Case Study – Spine Rehab: No Pain, All Gain

February 24, 2013 | By

– Dr. Urvashi Chhabria

Low Back Pain
The number of health issues that we encounter in today’s age is strikingly significant. The most prevalent modern lifestyle problem is Low back pain which accounts for over 70%. This means, most of us, at some point have or will experience low back pain once in our life. Out of the many solutions available, for most of us its the gym that tops the list.

Low back pain is a common problem encountered by gym goers. Although it is so common, people rarely treat it in the early stages, thinking no gain without pain. Someone having similar thoughts came to PhysioRehab.

The Problem

Low Back PainA 28 year old woman leading the life of a typical office goer, a desk job involving sitting long hours and long hours of travel. She wasn’t into fitness but had recently joined the gym to lose weight and to get fitter for a wedding 6 months later. Three weeks into the gym routine, she began experiencing back pain. As anyone else would do, she discontinued the gym for a few days and her pain disappeared, only to reoccur in no time. She visited a spine surgeon thinking she had a slip disc but her visit to the doctor and her normal MRI proved otherwise. Her question remained unanswered… Why the back pain?

Her doctor suggested that a physiotherapist could solve her problem. With that hope she came to PhysioRehab. As per the norms, we assessed her and we came across a problem that most people overlook, posture. There was a characteristic way in which she stood, sat, walked, etc. It’s a common thing that every person with a back problem does. Sit over-erect. She had been told that slouching was her problem and so if she sat erect her pain would go away. This statement had dwelled so much on her mind that she had started standing and walking excessively erect, which only aggravated her condition. Since she was obese and had a lax belly, she had an increased curvature in her low back known as an excessive lordosis (i.e. overuse of back muscles, underuse of abdominal muscles).

The Path to Recovery

We started her therapy by first educating her about ideal posture known as neutral spine. Having said that, there is a certain amount of muscular effort that is a prerequisite to a good posture.

If you are someone with a broad waistline or broad hips, the muscles around your waist and hip i.e. ‘lower abs and gluts’ will be weak. Over subsequent sittings we introduce her to Pilates, which is a form of exercise that focuses on the power house also known as core muscles which maintain a neutral spine and stabilises it.

Unlike the Gym, Pilates is an approach that does not over develop some parts of the body and neglect the others. While pilates training focuses on core strengthening it trains the body as an integrated whole. It is based on the principle of ‘Contrology’ which works on the body and mind.

Besides wanting to be pain free, another major concern was losing weight and getting back into shape but after her back ache episode she was apprehensive about going to the gym. We told her that we would help accomplish her goal.

Low Back Pain

We introduced her to a machine called as a Pilates Reformer. Pilates is proven to help in inch loss, which is the correct way to a well toned body.

Today, she is a fitter, leaner and healthier person where her body is more prepared for the daily physical stresses that it has to face. One of the most important benefits of it is that it takes into consideration the posture as a very important aspect making the chances of a back injury or any other injury almost nil. Isn’t that what every person wants. To get fitter without having to injure oneself while lifting heavy weights or doing incorrect exercises. Gym is no doubt an option but its not always without side effects. Seeking a physiotherapist’s opinion while making your way from fat to fit is always the safer and smarter way to do it!

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Category: Case Studies

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