With spring weather comes (hopefully) more active time outside. Longer daylight hours helps with motivation. But what do you do if you feel pain during your chosen activity?
Research continues to suggest we keep going Even in people with knee and hip arthritis, avoiding physical activity due to pain is not the answer. Your body is adaptive! It will adapt to exercise, increased stamina and strength just as quickly as it will adapt to sitting on the couch.
A recent paper from the British Journal of Sports Medicine is summarised as follows;
Patient myths that need to be busted included that exercise was dangerous, pain equalled damage and that surgery was the only hope of relief.
Patients should be reassured graded exercise was safe, and that rest and avoidance could worsen pain.- Low level of education, high BMI and a high number of co-morbidities were the most common predictors of poor outcomes.
Regardless of the affected joint (knee or hip), the presence of factors such as anxiety, depression, obesity or fatigue were predictors of worse pain and physical functioning.
The above "Deconditioning Cycle" model sums it up nicely. Loss of capability is a negative feedback loop that begins quite young. Lack of exposure to natural environments leads to physical idleness (ie; a sedentary lifestyle) and/or patterns of compensation (ie; poor movement biomechanics). Both eventually lead to pain and fear of movement. All of these sub-optimal experiences reinforce each other, leading to deconditioning and, ultimately, loss of capability. Following is the Australian physical activity guidelines. Remember; these are the minimum recommendations!!
Physical Activity Guidelines
Doing any physical activity is better than doing none. If you currently do no physical activity, start by doing some, and gradually build up to the recommended amount.
Be active on most, preferably all, days every week.
Accumulate 150 to 300 minutes (2 ½ to 5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes (1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours) of vigorous intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous activities, each week.
Do muscle strengthening activities on at least 2 days each week.
Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines
Minimise the amount of time spent in prolonged sitting.
Break up long periods of sitting as often as possible.
Walking is usually the best place to start. If you are already walking, can you squat, lunge, pick things or yourself up off the floor? Can you lift things over head? These are all basic human movement patterns that you have a right to access throughout your life!
For some this is about breaking the Deconditioning Cycle. Others will need to practice progressive restoration movements with care. For some this will come easy, others will have challenges that need working with as they may not be overcome. In the clinic we asses your ability to perform basic movements. We can help you with progressive exercises to ensure you can improve safely. Remember; the only true definition of life is movement! Give us a call to make a time with one of us now!
Alison & Craig
Milton Osteopathic Clinic 4454 4995
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