Symptom recovery involves looking deeper into the pain pattern, recognizing the specifics of a pattern, and turning pattern recognition into activity modification. We will use low back pain as an example. Symptom patterns may be inconsistent, for instance “sometimes my pain comes on in a seated position and sometimes it doesn’t.” Or, “sometimes I can walk all I want and other times I can only tolerate 10 minutes.” These are very common statements from patients.
Examining the activities closer is essential for symptom recognition. Common seated variations that may change symptoms include, good and poor posture, types of chairs, being reclined, leaning left or right, leaning forward while reading a computer screen, and crossing one’s legs. Delving deeper into symptoms and what nuances bring on the pain will allow individuals to truly target the correct activity modification.
Common standing/walking variations for back pain that may change symptoms include; forward bent/flexed standing, stride length, cadence, laterally leaning or shifting, pushing a cart, and walking on an incline. Again, knowing what specifically brings on one’s symptoms allows for better activity modification. Modification and avoidance of specific triggers allows for reduced frequency of pain provocation and allows for overall pain reduction to occur more quickly and permanently.