This episode is entitled “Best exercise regime for low back pain / sciatica”, and it covers the following points:
- Tailored to your goal for low back pain / sciatica
- Consistency in exercise
- Gradual increases
- Never stop exercising to prevent low back pain / sciatica
There is no one size fits all. I cannot give you a specific exercise regime, but I can give you some high level observations and principles that you can apply to make sure that you are doing the right exercise regime for you for prevention.
Tailored to your goal for low back pain / sciatica
The best exercise regime to prevent lower back pain / sciatica for you depends on what you want to be able to do with your back. If your ambition for your back is to be able to garden for an hour -which involves bending over- three times a week, your requirements are very different to someone who wants to play golf five times a week, 18 holes each time.
It needs to motivate you and appeal to you. Whatever exercise you do should relate to the end goal and motivate you. If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t do it. You might, for a few weeks, but eventually you will stop doing it because it’s tedious and boring.
It also has to be something you actually start in the first place. If it’s very different to what you do currently, you just need to get through it. Attach it to an existing habit. Immediately after you brush your teeth in the morning, do one minute of exercise. Do it for a week, once a day for a minute. Then start to do it for a couple of minutes and maybe add another exercise to compliment the first one. Before you know it, you’re doing an eight minute exercise regime after you’ve brushed your teeth.
Or maybe your exercise is going for a walk, or for a cycle. Whatever it is, ideally it’s related to your goal and you can see the connection between them.
Consistency in exercise
It’s important that you are consistent with your exercise, whatever that may be. Stick with it and do it consistently. The best way to create a habit is to attach it to an existing one, so that you are more likely to be consistent and prevent low back pain / sciatica
Often I see patients who have started an exercise. They’d been walking for 20 minutes a day. It’s going well, they are feeling better. But then they suddenly do a 40 minute walk and the next day they feel worse. That’a big mistake, it’s too big a jump. Always start low and build slow. Make it easy to do, and increase gradually.
Never stop exercising to prevent low back pain / sciatica
Often we will do something for a few weeks, months, even years, and things have gone well. But then somehow we get out of the habit of doing it. That’s where we start to slip back towards that cliff edge again, or in danger of falling off the cliff of pain.
If you’d like a free online assessment of lower back pain / sciatica, click the link.