back pain

Mistakes People Make When Lifting Weights

Mistakes People Make When Lifting Weights

We all know by now that strength training is good, right? It’s great for boosting metabolism, maintaining a strong core and increasing bone density, amongst many other reasons.

We do, however, get some people coming through our door who started with all the right intentions but ended up doing more harm than good though lifting weights. Here’s our short guide to what to avoid the next time you hit the gym to make sure you’re getting the best from your workout.

3 Simple Stretches for Back Pain

3 Simple Stretches for Back Pain

If you've ever had back pain, you may be familiar with that 'rusty hinge' feeling. You know when you feel as if your muscles are conspiring against you to stiffen you up and not let you bend Further than a few degrees? Or when the thought of being stretched on one of those medieval racks becomes ever more enticing.

Finding the right stretch to to ease this stiffness can be tricky, you end up contorting your body into all kinds of weird and wonderful positions just to find the sweet spot.

Here are a few of our favourites which we recommend to clients (and use ourselves) This combination of exercises will help stretch out your back, but also the muscles of your legs and hips which, if tight, can contribute to back pain.

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

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 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:

Why Sitting Down All Day is Bad For Your Back

Why Sitting Down All Day is Bad For Your Back

Work-related back pain is a major contributor to working days lost to musculoskeletal disorders in the UK.

Official figures reveal that almost 3.5 million working days were lost to back pain in 2015/16, and a recent survey found that 38% of people in the UK claimed work caused their back pain.

Traditionally, work-related back pain has been more common among manual workers, but it is becoming increasingly more prevalent among desk workers, with 31% saying their workstation caused bad posture and back pain.

The average office worker spends 75% of their day sitting down, and more than half of that comes in periods of 30 minutes or more of sedentariness.

But what impact does this have on your body, and how does it contribute to back pain?