Back Pain & Posture Treatment

Back Pain Causes, Symptoms and How exercise helps

Find out what you can do to help get relief from back pain

As a Personal Trainer in Winchester, I advise and train many clients with Back Pain issues who have either come to me directly for help or are referred by local Winchester physiotherapists. In this article, I’ll go over some of the reasons you may be experiencing problems and let you know what type of exercise could help reduce your Back Pain?

Table of contents

If you’re affected by Back Pain, you’re not alone as over one-third of adults in the UK now say they regularly suffer from it. Back Pain can affect us at any age for a variety of reasons and can be uncomfortable and debilitating. It is a widespread reason for absence from work and for seeking medical treatment.

If your doctor or physio has advised more exercise, or you know poor posture is contributing to your health problems, but you’re unsure where to start, then help is here. If you’d like to book a 1 to 1 session with me at my pilates gym in Winchester, I’ll help identify your specific issues and put together a bespoke step by step training plan to ensure you are you do the best exercises for you in a safe, controlled way without straining yourself and causing further problems. It’s the first positive step to get on the path to a healthier body and a better quality of life.

1. Most common causes of back pain

For most people, Back Pain stems from strain, tension, or injury. Common causes are:
  • strained muscles or ligaments
  • a muscle spasm
  • muscle tension
  • damaged discs
  • injuries, fractures, or falls
  • poor posture including hunched seating position when using computers
  • twisting
  • over-stretching
  • bending awkwardly or for long periods
  • sitting at your desk for long periods without a break
  • text neck from over-use of mobile phone or iPad
  • sleeping on a bed or mattress that doesn't provide adequate support to your spine

2. Lower back pain​

The biggest issue I see with new clients is Lower Back Pain with around half as many also experiencing upper Back Pain and neck pain. As we age the chance of developing lower back (lumbago) pain increases as the intricate structure of your lower back means that even a little damage to any part of the lumbar area may cause considerable pain and discomfort.

3. Reasons you may need to see a doctor about back pain​

In some cases, where there may be severe or persistent (chronic) pain a specific issue may need addressing such as:
  • Disc - either herniation or degenerative disc.
  • Facet joint - usually causes pain on one side of the lower back.
  • Muscular - also typically experienced on one side.
  • Pelvic or sacral dysfunction - leads to pain in the centre or one side of the lower back.
I recommend that you see you consult your GP if you’ve had…
  • A recent fall or accident
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Prolonged use of corticosteroid
  • Leg, foot, groin or rectal area feeling numb
  • Unexplained fever, nausea/vomiting, stomachaches, weakness or sweating
  • Loss of control of urine or stool
  • Redness or swelling on the back or spine
  • Previous history of cancer

4. How to reduce back pain​

The good news for most clients is help is at hand, and there’s a lot you can do to improve your pain so you should be optimistic and recognise that your pain should reduce in time. Follow these steps to reduce your Back Pain:
  • Weight: Maintain a healthy weight as carrying extra weight strains your back muscles
  • Nutrition: Ensure your diet includes adequate vitamin D and calcium
  • Trainers not heels: Flat shoes place less of a strain on the back
  • Check your driving position: It is vital to have proper support for your back. Ensure mirrors are correctly positioned to reduce your body twisting. The pedals should be directly in front of your feet rather than at an angle to avoid your hp twisting as this strains on your lower back.
  • Exercise: Apart from improving your general fitness and strength regular exercise will release your inner endorphins which can help override pain signals to your brain and often be as effective as prescription medication. They are also known to reduce the stress and anxiety associated with Chronic Back Pain.

5. The best exercises you can do to help with back pain

If your hamstrings are too tight, your lower back and sacroiliac joints will be stressed, leading to more pain. Hamstring stretching should be performed carefully, and many gentle stretching exercises should not hurt.
Correcting your posture often feels awkward at first as your body has become accustomed to sitting and standing in a particular way. However, with practice, good posture will become second nature and will ensure you benefit from a long term reduction in Back Pain.
To work the abdominal and back muscles, helping to strengthen muscles that protect the back. The muscles in your abs and back are a vital component in supporting your lower spine. These muscles often don’t have a good workout during the day and need to be specifically targeting through exercise.
Aims at improving core flexibility, including the spine, hips, and upper legs.

