Back pain stemming from bunions? Get moving!

A recent study revealed that patients with lower back pain may do better to stay active than rest in bed. 

Back pain stemming from bunions? Get moving! Swedish researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy of the University of Gothenburg examined the outcomes of 109 lower back pain patients given different sets of instructions. One group was told to adjust their activity according to their discomfort, and the other was advised to maintain an active lifestyle regardless of pain. 

The team of scientists found that those who exercised through their discomfort experienced a faster recovery and fewer depressive symptoms at the end of the trial period.

"I believe that it can help patients to focus more on the positive resources they themselves have to handle the pain and master various physical movements even though it hurts," said researcher Patricia Olaya-Contreras.

Authors of the study said that altering daily physical activities to accommodate pain can result in a "downward spiral" of sedentary behavior, which may lead to long-term disability.

Often, people with mobility-hindering bunion pain choose to simply stay off their feet. However, results of this study suggest that they should use the tools and resources available - such as bunion splints or orthotics - to help manage their deformity and get moving. 

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