"I had been dealing with back pain for a few months before the shut-down, but ever since I've been at home my back has been a wreck. It takes me 10 minutes just to get out of bed, every time I go for a walk, my back feels this "fatigue" and "pulling sensation", and it's gotten to a point where I can barely stand up for more than 5 minutes before having to lie down." – Mary 46, Pleasanton
It's obvious the COVID-19 situation has caused a massive disruption to all our lives. While we all continue to do our part, and shelter in place in order to protect our front-line health workers, and vulnerable members of our community… we can't forget about other serious health problems, such as severe back pain, that continue to affect our society.
And if anything, the amount of people who are now stuck at home, suffering with back pain is increasing at very alarming rates.
"I've been working at my kitchen table on a wooden chair…My "ergonomic" set-up has been a total FAIL to say the least… I am spending more time on the ground playing with my kids, my parents are in their 70's and I worry about them each day. I just feel like the stress of everything has caused my back to seize up"
Mary, like many of us have had to make significant changes to how we live. But many of these adaptations are very tough on our backs. Of the clients now working with us virtually, the most common problems that are propping up are:
And that's not even counting the increase in anxiety of this situation that can create even more stress and tension on the body, which are known to make back pain symptoms worse.
And to make matters EVEN worse, if you are having severe pain, you may not even be able to go to the doctor's office…
Or you might be considered "at risk" and the LAST place you want to be is a doctor's office, urgent care, or an emergency room because of obvious reasons.
The good news is, however, unlike Covid-19 where no cure or vaccine exists…
There are several solutions for back pain, and in fact, many of these solutions you can do from the comfort of your very own home!
However, one of the main problems is that you'll run into is that there are simply "too many" options out there, and it is difficult to know which treatments are actually safe, which are actually effective, or what could actually be making your pain worse.
"I did some stretches and yoga for back pain I found on YouTube, I tried a lot of "core" exercises which I was told was good for my back, and I also ordered a massage gun I saw on social media, but nothing seems to be working. After a couple of days, I just stopped doing everything because my pain was starting to get worse and I didn't want to risk doing anything wrong that could make my injury worse"
Mary is a very smart, health conscious person. She knew the situation at hand, and that her body was having a hard time making adjustments to her "new lifestyle." She did a ton of research and she found out that doing some form of stretching and exercise was supposed to be "good" for her back.
But after about a week, she started to realize that her pain wasn't getting any better, in fact it was getting worse. She was so surprised that her pain was getting worse because she is generally healthy and thought that she was doing everything the way she was "supposed to." She did the right thing and stopped doing the exercises that were causing her pain, but at the same time she was worried that her back wasn't going to get better.
Why was this happening?
Mary, like most people who try to "self-treat" their back pain had made a very common, but very critical mistake.
Which was she was focusing too hard on trying to relieve the "symptoms" of her low back pain, without considering the SOURCE of the pain…
What do I mean by the SOURCE of the back pain?
Mary tried to do stretching exercises forher back, strengthening exercises forher core, and tried to apply "self-massage" techniques to reduce the tightness and stiffness along her back.
But what Mary did not understand was that her back was ALREADY under TOO MUCH stress. And that doing exercises, stretches, and massages to her back was only causing MORE stress to accumulate on her back which was causing more inflammation, tension and pain.
But in working with us through our "Virtual Back and Spine Rehabilitation Program" we were able to help Mary by taking a "whole-body approach".
What do I mean by a "whole-body approach?"
You can choose to believe it or now, but everything in our body is truly "interconnected". Our bodies have a tendency to "compensate" for other areas that are not working properly. And in order to safely (and effectively) treat back pain, you MUST treat the WHOLE body, and make sure that you are putting the RIGHT solutions on the RIGHT problems.
We met with Mary through our Virtual Therapy Program, and upon her initial "Virtual Assessment", we were able to identify 3 KEY areas that Mary had overlooked in all of her research.
Mary, even before the coronavirus shutdown had known her posture wasn't "great". But Mary had completely underestimated how much her "poor posture" was contributing to her back pain. Mary had built up a TON of tightness and restrictions in her upper back from working over her computer for hours each week, but once she made the switch to her new "kitchen table office" the posture issues got significantly worse. Using a few simple "movement tests" we were able to quickly identify restrictions in movement in her mid-back and start to create a plan to address it.
