Let’s get physical
October 1, 2021

Well, the Indian summer did appear and how wonderful it was to enjoy heady temperatures of even 30 degrees in early September! So nice to enjoy great weather.

The body is an incredible machine, with such complex systems blended with conscious thought and an impressive muscular-skeletal structure. The muscles each have a purpose, with opposing muscles, connecting ligaments and tendons, which work together to effect movement. It is easy to take effortless movement for granted though and sometimes illness, injury or repetitive incorrect movements can affect how you move and how it feels to move. 

Using your muscles happens automatically without usually having to specifically think about it but when there is pain from an injury or repetitive strain, the affected muscle or muscles can spasm, tighten and hold tension within the core of the muscle. If tensions are not released, then this is when discomfort and even pain may be felt, thereby restricting movement. Even doing the simplest of things, like climbing the stairs or standing up from being seated can become difficult and if you feel twinges or you move cautiously and consciously, then these are clear signals that there is likely to be an issue with a certain muscle or group of muscles. 

When back pain strikes in particular, it really can be quite frightening and so often caused by over-working in the garden, doing the hoovering or lifting too heavy a weight, whilst your body has been in the ‘wrong’ position. The old advice of ‘bend your knees and keep your back straight’ is not wrong! Back muscles are very strong and love to work but try to avoid bending, twisting and pulling all at the same time! This move often happens when lifting something (not always heavy) and can upset your stabiliser muscles. If you upset these muscles, particularly the Quadratus Lumborum (QL muscle) they often instantly contract and tighten, leaving you with a ‘locked back’ and not being able to walk or move very easily. 

We put our body which is an amazing machine, through huge demands and expectations. We rely on it to get us from A to B, pain-free so why not look after it better and give it some TLC. If you’ve put up with a muscle ache or pain for more than 3 weeks, resting or avoiding doing the sport or activity you love and taking pain killers is not a long term solution. Why should you put up with it or assume that it is down to the fact that you’re not as young as you used to be? 

This is why I know that Physiotherapists are worth their weight in Saffron! As a Level III Pilates Instructor with over 17 years experience in teaching the true and original 34 Mat work Pilates exercises, I’ve taught a few thousand people now and from my love of anatomy and physiology, I can gauge when it’s probably wise to see a Physio and benefit from their expertise. A private Physio can usually see you quite quickly, which is important not to be kept waiting for weeks or months, particularly when you are suffering from discomfort. The body is amazing and other muscles will work to compensate for your issue or injury but left untreated, bad habits form and these muscles continue whilst the ones which should be working, become weaker, often causing other areas of problems. A physio can assess what is exactly the issue, provide effective treatment, reassure and advise you and provide specifically targeted physio exercises to help target and correct. 

We are very fortunate to have lots of excellent Physios snd Sports Therapists on our doorsteps such as Moore Performance in St. Ives, Harding Physiotherapy in Somersham, The Waterside Practice in Warboys and Cambridgeshire Sports & Back Physio in Abbots Ripton. For the cost of far less than a tank of fuel, put yourself first and instead of living with muscle discomfort and restricted moment, be released and restored with the help of a Physio. 

All good Physios will tell you just how important movement is and how good it is for your body. Your muscles are designed for it and need to move! Pilates is hugely complimentary and helps to prevent sore, stiff and tight muscles. Keeping your core muscles strong (namely your stomach, back, thighs and behind) not only allows you the freedom to move but helps to maintain the efficiency of such, keeping you injury and pain-free.