Back Pain… My old friend.
These days who has not suffer from back pain. From the lower back, all the way up to the neck, this is a common symptom of our modern lives. But, why do we have more back pain than ever? The reasons vary from person to person. It could be your posture, lack of strength, weak core, injuries, even the way we walk or stand.
The reasons are abundant, and the solutions too. From pain killers (my least favourite) to massages, physiotherapy, a different chair, or shoes, Pilates and mobility (my 100% favourite), acupuncture, rollers, balls… the list goes on and on.
I got to be honest here, I’ve tried them all! As many of you know, a gymnastics career leaves a toll in the body and I’ve been struggling with back pain for years until.. I changed the way I move.
The first thing I tried was the easiest one, pain killers. Although there is noting wrong with this and sometimes is necessary, this is a temporary solution. In my personal experience, the problems with taking pills is that I got used to them and they were not good on my gut. But I was so afraid to move cause “I could hurt myself more” that it was hard leaving them, until… Pilates came into my life!
So… Where do I start?
One of the best ways to start is by strengthening your core (Pilates does wonders here!), but also all the areas around it. Your glutes, hips, shoulder blades, neck, etc., play an important role. Why? Because strong muscles doing the work they are meant to do, help to relief the tension from other muscles taking over to compensate the lack of strength.
Before taking any medication or doing any exercises, get a Health Professional to check you and follow the recommendations. It’s very important to understand that “You Are Not Your Diagnosis”, no matter what situation is going on in your body, that doesn’t define you and it’s not an excuse to stop and do nothing.
Then, Commit to Improve.
Consistency and discipline are key. Do not expect a miracle just by going to the physio once a week. Do-Your-Homework. Most physios will give you an exercise program to do at home or will tell you to try a class like Pilates to help you get better. Do it every day. Movement is like brushing your teeth but for your body. Just imagine what will happen to your teeth if you stop brushing them? Yaiks! Green face emoji! Well, let’s brush our bodies too.
How Do I move?
Now, you are probably expecting that I list a series of exercises here that will make your life easier. Or you will go to YouTube and write “Best exercises for Back Pain” and then you will struggle to pick just one video from the hundred of thousands.
Here is my believe. Your toothbrush is personal… movement is too.
Yes, I can give you a long list, but without knowing you, and following the recommendations of your health practitioner, how can we be sure that we are doing what is best for you? We need to know what is causing your back pain to be able to address it in the best possible way.
If you never had this problem and you just had a long day in the office, the kids are growing too fast or the shopping bags were too heavy, there are Pilates and Mobility exercises that can help you release and strength. But if we are talking about a pain that is going on for more than 3 months, we need a better plan.
So, no solutions here?
Yes! Depending on your situation and how you feel, get checked by a professional, then follow your program. No matter what you do, you need to move your body to get stronger. Get up the chair often, change your posture, move around the house, walk instead of drive, do a Pilates class, etc.
And yes… Here you have a short video of some nice and gentle exercises to get you started.
Move Good to Feel Good.