Mary knew she had some issues with her hips long before her back pain got to this point. She had an old "sciatica" injury back when she was pregnant with her third child, but never thought anything of it until now.
She always thought she had "tight hamstrings" and that one of the main stretches she was doing on her own was to stretch her hamstrings. What she didn't realize was that the muscle group in her hip that was actually causing HER problem were the muscles in the front of her hip (known as her hip flexors).
The hip flexors are a commonly overlooked part of the body when working with back pain, due to the fact that they rarely actually feel painful or tight. But these muscles play a huge role in causing back pain because they cause "pulling" on your pelvis, which can create a feeling of getting "pulled forward". Your back muscles will have to work 5 times harder to keep you upright if they are constantly fighting the tightness in your hips, which will ultimately create a burning, and fatiguing sensation in your back when you do things like stand, or walk for too long.
Mary was right in knowing that one of the keys to a healthy spine is a strong core. The problem is, there are a lot of exercises out there on the internet that do not take into account that you are in pain, and that your body may not be ready, or suitable to do certain exercises.
Mary had been doing "crunches" and "plank" exercises, but due to the tightness in her hips, and the overworked muscles in her lower back, she couldn't even "feel" her core muscles engaging. Instead, we showed her 2 different "core strength" variations that did NOT cause pain in her back, and she was even able to "feel" her abdominal muscles actually working.
After Mary's initial virtual assessment with us, where we were able to quickly diagnose the above problems, we started to create a comprehensive program for her that took into account several factors, including:
And within just one week into her program her pain had reduced by 50% (from an 8/10 to a 4/10), and now, 4 weeks into her 6 week program she is almost completely pain-free, has no issues doing her house chores, and is now feeling more mobile than she had in several years.
"I was so scared that I was going to have to go to the emergency room because my pain was getting so bad, and it wasn't getting any better…But now just 4 weeks later my pain is almost gone, and I feel like I have a good plan, and that my body is going to survive this crisis"
Are you living with, or worried about someone stuck at home, suffering with back pain?
If so, and you are in need of some help, we are now accepting new clients into our Virtual Back and Spine Rehabilitation Program.
This is a fully virtual program, but unlike most back-pain relief programs, this isn't just a collection of videos and exercises…
Instead, it is a highly in depth, comprehensive, interactive program where you will work directly one-on-one with an expert doctor of physical therapy that specializes in developing at-home solutions for people suffering with back pain.
This is a program that is MUCH more than simply showing you a few exercises and sending you off on your way. Instead, this is a program that will take into account all aspects of your day to day life, and help you create a plan that is specific to you, your situation, and your needs.
In this program here is what you can expect:
Click here to apply for your spot in our 6-week virtual back and spine rehabilitation program
This program isn't for everyone, and we are only accepting new clients on a case-by-case basis. We understand that not everyone who has back pain can be helped.
Meaning if you are someone who:
Then you don't need to apply, we won't be a good fit
But if you ARE someone who:
Then this program is perfect for you
Click here to apply for your spot in our 6-week virtual back and spine rehabilitation program
All you need to do is fill out the webform, tell us a bit more about your current situation, and a member of our team will reach out to discuss the next steps.
Because of the amount of time, and energy we give to all of our clients, on top of all of the clients we currently have enrolled in our program, we only have spots open for 8 people.
P.S. Also be sure to check out the FREE COVID-19 Back Pain survival guide I created: The 7 Essential Steps You Need to Take to SAFELY Treat BACK PAIN on Your Own. Back pain can be a complex condition, and "dabbling" in self-treatment without the right knowledge can lead to making your condition worse. In this guide you'll learn the 7 critical steps you need to take to set yourself up for success, if you are trying to treat your own back.
Click here to download your free COVID-19 Back Pain Survival Guide
Just click on the link, click the orange button on the next page, fill out a 10 second webform, and a copy of our guide will be e-mailed to you instantly.
This post is an advertorial piece contributed by a Patch Community Partner, a local sponsor. The views expressed in this post are the author's own.
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