Lower Back Pain? Go Back to Basics

So I’m sure you know I hurt my back in July, I’ve been bleating about it the whole summer.

Instead of feeling sorry for myself (ok, as well as) I’ve been seeing the wonderful Anna the Osteopath, and she’s taught me a few important things about exercise.

Think about these next time you’re working out – are all you muscles working, not just the larger ones? Are you creaking and clunking? It might be that you’re not using all your muscles to perform the exercises. So, next time you’re in the gym, or at bootcamp or doing your Davina DVD at home, think about your form.

It’s also important to mix up your exercise – my marathon earlier this year meant my muscles were doing a lot of forward-motion movements, but not many side-to-side moves (which can be lots of reps of small moves) but that are also really important. Things were looking (and feeling) pretty manky…

It’s only since suffering an injury that I’ve started thinking a lot more about strengthening my smaller muscles which support the more major muscles (and how some muscles can take over, leaving the others struggling to work in the way they should.) It’s pretty much the reason my back did what it did. (Was that the record for the most mention of muscles in one paragraph, I wonder?)

Modify, don’t just keep plodding on

Don’t worry, your exercise regime isn’t over. It might need to change for a while, but it’s important not to keep doing the thing which is causing the injury/pain. That’s not to say you can stop exercising BTW!

What’s helped me is seeing the rather fantastic Osteopath Anna who has worked on my body manually to manipulate and guide things back in to the right places. She has also referred me to another, equally brilliant wonder-woman of a Pilates instructor, Ellie from City Way Health Clinic, who is helping me with my movement and flexibility with Reformer Pilates (the one using machines). You can read more about the health benefits of Osteopathy and Reformer Pilates on their website here>>

Personally, this combined with some killer glute exercises, and I can already see the changes happening (both physically and cosmetically) and I can see real improvement in my back pain. I’ve been working on my Spin technique to keep up the Cardio, whilst working on some smaller stretches, Pilates and Resistance Band work. I feel like I might be winning, and that I’ll be running again in January (hooray!).

Want some inspo?

There are a few other sources of inspiration for me. I’ve been using Arena Resistance Bands & exercise cards to help me work on my Glutes, and they have been incredible. Great quality product and also work out cards (as well as a free membership area too). Just so you know, we earn a small commission from any links to Amazon that we share, so by clicking on the product links and buying, you are helping to feed the family 🙂

There is also my personal fave online trainer, Cori from Redefining Strength. I’m currently working through her Glute Burner programme which is exactly what it says it is. It burns. It hurts. It works.

Remember to always ask a qualified professional before undertaking any remedial action, but don’t suffer in silence, you can take positive action to help alleviate pain and rebuild your strength. If you’re local, you might even want to pop over and make an appointment at City Way Health Clinic.

Happy Wednesday lovely people, Tahlia x

Do you suffer from lower back or hip pain? It could be your glutes…

Hello lovely people here. I’ve recently learnt a few things about the way my body works, and I want to share it with you – I suspect a few of you may also recognise my story.

I like to stay fit, and exercise four or five times a week – a mix of bootcamp, running, yoga, pilates. It keeps a smile on my face, and helps make allowances for the wine and chocolate in my life. I’d consider myself to be quite a fit person generally, but over the last few years I’ve had nagging back and hip pain which comes and goes, but more recently has been coming more than it’s going.

Last night an Osteopath saved my life…

Ok, so that’s a bit dramatic for a headline but it made me sing ‘last night a DJ saved my life’ so that’s lovely. In truth though, my visit to see the lovely Anna has been a revelation. She asked me so many questions, looked at the ‘whole me’ by talking about my underachieve thyroid and the impact it has on my life and body, and genuinely wanted to delve into the ‘why’.

Turns out I’m a bit wonky (from birth, apparently) but also that I have an underactive left glute too. A marathon runner with glutes that don’t work = sore back and hips!

So, before I jump headfirst in to getting my miles up for the London Marathon next year, I need to work on some core muscles first. Glutes and abs. As well as helping me avoid injury, it should also help me run faster (and maybe give me a figure like Beyonce?). Perhaps the last wish is a step too far, but the first two are definitely achievable.

The good news

It’s do-able – I can build my core and abs, but with smaller and much more intense moves than my usual bootcamp repertoire. So, I’m going back to exercise school and am using a circuit of pilates and pilates-type moves to build things up. Here’s what I’m doing…

  • Skaters
  • Copenhagen
  • Bent Knee Side Plank
  • Hip thrusters (with band)
  • Single leg hip thrusters

Give them a go, and see if they make a difference! You might need to build up from small reps e.g. 4/5 like I did!

I’ve also bought myself some resistance bands to stabilise my exercises, which I’ve been using every day. I’ll share the bands I bought from Amazon below. They aren’t the cheapest available, but they do come with free training videos and recipes too, as well as a practical exercise card book to help you follow the training.

I’ve also booked on to Spin to keep up the cardio, and to help keep the lbs down 🙂

Happy squeezing, lovely people.

Tahlia X