Help your back pain

How To Ease Back Pain At Home

If your back ever 'goes', you'd like to think that it was from doing something heroic, right? Something you can impress your mates with as you regale your story of courage and bravery.

Take it from someone who did their back in by picking up a piece of Lego, 9 times out of 10 people experience that terrifying locking-up from doing something slightly less bold. Think taking the washing out of the machine, closing the car door, or sneezing. Wave goodbye to your bragging rights.

The good news is that 90% of people who experience back pain will recover within 6 weeks. The aim of this stage is to stay comfortable, manage your pain and avoid making the problem worse as you recover.

If you are unlucky enough to seize up next time you pick up a pencil (really) then follow these tips for some self-care which you can do at home.

1. Don't panic

I get it, this is easier said than done but when your back seizes up, the muscles are in spasm. The more tense you are, the less likely this spasm is to ease. Be reassured by the fact that there's a 90% chance you'll recover in a few weeks and try to relax as much as you can.

2. Rest for the first hour

Try and find a comfortable position when your back first locks up. To help the muscles ease, rest in this position for about an hour.

3. Take short walks

Movement is highly beneficial for back pain. When you move, your joints release a fluid which helps lubricate them. If your spine is locked up, the release of this fluid with help you move more freely and feel less stiff. In addition, your muscles will loosen off, and you'll be helping your core muscles activate (more of that a bit later)

I get that in the initial stages, walking may be pretty uncomfortable so take it in baby steps, just walking around the house for 5-10 mins at a time at first.

4. Take Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen is both a pain-reliever and an anti-inflammatory so it can help with pain and reducing any inflammation caused by your injury. Short-term it may provide relief.

5. Keep warm

Heat therapy can work wonders on muscle spasms by increasing circulation, helping you to relax and by decreasing pain transmitters to your brain. Take a warm bath or shower or use a heat pack or hot water bottle on your low back.

6. Activate your core

You know how when you have a bad leg, you limp as your body tries to compensate and use the stronger muscles instead of the injured ones? The same can happen with back pain. Your body will try and protect your back by moving differently (which you probably won't notice, it's very sneaky) and not using the muscles which you need to keep your back strong.

The danger in the first 6 weeks is that your back and core muscles will weaken, which then leads to a longer-term problem and leaves to vulnerable to injury. Override this by consciously activating your core every time you move, lift and bend to maintain your strength and protect your back.

7. Keep moving

And avoid long periods of time sat down. As I mentioned before, your body needs to move to avoid seizing up so over the course of your episode, stay as mobile as you can. Take frequent breaks from your desk if you're office-bound and try and fit in a daily walk, or some gentle exercise. Which leads nicely on to...

8. Gentle core exercise and stretches

We have an easy 10-minute routine on our YouTube channel which is ideal for people with back pain, as is yoga or pilates. You can also try some of these simple stretches for back pain. Try and avoid sit-ups, as they won't work your deep core muscles and may put extra strain on your back.

9. Avoid bending & twisting 

Your back is at it's weakest when it's bending and twisting at the same time. Often that's the movement you were doing when it went in the first place. When putting washing in the machine, kneel down before you twist, and if you're picking something up, position yourself so you don't have to twist as you do so.

We work with people both in the initial stage of back pain and to help people get stronger and back to doing the things they love if their pain lasts longer than 6 weeks.

If you are experiencing an attack, our team can help ease your pain, get you moving freely and guide you through an exercise programme safely to avoid your problem becoming long-term. Click the button below to register today for a free consultation to see if we can help.

Our 5 Best Bits of Kit For Core Training

Our 5 Best Bits of Kit For Core Training

One of the things we love the most about core training is that you can do it anywhere with just your bodyweight, making it perfect to do at home. And it's free, which lets face it, is always a winner.

What if we told you though, that you can challenge your core further whilst increasing your stability and balance at the same time, as well as strengthening more of the deeper core and back muscles AND make it a fun workout? 

Sounds good, right? By using some simple pieces of equipment, we'll show you how to switch up your core training to accelerate your results. All are perfect if you have back pain and will help you get stronger, move more easily and reduce your pain.

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.

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…

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.

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?

6 Mistakes People Make With Back Pain

6 Mistakes People Make With Back Pain

When you’re struck down with back pain, it’s hard to know what to do. Especially if you’ve not had pain before – it can be pretty scary and not wanting to make it worse is at the forefront of your mind.

Along with the old wives’ tales and myths, there are are lots of things people have in common when trying to ease their pain, and not all of them are actually helpful.

Take a look at these common mistakes, and see if you’ve been falling foul to any of them…