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  • Claire Harrison

Chronic lower back pain? Gyrotonic has been proven to make a difference.


More than 20 million people in the UK (around a third of the population) live with musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions such as arthritis and low back pain.


Pain is one of the leading symptoms of MSK conditions, however, people living with conditions like arthritis also commonly experience high levels of fatigue, stiffness, and loss of mobility and dexterity. Together these symptoms can affect how you move, think and sleep.


Musculoskeletal conditions are more likely to affect women and become more common with increasing age. Physical activity seems to be a factor - the more inactive you are, the more likely you are to develop a painful MSK condition. Of course, it's a vicious circle. Being in pain often prevents you from wanting to exercise, but regular physical activity reduces your risk of developing hip and knee osteoarthritis pain, joint and back pain, depression, hip fractures, and falls. It also helps improve mobility and dexterity.


Diagram courtesy of Versus Arthritis

Often back pain doesn’t have one simple cause but may be due to one or more of the following:

  • poor posture

  • lack of exercise resulting in stiffening of the spine and weak muscle

  • muscle strains or sprains

There are also specific conditions linked with pain felt in the back. It’s important to remember that severe pain doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a serious problem but some common conditions are listed below.


Spondylosis


As we grow older, the bones, discs and ligaments in the spine can naturally weaken as they age. This happens to all of us to some degree as part of the ageing process, but it doesn’t have to be a problem and not everyone will have pain from this.


As we grow older the discs in the spine become thinner and the spaces between the vertebrae become narrower. Little pieces of bone, known as osteophytes, may form at the edges of the vertebrae and facet joints.


Sciatica


Back pain is sometimes linked with pain in the legs, and there may be numbness or a tingling feeling, called sciatica.


This is due to a nerve in the spine being pressed on or squeezed. For most people with sciatica, the leg pain can be the worst part. Occasionally they may have little or no back pain at all.


In most cases, sciatica is caused by a bulging disc pressing on the nerve. Discs are designed to bulge so we can move our spines about easily, but sometimes a bulge can ‘catch’ a nerve root and cause pain that travels all the way down the leg and foot.


Spinal stenosis


Sometimes back pain is linked with pain in the legs which starts after you start walking for a few minutes, and then tends to get better very quickly when you sit down. This is known as spinal stenosis. Problems are caused when something presses on the small space in the middle of the spine, where the nerves are. This space, which is called the spinal canal or nerve root canal, can be squeezed by bone or ligament.


Symptoms often affect both legs, but one may be worse than the other. The pain usually gets better when you sit down and rest.


Gyrotonic proven to help lower back pain


The Gyrotonic expansion system comprises three-dimensional spinal motion that not only improves functional spinal motion but also increases muscular strength and flexibility around the spine. A study aimed to demonstrate the clinical effect of Gyrotonic exercise on 26 patients with chronic low back pain. The group performed their exercises 3 times a week for 4 weeks. All subjects were measured before and after the exercise for muscles activity of the erector spinae (ES), rectus abdominis (RA), external oblique (EO), and internal oblique (IO) using surface electromyography.


ES and EO muscle activity significantly increased and the group showed significant improvements in lumbar stability and functional disability.


The research suggested Gyrotonic exercise is one of the effective exercise for mitigating chronic low back pain caused by spinal instability.


If you're suffering from back pain why not get in touch and we can talk through a tailored exercise programme.


Sources; www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6416514/

www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/conditions/back-pain/


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