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Doesn't it seem like I should do whatever it takes to keep from hurting?

Q: I've been having some low back pain for about six months now. I'm seeing a Physical Therapist who wants me to start doing things that make it hurt. I'm better when I avoid those movements. Doesn't it seem like I should do whatever it takes to keep from hurting?

A: Maybe this works in the short-term. In the long-run avoiding painful motion can set up a cycle called fear-avoidance. You may have less pain, but you could end up with
more disability later. Many studies have proven this now.

A program to promote active coping strategies along with increased movement is the best thing for you. Trust your therapist. Give it a try, and see if it doesn't make a positive difference in the next six to 12 weeks.

Sandra D. M. Bot, MSc, et al. Predictors of Outcome in Neck and Shoulder Symptoms. In Spine. August 15, 2005. Vol. 30. No. 16. Pp. E459-E470.