Pain in the… back! Herniated disc’s and how Pilates can help.
Well it seemed only fitting that this would be my next blog due to the absolute agony I have been in over the past few days.
I first had my initial problem nearly 5 years ago. One day I was running around, busy as a bee and the next I could barely walk, bed ridden and felt incredibly vulnerable. If anyone reading this has experienced back pain or had a herniated disc, like me, you will know exactly what I mean. When it hits you, the pain is unbearable, cold tears line your face and your body goes into shut down mode. You feel this overwhelming feeling of not knowing what do, how to move and have this fear that if you do move the pain is going to be so much that you can’t cope with it. It really is a breath-taking experience.
I will always have time, patience and sympathy for anyone who is suffering or suffered with this type of injury. Not only do you have to deal with the pain but you also have to deal with everything else normal life throws at you. Work becomes difficult, especially if your meant to be on your feet all day and not to mention if you are in spasm. House duties really do become chores and will sometimes take three times as long (if your lucky) and simple things like going to the toilet scare you in case you get stuck there (I’m not joking, try taking your bottoms down and pulling them up is hard without losing your dignity!).
So, what do we do? How do we keep this from being something that takes over our life? It is not a simple answer and you could write a whole book on the different approaches you could take to keep things in check. However, what I want to share with you is my experience and my approach to how I keep things at bay.
I can hear some of you murmuring… ‘if you keep it in check, why have you relapsed?’ Well, all I can say is, we are all human, and we all have moments of weakness and not listening to our bodies. This, is where I know I have gone wrong.
So, what is my therapy? I’ve tried physio, chiropractors and herbal methods, all of which released my pain but where no true remedy and long-term solution at fixing my problem. So, what is? … well of course it is Pilates, or I wouldn’t be writing this! Now I don’t mean the type of full on Pilates that you may have seen on my social feeds, I mean the fundamentals of Pilates, the type of Pilates that helps me realign my body, gain control of my core and feed my body the positive movements it needs to be successful in everyday life. Going back to basics, stripping back the movements weekly and boy, does it work!
Spending just two half hour sessions a week doing Pilates fundamentals is the best way to help any back pain I have had. I don’t mean that when you are in pain to go straight to this however by doing this in the long run it will help prevent any pain you may have in the future. You have to be kind to yourself and allow yourself this time to invest in you. How many of us have time to watch a TV programme yet we struggle to invest in our bodies… the most import thing we own! The reason I have had a relapse is due to the neglect I have given myself over the past few weeks, pushing myself in other sports, not always being warm when trying new movements and doing activities that I know aren’t right for me. LISTEN to your body, it knows you BEST, if it doesn’t like something, TRUST it, remember – it knows BEST!
All the classes I teach start with the fundamentals of Pilates. I find it so important in class to start this way as it brings us all to the core (literally) of our movement. Pilates is about the powerhouse (read about this in my other blogs!) and the power we get from this to build up to other movements within the Pilates repertoire. Not only does it allow us to register with the body as it is today but it grounds us ready for the work ahead.
A really important thing to realise is that everyday we all experience something different. One day I can do the splits, the next I can’t but the secret is not to push ourselves. Just like when we have an injury. We all want to get better and be doing what we where before but we have to listen to our bodies. Recovery can sometimes be quick and sometimes it isn’t, rushing however is not the key to success, slow and steady wins the race. Something I have to take heed from, no matter how difficult I find it!
So, if you suffer from back pain and want to do something about it, look at joining a Pilates class near you. Start off at a beginner’s class and build up. There is no rush, we have a lifetime to practice so don’t feel you have to be perfect; no one is and we are all working on something new each week.
Above all things, trust your body, trust the process and invest in your body, you only have one so treat it well, with respect and most importantly, love yourself.
Interested in joining me? I’d love to see you in class and help you on your Pilates journey. I teach beginners to intermediate mat classes in the Truro area. I also teach Pilates apparatus at my studio in Penpol. Fancy learning something new, like Pilates, then give me a call.
I look forward to hearing from you! 😊 Lucy x