Lifting as treatment for back pain

There is really strong evidence that perceived threat can turn-up the pain system.

People with long-term pain have all sorts of threat associated with their injury. Pain itself can be threatening – it can interfere with work, sport, family life, and hobbies. Movement can be threatening because it sometimes makes pain worse. Of course movement can make pain better too. 

If you’re driving long distance it is common to get pain. In this case, movement often makes the pain better. This is an example of where there is no tissue damage and pain is made to make you move. Pain is encouraging movement.

People with low back pain often find bending and lifting threatening. This might be because it hurts, or because someone told them it was dangerous. Or maybe their injury occurred while lifting. Whatever the reason, it is quite common for people to avoid lifting.

Lifting is not a dangerous activity for the back. Lifting strengthens the back muscles in an immediately useful way. Perhaps most importantly, learning to lift proves that you are capable and safe to move. It is hard to believe that you are damaged if you can lift a heavy object from the floor.

Since opening our practice a year ago, we have used deadlifting with the majority of our patients with back pain. With a handful of exceptions, everyone has been scared of it. Every one of our patients who were given the task (yes, 100%) have been able to do it, and no one (yes, 0%) has had a worsening of their back condition. If you would like more information on outcome data please be in touch, or you can access this link with anonymous survey data from our patients. This data is from a survey sent to all of our patients from our first year -11months, two weeks- of trade.

Using lifting tasks like deadlifting has helped us to significantly reduce the average number of sessions required to treat low back pain. On average we see our patients 3 times, and 75% of our patients report that their outcome was ‘better’ or ‘much better’ than expected.

I am proposing that you are capable of much more. As masters physiotherapists, our clinicians are experts at diagnosing and treating back pain. We can safely guide you through a strengthening program that will prove you are capable of more