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Fixing My Bad Back

I have always suffered with a bad lower back but in the last 3 years since snapping one of my Achilles it has honestly been a turbulent ride. I love exercising and being healthy and can get quite obsessive about it which can be my downfall in the story of fixing my bad back.

After years of going to the gym intensely for 2 months then hurting my back so much that I can’t walk and can only lie on the floor and can’t do anything apart from physio I needed to sort it out, as cooking for hours on end made it worse. It got to the point where I was having to lie flat on the floor to ease it up through out the day which is less than ideal in a sweaty smelly kitchen!

Four months ago I decided to invest in fixing it once and for all as if I didn’t I could end up having an operation. So I quit all the things that were causing it to react. Cross training was the last thing that made it go. I joined a local cross fit gym and their ethos was ‘girls lift weights too’ and I loved the adrenalin rush of the classes but after 2 weeks my hips were so tight that it was too painful to sleep on my side in bed. I was having deep tissue sports massages each week to try and release but it was getting worse and worse. After a month I was doing a simple stretch releasing my quads and I suddenly felt my back go again.

I found an amazing local traditional pilates teacher and just went to see her twice a week for about 3-4 weeks, I felt 100 years old, waddling around with a bad back it was ridiculous.

After that time I decided to invest in a personal trainer to work with my pilates teacher to strengthen my back and core. I shared the personal trainer with a friend which ended up being £30 each a session which seemed doable if I went out for dinner less during the week and cut back on a few things I normally spend money on. It was a sacrifice I had to make whether I liked it or not.

The pilates I was doing was not the type you get in the classes like bootcamp – it is traditional Joseph Pilates on a reformer, so very like rehab, which I did with my amazing teacher Melissa Cosbey, Kinesis Studios in Nottinghill.

We were doing lots of rolling on foam rollers, sitting on lacrosse balls to release my sciatica and small movements to help release my back but putting no strain on it at all. One of the main things I found out was my hip flexes were the things causing me most of my problems. Because we sit down all day they get tighter and tighter, then lots of loaded squats cause it to pull on your lower back. So I know now that if I have tightness in my back I need to stretch my hip flexes, sit on a lacrosse ball and roll on a foam roller and it should start to release!

It has now been 4.5 months, which is the longest I have been without a back episode in 3 years. I started training hard again with my PT and at HIITGYMS.COM after 6 weeks. I now see Melissa once a week for pilates to put me back together, I share my PT twice a week and then I do HIIT 1-2 times a week. I can’t believe how much better it is, I know I have a long way to go and I should be doing much more pilates however my body feels like a spring lamb after I have been to my class and the strength training I do with Tom Cheesman my personal trainer. He is fantastic at knowing how hard to push me. I am now on my wedding count down so I am so grateful I have fixed my back so I can train hard to get in amazing shape for my wedding without causing myself an injury! Thanks #teamtash!

If, at the age of 30, you are stiff and out of shape, you are old. If, at 60, you are supple and strong, then you are young. - Joseph Pilates


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