Back trouble can strike at any age, but it becomes more common as we reach our late forties, largely because we cut down on exercise and our muscles are less able to support our skeletons.
Clearly, the message is to use it or lose it. If you’re suffering from the odd twinge now, see a specialist to find out how to address the cause. And, importantly, incorporate core-strengthening exercise into your routine. These five websites should set you straight.
Osteopaths use a wide range of gentle manipulation to release tension, stretch muscles, help relieve pain and mobilise joints. They may also prescribe exercises for a healthy spine to augment their treatment. (Watch these excellent osteopathy videos.) It’s an offence for anyone to call themselves an osteopath if they are not registered with the General Osteopathic Council, which is why this site is the place to come if you’re searching for a genuine practitioner. Visit The British Osteopathic Association.
Chiropractors specialise in problems with joints, ligaments, tendons and nerves, especially related to the spine. Through gentle spinal manipulation, joints in the spine and other areas of the body can be freed to move properly. This site provides general advice, a search facility to locate practitioners, and a database of articles to help improve your posture in everyday life. Visit British Chiropractic Association.
The Alexander Technique helps you identify and prevent harmful postural habits that aggravate or may be the cause of pain and stiffness. It works by re-establishing the natural relationship between the head, neck and back; the core of the body that supports the strength of the limbs. This website is a mine of information, with articles explaining how the Alexander Technique can help with your posture, breathing and pain management. The search facility locates teachers and courses. Visit The Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique.
Pilates is an exercise designed to elongate, strengthen and restore the body to balance, based on its muscular and skeletal system. Osteopaths and physiotherapists often recommend it as one of the safest forms of exercise, as it is suitable for all ages and fitness levels. This site gives a thorough introduction to Pilates, advice on which of the two types (mat-work or studio class) might suit you, and helps you locate classes. Visit Pilates Foundation.
Yoga is amazingly effective at promoting strength and suppleness, through a range of gentle exercises, as well as enhancing your mental wellbeing. There are thousands of qualified yoga teachers registered with these two organisations.Find out more about the different types of yoga, find a teacher in your area, read yoga news and browse their online shops for clothes, mats, books and accessories. Visit The British Wheel of Yoga or Yoga Alliance UK.