How a ladies only gym in Plympton is tackling back pain!
If you suffer with back pain you know just how draining it can. There are not only physical limitations associated with the pain but for some the the constant interruptions to normal daily functions, the constant pain and discomfort, the repeated occurrences where you just ‘can not do’ something or even the fact that joy seems a distant memory start to have an impact on so many other realms of life from your mental well being, depression and anxiety, avoidance of social opportunities and even impacts on relationships.
Lower back pain
Pain can originate and radiate from all over the back, lower back pain is a very common problem that we experience with our clients at FitER Health Club. Often lower back pain can be linked to the fact that other muscles such as the gluteus muscles (aka your butt) are just not activated or working correctly to support movement and this results in lower back pain.
Another very common condition that we work to address is sciatica, this is often characterised by lower back pain radiating around to the side of the hip, through the gluteus and then down through the leg, often a sharp and shooting pain is described that radiates down the leg.
For many clients the simple physical burden on the spine and the back muscles caused by excessive weight can have a significant impact on the aches and pains we might experience. In fact when we drill down into the real causes for peoples original reasons for wanting to lose weight it very often stems from more important reasons such as; improving confidence, self esteem, being able to have the fitness to play with their children or to relieve the very negative consequences that back pain is having on their life!
Reduce back pain
Unless your back pain is caused by a specific medical condition such as a disc prolapse, cancers, herniated discs, vertebra fractures etc then one of the most beneficial things you can do to help manage your back pain is to move. Be that a gentle walk, stretch or simply doing your normal activities to the best of your abilities movement will help you on the road to recovery.
Acute back pain that is often a short lived issue of less than 6 weeks can often be irradicated with simple daily movement, in fact one of th worst things you can do is bed rest or prolonged periods of sitting or lying down. Moving more is your goal. Chronic pain that lasts longer than 6 weeks would certainly benefit from moving more but also from a specific programme designed to address the original issues, strengthen the muscles, improve flexibility and mobility.
This might include working on posture, it might be becoming mindful of body position and learning to move better, it might be a specific training programme designed to fire up inactive muscles or strengthen weak ones or a programme of strength, it might be that massage therapy is suggested or even learning to relax because your pain is caused by stress and tension!
For many women with back pain the thought of joining a gym is just terrifying, it is intimidating, our mind-monkeys (this is a psychological concept we use and work on with many of our members and habit change clients) are these negative thoughts that tell us we won’t fit in, that we are not fit enough or that everyone will look at us and judge if we go to a gym.
So at FitER Health Club we have created a culture, an environment and a community of acceptance, support and encouragement that takes away many of these fears and concerns. What that means is that for women who need to address their issues with regular exercise can do so in a comfortable environment, it means that many women who think that they ‘can’t’ certainly can!
Simply strengthening, stretching or releasing the muscles may not be enough if the origins of your pain are linked to daily behaviors and actions such as how you pick up your children, the weight of your handbag, the age of your mattress, the way you stand or even how you sit, it might be linked to hobbies or even how you spend your evenings on the sofa? We recognise this at FitER Health Club and work with our members to address these with action plans and habit change goals. For clients who need a more accountable and direct 1-1 approach we recognise that this is a big issue and therefore provide this unique service to really tackle the roots of your back pain.
Our top tips to manage your back pain
- Move regularly, your spine likes to move forwards, back, side to side and twisting, moving regularly is important, avoid long stationary periods, stand up and take a walk, stretch and move at your desk, whatever it looks like, simply move.
- Stay Strong – strong muscles will support your spine through the daily challenges we put our backs through, making dedicated time to exercise a regular part of your week is the only way you will see results and improvements. Exercise should be considered part of your health time and not something to fit in. Adjust your lifestyle to accommodate your bodies needs, at the end of the day you only get one body!
- Stretch – It will feel so good! Do it gently, have good posture and breathe.
- Be ergonomically minded – check your desk and chair height, is your computer screen at eye level, are your arms supported, are your shoulders relaxed?
- Be mindful of your posture – don’t slump!
- Keep your weight in check – managing your weight is important for back health, if you need support with this get in touch we can work in club with women but also privately online and 1-1 with both men and women providing lifestyle change coaching, nutrition programmes, workouts, mindset coaching and more.
- Stay positive! This is so important, positive self-talk can change your outlook, your attitude and how you handle pain, it can also aid recovery.
- Lighten the load! Ladies empty out your handbag often and get rid of all the random, weird and wonderful things that lurk in the hidden depths to lighten the weight of your bag.
- Sleep well! Consider your mattress, is it too old, are you supported, do you need additional pillows along the body, between the knees or under the knees to give you support whilst you sleep?
Back ache and pain is a burden so if you need to seek the support and advice available. Take action and take control now!
We offer FREE WORKSHOPS regularly, the next is “Managing back pain” on 3rd February 2018 at 10am at FitER Health Club.