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Why Rest Often Makes Back Pain Worse

I’m sure you’ve heard it before…“Weight training is back for your back! Be careful.”

Although this mindset is common, after years of treating sports physical therapy patients in Bethesda and Chevy Chase, we’ve actually found the opposite to be true. According to Michael Mash, DPT, back pain from time to time is actually normal and usually resolves itself without treatment or the need for expensive medical attention.

In fact, research shows that sedentary activity, like sitting on the couch watching Netflix, can actually make back pain worse. Oftentimes, after a small “tweak” or “flare-up” from lifting weights, many athletes can self-manage by simply avoiding painful movements while focusing on exercises that still feel comfortable.

All in all, weight training is not the single source of low back pain. There are several contributing factors — including lifestyle, diet, and exercise form. The body is incredibly resilient, and with a little education and practice, you can enjoy an active lifestyle while staying healthy and pain-free!

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