Which exercise for people in pain.

What’s the best exercise if we have pain? I’m often asked this question from people with back, hip or knee pain.   It’s a difficult question to answer and there is probably no ‘correct’ answer: although, there are LOTS of people trying to sell you their magic.  It can be a minefield, but here is some advice:

  • If you are being sold exercise to cure some ‘misalignment’ that they have found, be careful—these misalignment likely don’t exist;
  • If you’ve been told you have to do a specific type of exercise to prevent or control back pain—this is based on NO evidence, and if they tell you it is, they are wrong;
  • If you’ve been told you have to work on some ‘inner core’ muscles, or some subtle ‘muscle imbalance’ or ‘muscle timing problem’—take care, there is no reliable evidence they exist or relevant in any way to your problem;
  • Exercise to improve you posture—this is based on NO evidence. And there is NO consensus what ‘improve your posture’ actually means;
  • Praying on your fears—back pain can be frightening, which makes you easier to sell to, beware – exercise because you love it, not because you think you have to for your pain problem;
  • Be careful of “stabilisation” exercises. You’re not unstable, the body does not flop in and of place. Any someone CANNOT put you back in place with their hands.
  • Exercise should NOT make you protective of your body.

However, we are BIG fans of exercise.  This is what exercise should do:

  • It should make you feel confident about moving your body;
  • Give you the feeling that you are robust;
  • Challenge you;
  • Feel part of a group, it can really help;
  • Growing evidence shows it should be intense;
  • As we age, keeping (and growing) muscle helps longevity;
  • Resistance training consistently linked to better outcomes (brain and body) as we age;
  • You should enjoy it.

With this is mind, we have designed exercise classes for those it pain, or older adults.  We get that exercise with pain can be worrying, that’s why the class is run by a highly qualified and experienced physiotherapist who can assess you, inspire confidence, and tailor the class to your needs.

We run the classes in the West of Sheffield, if you want more information ring the clinic on 0114 2671223.

Dave Nolan.

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