Thursday, December 27, 2012

Motion is Lotion

The Franconia Ridge Line as seen from Cannon Mountain
At the risk of having Amber never contribute to or read this blog again, I have entitled this blog post Motion is Lotion. She absolutely hates this expression and likens it to fingernails down a chalkboard. We hear it so often as physical therapist that it does get pretty tiring. However it really is an amazing aphorism. Just like if you don't use it you lose it. Except maybe not quite logical. Motion is lotion implies that the more you move the better you feel. When you think about it, though, motion is lotion suggests that movement makes your a slippery mess that may fall on the ground and injure yourself further. Oh boy, I guess I can see Amber's point.

Nevertheless the implicit meaning is that if you move you will feel better. And it's true. I strained my back on Christmas Day trying to sneak down the chimney. Or maybe just lifting something too heavy but let's pretend. I was les miserables all throughout the day even when watching an amazing(with the exception of Russel Crowe's Javert) Les Mis.
Deidre trying to help with making my pain better
I awoke feeling even more stiff and sore and did not want to do anything. However, as many of you may know, winter has started. And with winter has come my winter goal: hike all 48 4,000+ foot peaks in NH. With such a good day, I couldn't pass it up. So I called up Deidre and Myles Chase and we headed up to Cannon Mountain.
Myles and Deidre

The hour plus drive did not help the back and by the time I had gotten up there, I was starting to doubt my decision to make the trip. However, as we steadily ascended, my back got better and better to the point when we reached the summit, I did even notice it. It may not have resolved in its entirety but it became very manageable. Imagine if our first reaction to muscle strains was movement rather than medication- I think we may be in a much better state as a society in regard to chronic pain.


 Anecdotally it is always easy to say what worked for you, so don't take my word for it. Below are just a few references that would agree that motion is lotion. OR rather that motion is the potion (or elixir of life) that can help your get back moving. Happy reading!

Sculco AD, Paup DC, Fernhall B, Sculco MJ. Effects of aerobic exercise on low back pain patients in treatment. Spine J. 2001 Mar-Apr;1(2):95-101.

Olivier N, Thevenon A, Berthoin S, Prieur F. An exercise therapy program can increase oxygenation and blood volume of the erector spinae muscle during exercise in chronic low back pain patients. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2012

Murtezani A, Hundozi H, Orovcanec N, Sllamniku S, Osmani T. A comparison of high intensity aerobic exercise and passive modalities for the treatment of workers with chronic low back pain: a randomized, controlled trial. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med. 2011 Sep;47(3):359-66.

Gencay-Can A, Gunendi Z, Suleyman Can S, Sepici V, Çeviker N. The effects of early aerobic exercise after single-level lumbar microdiscectomy: a prospective, controlled trial. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med. 2010 Dec;46(4):489-96.

Kankaanpää M, Taimela S, Airaksinen O, Hänninen O. The efficacy of active rehabilitation in chronic low back pain. Effect on pain intensity, self-experienced disability, and lumbar fatigability. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1999 May 15;24(10):1034-42.

van der Velde G, Mierau D. The effect of exercise on percentile rank aerobic capacity, pain, and self-rated disability in patients with chronic low-back pain: a retrospective chart review. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2000 Nov;81(11):1457-63.

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