Back Pain Myth Busters

In a feature on their website, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy has dispelled some common myths about back pain, providing details of what the latest evidence says is best for your back.  Below are the main points from the feature.  To read it in full, including references to the research studies which back up the claims, click this link.

Myth One – Moving will make my back pain worse

Although it’s true that some movements can be uncomfortable when you have back pain, it is well-established that returning to movement and work as soon as you are able, is better than bed rest for aiding recovery and preventing recurrence.

This is not a new concept by any means, but the unfortunate misconception that rest is better than movement continues to endure, due in part to the complex nature of pain.

Myth Two – I should avoid exercise, especially weight training

Exercise is generally accepted amongst all respected authorities to be the best way of treating low back pain in both the acute and chronic phases.

Studies have shown great benefits of various types of exercise, including high load resistance training.

Interestingly, no one type of exercise proves to be better or worse, so simply do what you enjoy and can tolerate. Gradually build up as your confidence and ability improves.

Myth Three – A scan will tell me exactly what’s wrong

There is a large and growing body of research that shows that not only do results of scans correlate poorly with symptoms in people with Low Back Pain, but also that most people without Low Back Pain have changes on scans and x-rays that do not cause any symptoms at all.

For these reasons and more, imaging alone isn’t capable of telling us exactly why someone is experiencing pain.

Of course this does not mean that all MRI scans are irrelevant in all cases, but it does mean that they are not always necessary or helpful. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that in some cases, having a scan can make situations worse.

Myth Four – Pain equals damage

The level of pain experienced is very rarely proportional to the amount of injury sustained to the back. Pain is far more complex than this as pain levels are a reflection of how threatened a person perceives themselves to be. For example, past experience, general health factors, beliefs, sleep and exercise levels as well as psychological wellbeing, all play an important role in how much pain each individual might feel.

The above myth busters were developed by a working group of Chartered Society of Physiotherapy members comprising representatives of the Musculoskeletal Association of Chartered Physiotherapists, the Physiotherapy Pain Association, the consultants’ group and physios working in the NHS and the private sector.

To close, here’s Nils Frahm playing the piano with toilet brushes…no, really!  If you get the chance to see him live, grab it with both hands…

 

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Physics Meets Core Strength

Katya Jones and Joe McFadden performed an Argentine Tango on Strictly Come Dancing last night, which closed with an amazing dance move – Katya (wearing heels!) sank slowly backwards to the floor, supporting Joe’s entire body weight mid-way, before levering him to his feet.  Impressive core strength.  I’m not sure if either of them does Pilates, but as a professional dancer it wouldn’t surprise me if Katya Jones does.  Her colleague and fellow professional dancer on Strictly, Karen Clifton definitely does Pilates.

Here’s the whole dance, or just skip to 01:30 when the show-stopping dance move starts…

 

Christmas 2017 Class Timetable Changes

Oh to be free to dance in the snow in your pants!

So, yes, Christmas is coming and the nut roast is getting fat. Embody Pilates will be taking a break over the holiday season from Friday 22nd December to Tuesday 2nd January inclusive. This means the last class before I break up (not literally) is the 1900 session on Thursday 21st December and the first class back is the 1015 session on Wednesday 3rd January.

For those most affected by the changes to the timetable, you’re welcome to book into one of the other classes taking place in the week running up to Christmas and in the week after New Year.

To close, a track from one of my albums of the year, St Vincent’s Masseduction.  Ooh those boots!  I’ll pass on the rest of the outfit, mind…

Tips To Avoid A Cold This Winter

The clocks have gone back and I’ve just bought a pair of woolly bed socks, which means we’re either knocking on the door of winter, or I’ve turned into my nan.

Here are a few tips that have helped me keep the coughs and sneezes away over the last few winters:

  • I drink lots of water, on average around four pints a day.
  • Between October and March, I have 15 drops a day of Echinacea tincture, which I dissolve in one of the pints of water I drink.
  • I increase my usual daily intake of vitamin C by including satsumas or clementines and grapefruit into my meals, and have a squeeze of lime in each of the pints of water I drink.
  • At the first sign of a cold, e.g. sores in or around the mouth, dry or painful throat, I apply Propolis to the affected area with a ear bud until I feel I’ve recovered.
  • I try to get as much sleep as my body needs.  In my case, at least eight hours.  Trouble sleeping?  This might help you.
  • I get out in the fresh air as much as I can, either walking or cycling.
  • I wear more layers than I need.  Better to be too warm than too cold, is my philosophy.
  • If I feel like my core body temperature has dropped for any length of time, I try to have a hot bath as soon as possible.

To close, here’s a favourite “cold” track…

Class Timetable Changes – November

I’m going overseas on holiday in November – yippee! – which means some changes to the Pilates class timetable at The Wellbeing Studio – boo!  The classes on the following dates will therefore NOT take place:

  • Friday 3rd November
  • Saturday 4th November
  • Monday 6th November
  • Tuesday 7th November
  • Wednesday 8th November
  • Thursday 9th November

I won’t be running the Pilates and Piloga classes at Strode Leisure Centre, Clevedon on Saturday 4th November, Wednesday 8th November and Thursday 9th November either of course.

The usual classes resume on Friday 10th November with the two morning sessions.

Apologies for any inconvenience.

To close, a dash of happy, Lisbon-style…

Multivitamin Gum

Okay, call off the dogs, the hunt is over.  Yesterday I discovered a chewing gum fortified with vitamins.  Each piece of Get More Multivitamin Gum contains 25% of an adult human’s daily dose of 10 key vitamins – B2, B3, B6, B7, B9, B12, C, D, E, K.  It’s also suitable for vegetarians.  Is it suitable for vegans?  Not sure.  I’ve contacted Get More to find out and will report back if I hear from them.  It seems okay going by the ingredients listed on the packet.

Update: Get More Multivitamin gum is not vegan apparently.  The Vitamin D is sourced from lanolin, i.e. sheep’s wool.

To play us out, who else but The Ramones…