Life Hacks to Beat Back Pain

Life Hacks to Beat Back Pain

k, we’ve all been there. You visit your back-pain professional, skip off with your list of exercises to do at home and what happens next is common of probably 90% of clients. Yep, that’s right, the list stays stuck to the fridge/pinned to the notice board/shoved at the bottom of a bag never to be looked at again.

And we get it, we’re busy folk. With all those balls we have to juggle, it’s amazing we remember to brush our teeth every day, let alone spend 10 minutes stretching, rolling and bending our body into unnatural positions.

So, when we work with clients on our programmes, we incorporate exercises into their daily lives, so they don’t have to take time out to do their homework and can strengthen their core whilst going about their business. Exercise without thinking about it – sounds good, right?

Try working these 5 simple hacks into your life to strengthen your core and reduce back pain

How to Improve Your Posture

How to Improve Your Posture

Good posture is about more than keeping a straight back. It’s about reducing the strain on your body and placing it in a position which places the least stress on your muscles, joints and ligaments. It’s not just about how you stand either, it’s about things like your driving position, how you hold yourself when you walk and how you position yourself when you’re working.

Because of imbalances in our body when we’re not holding ourselves correctly, we tend to fall into a cycle of pain-poor posture-worse pain-worse posture, which is why it’s important to nip it in the bud and reduce posture-related pain from the outset.

So, what is ‘good posture’?

5 Ways to Relieve Back Pain

5 Ways to Relieve Back Pain

2 years ago, I did my back in. Ironic, right, given that I co-own a studio where we help people reduce back pain?

It happened because my core weakened after having babies and I stopped doing enough strength work to protect myself over a very busy few months in my life. In my case, I was very lucky as I’m surrounded by expert back-fixers so was back on my feet (literally) in no time and now am very strict with my core work.

It made me appreciate the pain – no pun intended – of your back going though. From having to ease myself out of bed and taking about 2 minutes to actually get up, to not being able to put my socks and shoes on myself – my kids LOVED me for that.

If it happens to you and you get struck down with back pain – however severe – there are several things you can do to help yourself:

3 Reasons Why We Love Foam Rollers

3 Reasons Why We Love Foam Rollers

Not just for sadists (if you’ve used one, you’ll know what I mean), our cylindrical, sometimes knobbly little friends which you find in the stretching area of the gym are fast becoming a firm favourite of ours.

We first came across them at a fitness convention way back in 2013 when we were subject to quite possibly one of the best core workouts we’ve ever done – you know the type when you’re afraid to cough, sneeze or err, get up out of bed.

Never ones to get sucked in by a sales pitch (okay, okay. It was 7pm on a Sunday night after a VERY intense 3 days of exercise and heavy learning. We were so exhausted we’d have bought anything – they certainly knew how to time it right) we headed home with our new toy under our arms.

Fast forward 5 years and what we thought might fall into the ‘fitness fad’ hole, along with slender tone belts and ab cradles (remember them?) are well and truly here to stay and we for one, couldn’t be happier. This is one bandwagon we were more than happy to jump on.

Here are our 3 reasons why we won’t be rolling off ours any time soon…

How to Future-Proof Your Body

How to Future-Proof Your Body

There’s a bit of a buzz word going around at the moment – ‘Future Proof’. Basically, it means something which can still be used in the future, so lots of people talk about upskilling and future-proofing their career, or future-proofing their business to increase its longevity.

But can we future-proof our greatest asset – our health?

Well, exercise – specifically strength training – can certainly help ward off many conditions which tend to make an unwelcome appearance as we age.

The Importance of Isolating & Strengthening the Back Muscles for Low Back Pain

The Importance of Isolating & Strengthening the Back Muscles for Low Back Pain

Studies show that following a back injury, 70% of people will significantly improve after 2 weeks, and 90% to 95% of people will recover within 2-3 months.

During this ‘acute’ phase, the focus should be on staying as comfortable as possible whilst the body’s natural healing process takes place. Passive treatments such as massage, manipulation (where appropriate), painkillers and heat can all help at this stage. It’s also important to be aware of posture, how to protect your back from further injury, and finding comfortable positions to ease the pain.

Staying active and avoiding excessive rest during the acute phase is also important to avoid rapid deconditioning of the back muscles.

The pain experienced by the 5%-10% who do not recover within this time is classified as chronic. Evidence shows that deconditioning because of pain and reduced activity in people who have chronic back pain can result in weakened muscles of the low back and spine.

It is possible for the body to be strong everywhere except the back. The back can only be strengthened when the lumbar spine is moving against resistance. Typically, if you have back pain, you will (unknowingly) change your body mechanics to protect your back, substituting pelvic motion for lumbar motion.

How to Start Running – 6 Tips from a Seasoned Beginner

How to Start Running – 6 Tips from a Seasoned Beginner

Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? “uh, put on your daps and leg it down the road”. Not so much. I remember when I started running about 5 years ago. I had not long had my second baby (new Mums: do your Kegels) and wanted something which I could do any time of the day and which wouldn’t waste my valuable time by having to travel to do it.

So out I trundled, calling “back in half an hour” behind me as I flounced out of the door. Now, if you’re new to running, or can remember when you were new to running, you’ll appreciate my crushing disappointment when 2 minutes into my ‘run’ I was pretty much ready to drop.

So, you see, it’s not quite as simple as trotting off for a brisk 3 miles when you’ve never run before. But I did persevere and in the following 12 months completed both a 10k and half marathon. And if ‘Mrs-I-can-only-run-for-2-minutes’ can do it, anyone can. Here are my tips for anyone just starting out…

How to Prevent Back Pain in Children

How to Prevent Back Pain in Children

Studies show that one-quarter of UK secondary school pupils now suffer from regular or daily back pain, and this has been linked to prolonged sitting and the carrying of school bags.

In the last 23 years, the amount of time that children aged 5 to 16 spend in front of a screen has more than doubled. In 1995, 3 hours a day were spent on screen-time, and the average now – perhaps unsurprisingly, given our technology-led lifestyles – is 6 and a half hours a day.

This, combined with the 70% of the school day which is spent seated, and a drop in activity as fewer children walk to school (in the last 40 years, the number of primary age children who walk to school has dropped from 64% to 42%) is having a detrimental effect on the back health of young people.

With studies showing that children with back pain are more likely to suffer as an adult, it’s increasingly important to educate our children in the importance of good back health to help reverse the trend of back pain occurring in younger generations.

Employers are more aware than ever of the benefits of a work environment which encourages good physical health in their workforce, but sadly schools are yet to jump on board.

As parents, we can support our children to reduce their pain and prevent further problems in several ways

4 Ways to Stop Your Back Hurting at Work

4 Ways to Stop Your Back Hurting at Work

Our body is designed to move. Sitting down all day can have a detrimental effect on your back, neck and muscles.

Unfortunately, though – as desk-workers will testify – sometimes circumstances dictate how much you sit during the day and it’s not always possible to spend the day on the move.

There are some simple strategies you can put in place which, if you need to spend a large part of your day seated, can help alleviate the onset of posture-related pain.

How to Exercise When You Have a Bad Back

How to Exercise When You Have a Bad Back

We conducted a survey recently of people suffering with back pain and the effect exercise has on the level of pain experienced.

The type of exercise you should choose if you have back pain may vary according to your diagnosis, but here’s a quick rundown of things which are safe for the vast majority of back pain sufferers: