One of the most common complaints we have been hearing from patients this past year is that since working from home they are much less active. They are no longer traveling for work, walking around the office, going out to meetings, or out running errands the same way they were a year ago. As a result of this inactivity, they come with a complaint of back pain or neck pain. In general, people just aren’t moving as much as they were a year ago, and as a result they are in more pain.
For most people, their first thought is, “if I take it easy for a few days, it will get better.” However, pain does not always get better with rest. Yes, after a traumatic injury, a period of rest may be required to allow for healing, but most people stop moving because they are afraid of doing further damage. The reality is that a majority of pain actually gets better with movement.
The first step in determining if you pain gets better with movement is by going through a movement assessment. Here at SOS Physical Therapy we utilize the McKenzie Method and its response based assessment. This helps us to determine if there are movements that will improve your pain, and if so, which ones. When we are going through this movement assessment there are typically three types of response:
1. Pain is produced with each movement, but the pain returns to its original level when the movement is stopped. There may be some soreness temporarily after moving, but it only last for a short period of time. This result indicates that it’s ok to continue testing with movement.
2. Pain is produced with each movement, but the pain diminishes in intensity or is less with each movement. When the movement is stopped the pain is the same or better than before the movement testing. This result indicates that it’s ok to continue testing with movement.
3. Pain is produced with each movement, but the pain increases in intensity or is more with each movement. When the movement is stopped the pain is the same or worse than before the movement testing. This result indicates that it’s not appropriate to continuing testing with movement.
The information gathered from this movement assessment will allow us to put together a specific plan to get you moving better and pain-free. Don’t simply wait for our pain to go away, start moving – we can help!