Myths we need to stop believing about back pain

“I’m terribly sorry Liron, my back hurts so I’m in bed,
I can’t train, I am afraid to hurt myself”
My client couldn’t hide her frightened voice.

I know that avoiding Pilates is the last thing
that would help her recovery.

So I have decided to be honest and truthful
even if it might sound harsh at first.

“ …slowly get out of bed…. do the gentle back stretches
we learnt and try your best to continue your day as normal”
I saw this so many times before,
the automatic reaction to stay in bed
is understandable perhaps, however,
it’s often the last thing we should do.

Don’t get me wrong,
in some cases we should see a doctor
and eliminate serious issues but these are very rare.

I’ve helped dozens of people to get rid of back pain,
and latest research shows that wrong beliefs about back pain,
can trigger pain and exacerbate the problem.

The one thing I want you to remember is this:

Movement heals.
Our body behaves similarly to a river –
When it is stagnant – it is cloudy, and infection thrives in it
When it flows – it is clear, safe and life thrives in it.

Movement heals

  • We should learn how to manage our pain independently through moderate, gentle stretches and gradual strength work
  • Pain does not mean damage. If we had experienced back pain for a while, our muscles would be sensitive to movement, which is safe and completely normal and will stop as we get stronger through Pilates
  • Back pain is NOT related to getting older (although it is a very common belief). Exercise can help us at any age!!

Weak core muscles are NOT the reason for back pain

  •  Weak core muscles are not the reason for back pain. We should not only learn how to strengthen our core muscles, but also learn how to relax them.  People with back pain tend to develop too much tension in their core muscles as a measure of trauma protection
  • Flares up are NOT related to tissue damage. It can be related also to poor sleep, stress and mainly inactivity

It’s OK to relax when we sit with our back rounded forward

  • Scans’ findings (such as MRI) don’t predict any future limitation or intensity of pain.  Results might scare us, but we need to remember that there are people that suffer from back pain that don’t show any findings in their scans and people with findings that don’t suffer from back pain at all.
  • Bending forward is not the reason for back pain. It’s ok to relax forward over our table with our back rounded forward or to pick up from the floor BUT we shouldn’t hold the same position such as sitting for a very long time and should take frequent breaks

So, when our back hurts, keep calm, ease off but do not stop moving!
Persistence is the key to reduce
the intensity and the frequency of our back-pain episodes.
Let’s practice gradually with awareness and persistence
and we will soon say goodbye
to our back pain.

So in between running my family craziness, making changes in my studio and my plans for next year, I stopped to write these words.

I wish all of us that we live a pain free life,

Keep training intelligently,
Liron Kass

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