The age-old response to someone in pain or who has an injury is to just go lay down and rest, sometimes being suggested that rest up to 2-4 weeks is appropriate. However, rest is not the answer. Rest does not help us heal. Rest does not ease our pain.
New clinical guidelines are coming out because the evidence around recovery is overwhelmingly dispelling rest as being the best recovery practice. These guidelines have shifted physicians from doing diagnostic workups to just simple advice, reassurance and self-management. Medical intervention is being put on the back burner and the evidence is pointing to the patients being able to manage their pain themselves.
How can one manage their own pain without drugs, a shot, surgery, or hands on care? Because, tissue pathology does not explain chronic pain.
For example, there are many cases of athletes herniating discs and being injured to the severity of not being able to walk. Many of these athletes take a route of no surgery or shots and are able to get back to their prior level of function and sometimes surpass prior levels.
We know that disc herniations do not go away. So how is it that someone without surgery is able to get back to a physical level and even surpass a prior level? Because there are more factors involved when it comes to pain. our knowledge, past experiences, received information, beliefs, stress, confidence, and more play a role in our outcomes and how we perceive pain. Pain is an experience and pain does not always equal damage.
If you have been told to rest and not move to recover an injury or pain, get in touch with me so we can address your situation and develop a proper recovery plan to get your pain-free life back.
The Movement Dr. is here to educate, empower, create independence and resilience so that you can live pain-free!
Almeida, M Et al. Primary Care Management of Nom-specific low back pain; key messages from recent clinical guidelines. 2018.