This month’s blog is being brought to you regarding non-specific backache.

By that I mean, a backache that’s not been caused by a something like fibromyalgia, a slipped disc, osteoporosis, spondylitis or spondylolysis, or another mechanical issue. It’s the sort of back ache that lots of us struggle with at one time or another or even on an ongoing basis.

Firstly, what causes it?
Things that can put you at increased risk of backache include:

1. Being sedentary or spending a lot of time locked in the same position
2. Not being physically fit – meaning that your muscles are not strong enough to support your back.
3. Chronic levels of stress, poor sleep, depression or anxiety.
4. Being overweight (especially when accompanied by poor fitness levels and a sedentary lifestyle.
5. Jobs that require heavy lifting, shifting or twisting.
6. Age – yay, good news, anyone over the age of 45 is more likely to suffer from back pain
7. A sports injury.

What can you do if you’re suffering from NS Backpain?
It depends. If it’s been going on for several weeks and includes numbness and tingling; or is accompanied by trouble urinating, fever, weakness, pain or numbness in the legs, or weight loss you didn’t intend. please go to your doctor!

Otherwise, there are some exercises and stretches that can help.

Obviously, if your back is in spasm or you’re in a lot of pain, keep moving but don’t do anything that makes it worse.

Strengthen your bottom muscles and make sure that you’re using them.
Great exercises include pelvic curls and shoulder bridges – made more effective if you throw a few clams. Another great exercise to strengthen your bottom is the Donkey Kick and when you’re walking, give your cheeks a little squeeze as you push off your back heel.

Get your hips moving.
You can’t go wrong with some lovely leg circles. One version strengthens your abdominals as well because you’ve got both legs up. Too much? Do one leg at a time and keep the other foot on the floor.

Put your back into extension
Most of us sit with our back in “flexion” which means that we’re bent over with our shoulders rounded forward. The Stranded Penguin exercise is excellent for activating the whole back of your body and working your brain too.

And there’s also floor swimming helps you to work all the way down the back of your body from shoulders to bottom.

Strengthen your abdominals
You’ll notice that at no point have I said “strengthen your core”…because when most people say “core” they mean abs. And when I say “core” I mean everything between your ribs and hips – front and back.

Dead bug is a great abdominal exercise that includes coordination work and there’s The Hundred- an excellent exercise that you can modify to wherever you are today – knees bent, one foot on the floor, both feet on the floor -work at your comfort level.

Is Pilates the only way to solve back pain issues?
Of course not! The thing that will best help your back pain is the thing that you can do consistently. If that’s Pilates – fantastic! If it’s something else? Also fantastic!! Just keep moving.