Written by: Jenny Smith
As most people know, it is extremely easy to put our backs out. Once this has happened, it can then become a weak spot in our physical bodies, that overtime can develop into on-going pain and tension. It can be easy to take our bodies for granted, only seeing in hindsight, how it would have been wise to care for our backs more.
Three tips to minimise the risk of inducing a back problem are to strengthen your core muscles. To stretch as a regular practice, taking time to breath properly, so that your whole body is oxygenated and rejuvenated each day.
Core muscles include: the muscles around your pelvic floor area, lower belly and abdomen. There are specific exercises that support these important bands of muscle to strengthen, such as Pilates or core strength classes. It is worth getting some clear and professional guidance, helping you to choose specific exercises that strengthen this area, without putting unnecessary pressure on your back.
Less Is More
A good rule of thumb with these exercise classes to remember, one move carried out well is worth more than ten done incorrectly. You will know when you are exercising the right muscles because you will feel the difference in this part of your body. It can tempting to let the thigh and neck muscles take over, as soon as this starts to happen, take a break and then try again.
Stretching is one of the best self care practices that you can do for yourself. Tension and stress causes our whole bodies to contract, which in turn causes our muscles to bunch up tightly. There are a large number of big muscles that run across and up and down our backs. Once there is tightening in one area, the other muscles that are joined then start to work harder to try and compensate. In the long term this leads to postural problems and increased levels of pain.
First thing in the morning and last thing at night are great times to stretch, and simple movements like bending over to touch your toes or lying on the floor and lifting your legs back over your head are fantastic for the whole back. You will notice that if you practice these regularly your flexibility will increase. Trust your experience and only stretch as far as you feel able to, hold the stretches for as long as you can and repeat as much as possible.
Finally breathe! The majority of British people are shallow breathers, which means the muscles in our bodies are competing for the energy they need to stay strong, flexible and healthy. Play with the breath; make up games with your kids that involve breathing into the chest and belly. Send big breaths all the way down to the toes and all the way out of the top of the head. Over time you will find this the quickest way to rejuvenate yourselves, even on days when you feel like you’ve no energy left!