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Back Pain: What Can We Do About It?

How Mobility Therapies & AquaStretch ®can help treat your back pain

man in grey hoodie holding painful back back pain assisted stretching

Back pain. We’ve all been there, taken the anti-inflammatories, and reached for the heat pack. It seems that everyone will suffer from back pain at some point in their life, ranging from mild discomfort in the lower back to chronic and debilitating back spasms that can incapacitate even the most resilient among us.  

Why is it that back pain is so prevalent among people over a certain age? Some scientists point to the fact that humans are unique among the animal kingdom in that we walk around on two legs. Most other animals have the weight of their bodies relatively evenly distributed across four points and if they do get vertical it’s only for short periods.

Back pain originates from evolution (or the lack thereof)

Our mammal ancestors ran around on four legs for tens of millions, or even hundreds of millions of years and we’ve only been upright for a comparatively short period of time. The trouble is that evolution hasn’t caught up with this fact. The mammalian spine spent millions of years adapting to horizontal weight support, but only about five million being vertical. We put all the weight of supporting our upper half on a lumbar region that hasn’t been designed to cope. So even with the fittest individual and the most ideal conditions, problems with back pain and other musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions are bound to happen.

attendees at an exhibition walking and standing one evolutionary cause of back pain

Add to this the fact that we haven’t really evolved to support our current sedentary lifestyles either, which can last for 80+ years. There have been plenty of global studies confirming the connection between modern lifestyle habits and lower back pain.  In the UK it has been estimated that back pain costs the NHS £5 billion per year in treatments and rehabilitation therapies, not to mention the wider socio-economic impacts through lost working days and reduced productivity.

Common causes of back pain

I see many clients who suffer from back pain and the most common causes are:

  • Muscle or ligament strain: Heavy lifting or a sudden awkward movement can strain back muscles and spinal ligaments. If you're in poor physical condition, constant strain on your back can cause painful muscle spasms.

  • Herniated or bulging discs: Discs act as cushions between the bones (vertebrae) in your spine. The soft material inside a disc can bulge or rupture and press on a nerve.

  • Arthritis: Osteoarthritis can affect the lower back. In some cases, arthritis in the spine can lead to a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord, a condition called spinal stenosis.

  • Poor posture: Poor posture or prolonged sitting or standing in an incorrect position can cause back pain. This is increasingly common with sedentary lifestyles and improper ergonomics.

  • Injuries and accidents: Traumatic events like falls, car accidents, or sports injuries can lead to acute or chronic back pain.

  • Medical conditions: Certain diseases like kidney stones, infections, or tumours can cause referred pain in the back.

  • Lifestyle factors: Lack of exercise leading to weak muscles, being overweight, and smoking can all contribute to back pain.

man sitting at desk with back pain in need of assisted stretching

Soothe back pain with assisted stretching and AquaStretch

While there are many treatment options available, one increasingly popular method for alleviating back pain is assisted stretching in water with AquaStretch. This approach involves guided stretching sessions with a trained professional - like me - who helps you stretch muscles and joints beyond the range you can achieve on your own, or even with mainstream physiotherapy.

I’ve treated lots of people who had resigned themselves to back pain, believing that there’s not much they can do about it. Far from it! For example, I met a lady who had had major back surgery on her spine, leaving her with a walking stick and very strong pain medication. After her first AquaStretch session she no longer needed her walking stick and within a month she was off all pain medication. Also, I treated a very pregnant lady had been involved in a car accident some years previously but could not get out of the pain she was in. She had spent thousands of pounds on other therapies over the years. But after one AquaStretch session she was pain-free for the first time in 10 years.  She was so happy she then continued with me in my aqua fitness classes to build up strength in her back and core.

How does AquaStretch help with back pain?

AquaStretch sessions with me are tailored to your individual needs. After our initial consultation, which is when we identify the source of your pain and the events leading up to it, we both enter the water and run through a combination of passive stretching (when I move your body into a stretch while you remain relaxed) and dynamic stretching, which involves us working together to move parts of your body through a full range of motion. We follow the natural, intuitive movements of your body, and many of my clients discover joint and muscle flexibilities they didn’t know they had!

Karen Charles in the pool treating a mature lady with assisted stretching to help her back pain

When it comes to specific exercises to relieve back pain, assisted stretching with AquaStretch helps to lengthen tight muscles, strengthen weak ones, alleviate tension, and increase the range of motion in your back and hips. The resulting improved flexibility can also prevent future injuries by allowing your body to move more freely and efficiently.

Over time, this can lead to better alignment of the spine and a reduction in back pain. The process of being guided through stretches can help calm the nervous system, reduce anxiety, and promote a sense of well-being. This relaxation effect can further help in managing pain and improving your overall quality of life.

My AquaStretch treatment options range from a short 15-minute taster session to target your pain directly, to 60-minute head-to-toe sessions for overall flexibility. I also offer 30-minute and 45-minute sessions, depending on the outcomes you’re looking for.

Assisted stretching with AquaStretch can be a highly effective method for treating back pain. By increasing flexibility, improving posture, enhancing circulation, reducing muscle tension, and promoting relaxation, it addresses many of the underlying causes of back discomfort. If you’re struggling with back pain, consider giving AquaStretch a try. With my professional help and regular sessions, you can find relief from back and other niggling aches and pains, putting the spring back in your step!

Always consult your GP or other healthcare provider before starting any new treatment to ensure it’s appropriate for your specific condition.

For more information about how AquaStretch with Mobility Therapies can provide lasting relief from persistent back pain, please give me a call on 07702 833033, or send me a message via my Contact form.

Live the life you want, not a life in pain.

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