with chronic pain?  Many of you have had pain for 30 or more years.  You’ve been to many doctors and some of you may have tried Physical Therapy in the past with good or not so good results.  Maybe  you’re the “suffer in silence type”.  You’ve gotten used to your pain and you “just live with it”.  You may have 2-3 flare ups per year that may last several weeks, but you just “deal with it” until you get back to your baseline pain.

What if I told you that it didn’t have to be that way?  What if there was a different type a treatment that would make your pain more tolerable, allowing you to be more active?  Now I’m not a miracle worker and I won’t make any promises, but I was inspired to write this article by one of my current patients.  He’s like many of you.  He has had low back pain for many years, has undergone several surgeries, is very active but is still having painful flare ups.

I believe the key to managing chronic low back pain is three pronged.  Of utmost importance is regular exercise, which is documented throughout the literature.  Regular cardiovascular exercise such as walking or bike riding, three times per week for 30 minutes is pretty standard.  A strong core is the second component.  Your abdominal muscles surround your trunk like a girdle and protect you from further injury.  These two components are the backbone of prevention.  The third component is common sense.  Listen to your body.  If your pain is increasing because you’re walking too much, bending, cutting wood, your body will let you know.  It’s then time to get horizontal with some ice and rest for 20-30 minutes.  This prevents further injury.

Last, I think all people with chronic pain should have a support system.  You may see your MD for medication during a flare up, but there are other providers in the community that can help you get through the bad days.  This community has many talented Physical Therapists, Massage Therapists, Chiropractors and Acupuncturists.  Personally, my approach to treatment of chronic low back pain is joint and soft tissue mobilization of the spine as well as Visceral Manipulation to release any fascial restrictions in the abdominal or pelvic cavity in addition to home exercise program.

Don’t suffer in silence this year.  Break your old habits and seek some relief.  Mary Boyd, MS, PT is the owner of Mountain View Physical Therapy at can be reached with any questions at 290-5575.

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