Low Back Pain (LBP) & Chronic Pain
Have you ever suffered from back pain? Well, you’re not alone. An estimated 80% of the adult population will experience back pain at some point in their life. Low back pain refers to a pain or ache somewhere between the bottom of the ribs at the back and the top of the legs. There are many ways an individual experiences lower back pain. Sometimes it begins suddenly, following an obvious strain or injury. Other times it comes on gradually, seemingly out of the blue with no obvious cause. Thankfully, in most cases it is not due to a serious illness or back problem. Back pain will often be categorised as acute or chronic, the two categories will have different treatment plans. This is not a indication of the level of pain, it only refers to length of time you’ve been in pain. Chronic pain refers to pain that has been around for more than 3 months, on and off or just on.
Chronic pain is a hugely complicated area and experts within the field will often disagree. The name in itself can be problematic as it indicates that it will never go away. Even though the experts can’t always agree on the best way to treat patients, it is now widely recognised that chronic pain cannot be treated with physical therapy alone. The mind plays a huge part and it cannot be ignored.
My approach to chronic pain is to treat the person as a whole. First of all it is important that the clients understand how pain is produced and how complex it is. Understanding the role of the brain on pain will be eye opening for many. Secondly, it will involve learning to move and think slightly differently, becoming aware of habits that are not serving you well. Thirdly it involves thinking differently about how you move. Sometimes back pain is caused by a lack of movement. The muscles around the spine have become too tight and can’t let go of tension for fear of creating more pain. However, your body is not broken, it is amazing at responding to your needs. Movement is vital and you need to show your body that it is "safe" to move again. Changing your thoughts and then behaviour is critical to success, you cannot keep doing the same thing and expect a different result. Teaching my clients to take responsibility of their health is my purpose with Core Coaching & Pilates.
Pilates encourages great body awareness as well as strength and flexibility both at work and at play and it’s the little things that often makes the difference. Once you are aware of how you move/hold yourself most of the time, the good habits that you have, and the not so good, your body can move as intended. Mindful movement is at the core of good health. Equally, the way you think about your pain makes a difference. Coaching gives you an insight into your own thoughts, value and beliefs and how they might be affecting your situation. Clinicians can play a really important role in recovery, especially with regards to acute pain. However, your role in the recovery cannot be underestimated and my goal is to make you feel that your health is something that you can influence. You are the key to your recovery!
I will often be working with the client alongside their Physiotherapist, Chiropractor or Osteopath and I will stay in close contact with the relevant clinician to make sure that the treatments compliment each other.