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Personal training for lower back pain
Research suggests that the majority (over 80%) of adults in the UK experience back pain.
Personal Training for Lower Back Pain:
Our Plan is Part of Your Normal Life
Research suggests that the majority (over 80%) of adults in the UK experience back pain at some point in their lives. According to the NHS, lower back pain is the largest single cause of disability in the UK. What often starts as a small, easy-to-ignore niggle can, if left unaddressed, become an incredibly debilitating problem. The Office of National Statistics state a colossal 31 million work days were lost in the UK in 2016 due to musculoskeletal problems, of which the most common is back pain.
With your personal trainer lower back pain can become a thing of the past.
What is lower back pain?
The lower back, also referred to as the lumbar spine, is the area of the back that starts below the ribcage. Lower back pain symptoms can vary from a dull ache, to shooting or stabbing sensations.
There are four broad categories of lower back pain: musculoskeletal, inflammatory, malignancy or infectious. The majority of lower back pain however does not have one single clear cause or fit clearly into just one of these categories, but is often a combination of different issues.
It can present as a mild “niggle” or can be unbearable and require pain relief medication. Sometimes lower back pain is constant, other times it only rears its head when you do a particular movement or try to lift something. If your back pain comes on suddenly, for example after a back injury, it is considered acute, however if it then lasts for more than 3 months we call this chronic pain.
What is the cause of lower back pain?
The spine is made up of joints, muscles and nerves, which, when placed under stress, can become inflamed. Pain then occurs, as a prelude to injury. If not addressed, this continued stress may then lead to chronic dysfunction, ‘wear & tear’ and long term pain patterns.
“Lower back pain” is a broad term covering a wide range of back problems, from benign to malicious, mild to severe, short term to chronic. With their understanding of our body’s pain mechanism and injury mechanisms, your personal trainer will help you to understand the likely cause for your backache and put together a training program that is tailored to address your specific pain and pain triggers.
Our trainers have helped clients to become pain free by addressing lower back issues relating to sciatica, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, poor posture, disc tears, strains and sprains, muscle spasms, spondylosis, scoliosis, degenerative joint disease, muscle imbalances and more. One problem that we deal with frequently is slipped or herniated discs. This is caused when the gel-like disks that cushion the spine’s vertebrae rupture or bulge due to wear and tear or injury, putting pressure on the spinal nerve roots.
In your consultation, your personal trainer will talk to you about your lifestyle and your job, which is a major risk factor for lower back pain. It seems obvious that if it involves lifting, pulling, or doing anything that twists the spine, it may contribute to back pain. However, less obvious is that sitting at a desk all day comes with risks of its own! The majority of our lower back pain clients actually have more of a problem due to their sedentary lifestyle. Sitting all down all day is not great for your lower back health. This is especially true if your chair is uncomfortable or you tend to slouch. We often find that clients complaining of lower back pain have developed imbalances across key muscle groups that contribute to overall back health and posture. Some muscle groups become overworked and tight and need stretching (for example hip flexors, pectorals, upper traps, lower back muscles including erector spinae) while others have become inhibited and weak and therefore need strengthening (for example glute muscles, abdominals, mid back muscles).
Professional low back pain rehabilitation
If low back pain has troubled you for a long time and prevented you from doing any exercise, your personal trainer will put together a strengthening and rehabilitation program to help you get back to your daily activities pain free. Our fitness experts can guide you through stretches, strength exercises, and low-impact cardio that will help you be fitter without straining your back.
The first thing your trainer will do is evaluate your posture, movement patterns and range of motion and talk to you about pain triggers. This will help them to identify the potential cause of pain. It is likely that there is not one single cause, but rather a combination of pain triggers.
From here, your personal trainer will put together a treatment plan programming exercises to strengthen your weakest areas and create more range of motion in your tightest areas. In each and every session they will focus on ensuring you have good form and posture throughout all key movement patterns. Your training program will include milestones for short, medium and long term recovery. Having training goals to work towards is key to stay motivated and keep making progress to your goal of being pain free.
Customised personal training
Unfortunately, too many trainers in the fitness industry program movements without first assessing their clients properly to check whether or not these are optimal. Failing to assess a clients movement, posture and current pain means that if there are already existing imbalances between muscle groups or some back pain, these could actually be made worse by training improperly. Some of our clients have come to us with muscle strain and back problems caused by workouts that have not been tailored to their body.
We believe that for a training program to be pain free, effective, safe and enjoyable it must be completely personalised. Our personal trainers have a wealth of experience dealing with people at all fitness levels and with a range of different back issues. They will always prioritise making sure that you have a solid foundation, teaching you good form in key movement patterns before they give you more challenging movements with higher loads.
For many people this will mean learning the basics first – taking some time to appreciate the connection between mind and muscles and learning how to engage their core properly (our trainers often use Pilates style exercises, like bird dog variations, with our clients for this)
Our customised personal training plans are available both in-person, at one of our London studios, or remotely. So if you would rather work out at home, your trainer can schedule in Zoom or Skype sessions with you and tailor your exercise to the space and equipment you have at home.
The benefits of training for lower back pain
- Strength training the muscles that support the spine can help to remove pressure from the discs and facet joints that make up the spine, in turn reducing pain
- Working on mobility can help to alleviate stiffness, enhance movement patterns and prevent muscle strain and back pain
- Improve your posture and learn how to make adjustments to the way you work and exercise in order to prevent back pain (e.g. the best way to set up your home working desk to prevent back pain)
- Exercise can help to improve circulation, which can alleviate symptoms for a specific type of chronic pain
- Releasing endorphins, which can naturally relieve pain
- People with chronic pain often report massive anxiety around exercise. This type of anxiety often causes a person to stiffen up and can actually make back pain worse. In the case of heightened pain sensitivity, your trainer will be able to recommend coping mechanisms (every person is different, so it may take time to find the approach that works best for you). Our approach to personal training means that you get unrivalled support from fitness experts throughout your journey. Our trainers attention is focused on one person – you – not divided between a group class. They will go at your pace and
As trainers our ultimate goal is to help you regain pain free movement, for life.