"Have A Bad Back? Here’s How To Move Past The Fear Of Exercise" -Vivian Manning-Schaffel
Back pain is an epidemic: According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, as many as 80 percent of Americans will experience some form of low back pain in their lives, and, in a large survey, more than a quarter of adults reported having lower back pain in the past three months. If you’ve suffered a back injury, you know it can be terrifying to resume any kind of exercise routine. “I think there’s a lot of hesitation because of the pain and worry of reinjuring the spine,” said Joseph Herrera, DO, professor and system chair of rehabilitation medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “Once you have had an episode of back pain, you’re four times more likely to have a re-occurrence.” Yet, Dr. Herrera says the worst thing you can do is lay in bed until the pain completely subsides. “Bed rest is the worst thing you can do for back pain. Resuming activity helps to release endorphins (feel-good hormones) that minimize pain, boost your mood and speed your recovery,” he explained.
- Joseph Herrera, DO, Professor and System Chair, Rehabilitation Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai