Blog 7: Boom and Bust

I get excited by being active. I have always loved netball, running around and pretending like I can do gymnastics, basketball, ballet, parkour, rock climbing or anything involving movement. Experiencing ongoing back pain has resulted in me learning how to pull back from and breakdown movements. I have used a number of different strategies to increase my fitness after stopping all sport however, I often found myself entering a cycle called the boom and bust cycle.

It is very common for anyone who experiences ongoing pain to do more on days when they feel good and less on days when feeling sore and stiff.  I know I do. Waking up feeling fantastic and pain free makes you want to get moving and do all of those activities and jobs you haven’t been doing due to pain. I’ll give you an example. One day I felt really good and completed a fun workout in a park including jumping over equipment, hanging from bars and finishing with all out sprints- the sort of stuff that I get really excited by. I did this kind of workout for 30 mins and felt good. I had one rest day with the normal soreness you would feel after exercise and decided to do it again the day after. When I woke up the next morning I could hardly get out of bed as my back has stiffened up so much that moving was the last thing I wanted to do. After this I was inactive for the next week doing only a few stretches in attempt to loosen my back. This is known as the boom (the exercise) and bust (the flare up). For my body the load of two high impact training sessions over 3 days was too much, resulting in a flare up.

A flare up, is a sudden onset of increased pain and stiffness, commonly occurring from exceeding your body’s load tolerance. This load or baseline which your body can tolerate is built up over time and also decreases during periods of rest. Periods of inactivity result in a reduced load tolerance, from decreased strength and fitness, therefore flare ups occur more easily.  These ‘bust’ periods then occur more frequently and the boom gets smaller and the bust gets bigger.  It’s like taking 2 steps forward and three steps backwards. However we know movement is good for ongoing pain so how do we avoid the boom and bust cycle?

Starting any kind of physical activity whether it be purposeful exercise or doing chores around the house needs to be built up gradually, especially after periods of rest. But where to begin? Start with finding your baseline. This could be as simple as doing a particular chore for 1 minute or for me it was adding one set of jumping exercise to my normal gym routine. The baseline activity can seem really easy on good days, but the most important part in determining the baseline is being able to complete it on bad days. From the baseline the gradual exposure journey begins, however I will go into this further in my next blog.

Remember, slow and steady wins the race every time!

Any questions or comments? Hit me up!

claire@tailoredhealth.com.au

Looking to Make an Appointment?

Booking Online is the most convenient way to lock in the appointment type, practitioner & time you want.

5 Star Google Reviews
Tailored Health is committed to 5 star client satisfaction.

    5 star review  Have made great strides of progress with a 12 month knee injury thanks to Ben at Tailored Health. Have tried many different options in trying to get back on track and I can finally run again thanks to my new program that he prescribed.

    thumb alex rowe
    December 8, 2019

    5 star review  Great team, Great facility, knowledgable and caring staff. Can HIGHLY recommend the Tailored Health Team!

    thumb Gary Israelsohn
    June 9, 2021

    5 star review  I started working with Ben as my exercise physiologist even before he started Tailored Health. He has always been caring and understanding my problems and has always worked towards increasing my strength. He has a great team and Claire has done enormous job on my body, looking after all my pain and I feel so much better than before. Recently Phil has joined the team and he is great too! Thank you for looking after me and being so kind and professional.

    thumb Fariba Mameghan
    November 7, 2019
Menu