One of the most welcome things about beating back pain is getting back to the pleasure of gardening and growing your own fruit and veg.
As a postural health teacher I meet many students who are anxious about undertaking any of the bending and pulling, lifting and carrying that goes with working a garden or allotment in case they trigger a latent back problem. I remember such fears myself, feeling reluctant to risk a back episode which would take visits to the osteopath and probably weeks to recover from.
The extra demands put on the body when gardening – prolonged bending, for example – can be a challenge, but generally only result in an injury if there is an underlying weakness. Often this weakness has resulted from years of poor postural alignment.
The good news is that many long-term back pain sufferers get tremendous improvement when they re-learn to position their feet, hips, pelvis, spine and head in a more harmonious relationship. This in turn helps in reactivating the deeper muscles which are actually designed to stabilise and protect the spine.
When our daily posture is poor our deep muscular network will get sidelined in favour of other, usually more superficial muscles, which become increasingly tense doing a job they were never meant to do. Tight back or leg muscles, anyone?
Simple steps to regain your postural health are brilliantly set out in Esther Gokhale’s self-help book, ‘8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back’.
Based on traditional posture and ways of moving that continue to serve humanity well throughout the non-industrialised world, this approach is also taught on the Gokhale Method Foundation Course here in Bristol.
Find out more at a Free Workshop:
Tuesday 26th July
Halo, Gloucester Rd, 7pm