As a physiotherapist people never expect us to get injured, but considering the type of manual job we have it is a common problem.
On the lead up to Christmas 2013, I was probably the fittest I had ever been. Running up to 36 miles a week, I felt strong, although had a few aches and pains as you would expect. Around that time the clinic was very busy, and the load on my back increased. All the twisting and manipulating of peoples bodies took its toll.
After one run at Christmas time I developed central low back pain, which was very unusual for me. I thought nothing of it, and continued to run the following day - despite telling most of my clients to do the exact opposite. The pain that I took as a niggly nuisance soon changed into severe pain that began to track into my left buttock, and down into my leg, making walking very difficult. Sitting and bending over was particularly sore...as was working!
Thankfully I have great colleagues who treated my back every day, and slowly over time the pain subsided. I got back into the gym and used the xtrainer to keep myself moving. But when I tried to increase my activity back to running, the impact would cause my back to relapse.
I was very aware that Pilates had huge benefits for the relief of low back pain, and I even recommended it to my patients! But it wasn’t until I experienced its benefits for myself that I became a true convert.
Within 6 weeks my back pain had reduced massively when I was at work, and not long after that I got back into running. I followed an interval training program to increase my endurance, and have been running happily ever since.
Having physiotherapy treatment along with Pilates transformed my back from having daily pain to no pain. I am now back doing all my activities, and able to pound the Edinburgh streets once more! I will of course continue with my Pilates to keep my back up to scratch, but feel confident that my back problems are behind me.