Suffering from a sore back? Here’s what could help.
More than 21.9 million people are affected by back pain in the UK and recent research from the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) has found that this figure is rising, with almost half (49 per cent) of us experiencing it on a weekly basis, compared to 40 per cent last year.
Our modern lifestyles are often to blame for the common condition, with bad habits such as mobile phone overuse and hours slouched over our desks, being the norm.
While most people usually recover from back pain in a few weeks or months, the NHS has a a number of recommended treatments for trying to reduce the pain, such as using pain killers, hot or cold packs and manual therapy.
But what is the most effective treatment we can work into our daily lives? Prima spoke to a GP and fitness expert to find out how the right exercise could be the best way to prevent and treat back pain.
Dr Sarah Jarvis, who’s working with Deep Relief Anti-inflammatory Gel, says she frequently sees patients of all ages with back pain. ‘Advice has changed over the years: for example many GPs would advise “bed rest” 30 years ago, whereas now exercise is recognised as a more effective treatment,’ she explains.
Louisa Drake, who has trained A-list clients with Tracy Anderson and created The Louisa Drake Method, a unique fusion of pilates methods and her signature strengthening techniques, tells Prima that she notices many of her new clients suffer from regular back, shoulder and neck complaints.
She says a strong core is paramount to keeping your back and whole body functionally sound and operational.
‘Your core consists of not only your abdominals but the pelvic muscles, mid and lower back muscles, hip flexors and extensors,’ she explains. ‘All these muscles work together to support your spine and skull. Think of your core as a corset that stabilises the entire body.’
A post shared by The Louisa Drake Method®️ (@louisadrakemethod) on Jul 8, 2018 at 9:18am PDT
Pilates, which is known for building a strong core and recommended by many GPs for back pain, and specifically core training exercises focus on strength and flexibility of these important muscle groups, she says.
With our sedentary jobs and lifestyles forcing us into undesirable positions for longer periods of time, leading to back pain, Louisa adds: ‘The hours of being dependant on artificial support from chairs and sofas add up over a day, week and month so it’s so important to factor exercise, like Pilates, which utilise core training into your life.’