Did you know 4 out of 5 adults will experience back pain at some point in their life. Back pain costs the NHS £481 million a year and accounts for 7 million visits to the doctor. Back pain is more prevalent in 35 – 55 year olds, is more common in women, and those with sedentary desk jobs.
Back pain can have many causes including poor posture, incorrect lifting technique (both in daily living or lifting weights in the gym), muscle imbalances and stress.
Back pain can be prevented and relieved by numerous methods. Having a postural analysis would be the best place to start to assess how you hold your body and what stresses and strain this is causing. A full postural analysis should include the fitness professional not only looking at your spinal alignment but also at the body as a whole as something as simple as the way your feet are turned out can tell a story. Postural analysis can be done by a physio, a sports therapist or a modern pilates instructor and expect to be looked at from all angles!
Movement analysis and muscle balance testing including flexibility testing can also help identify the cause of back pain. Tight hamstrings and weak glutes are often the case with someone who suffers with lower back pain and tight pecs alongside weak shoulder rotators and retractors contribute to upper back pain and poor posture.
So before going to your doctor and demanding scans because of your terrible back pain take a look at your posture, the condition of your body and your technique both in what you do in day to day life and in any exercise you do.
As I said back pain can be relieved in numerous ways, sports massage will help release any tight muscles that are causing stresses and strains in the back. Flexibility and strengthening exercises can be prescribed to balance the body and support the spine. And, pilates classes to retrain the muscles to work in the correct movement pattern. Specialist back care classes available at the studio, check out the timetable here.