6. Sciatic nerve pain​

Another widespread issue is sciatic nerve pain which can be extremely painful. Sciatica is due to the sciatic nerve being pinched in your lower back. The sciatic nerve runs through your piriformis, a muscle located deep in your glutes. If the piriformis gets too tight, it can impinge the sciatic nerve, causing pain, tingling, and numbness in your leg. You feel pain originating in your buttock, radiating down your thigh. Stretching exercises can help reduce sciatic pain. Sometimes, stretching your piriformis may be enough to reduce the pain.

The best exercises for sciatic nerve pain are:

  • Piriformis stretch​
  • Seated hip stretch​
  • Pigeon pose​
  • Trigger point massage using a foam roller or tennis ball​

Workout with Sam Crane in Winchester​

Continued pain-free movement is what you and your back need, so it’s time to set some new goals. Let’s work out a programme to which you can look forward. Train for a charity event, join some new exercise classes, improve your favourite sport, learn a new skill like a handstand, get back to your smallest clothes size, whatever will keep you on track for staying active. Whenever you need my motivation and support, I’m here, whether that’s weekly, monthly or bi-monthly.

7. Steps to relieve back pain​

If you are looking for help with exercises to reduce or prevent Back Pain, then please book your bespoke 1 to 1 session here. Through my science led research-based personal training you’ll receive the support and guidance you need to obtain the best results for YOUR body without worsening of any pre-existing issues. Everyone is different, and some clients will need to focus more on posture and core strength, some on mobility, some on imbalances. 

Here are some guidelines for what to expect when working with me in Winchester:

Stage 1 Why is there pain?

(usually 1-6 sessions)

Finding pain triggers – benchmark pain scores out of 50, establishing good posture (shoulders, breath, glutes), addressing the imbalance, self-care techniques – such as spine specialist Dr Stuart MGill’s big three and pilates exercises to begin building strength and stability to stay pain-free.

Stage 2 Building capability

(usually 6-10 sessions)

Developing power, control, better movement patterns, such as safe lifting, and faster movements.

Stage 3 Individual joints

(usually 3-6 sessions)

Ensuring proper motion and stability in all major joints and fine-tuning movement patterns.

Stage 4 FREEDOM!
Enjoy sustainable regular exercise combining balance, strength, power and endurance. Learn to respond to pre-pain cues.

What my clients say about me

If you are a client and would like to leave a Google review please click on the write a review link below. I love getting positive feedback from my clients!
Sam is not just an amazing personal trainer : she is a real life changer!She is extremely knowledgeable and carefully plans each session according to my specific needs. She pushes me beyond my limits while keeping me fully engaged and smiling! As a result, I have never been so stronger and fitter - both physically and mentally - Can’t really recommend her highly enough!
Marie Christine
Marie C.
Sam is the perfect gravity coach for my style.Very acurate very clear and a good sence of humor. Paul
Live Strategy
Live S.
Sam is amazing. Having developed a well rounded body after years of eating and drinking, Sam was recommended to me.The difference she’s mad is unreal. Each session is different so I never get board, despite the diet being the same, I’ve lost two stone and ran the London marathon in just over four hours.
Andy C
Andy C
Sam is a fantastic personal trainer! I highly recommend her for anyone looking for a PT in Winchester or even further afield.
Ben Sisson
Ben S.
Having never used a gravity trainer before I was very pleased to receive very clear and concise instructions as Samantha took me through an exercise routine. She gauged my level of fitness (or lack of it) perfectly and the hour sped by. She gave very good advice on my posture and how to improve it with a simple exercise.
Ann Crane
Ann C.
Sam does a great job of coaching technique whilst pushing you sufficiently so you feel like you’ve had a good work out, very friendly and good with people.
Richard Lane
Richard L.
Sam is a great motivator both through words of encouragement and explanation as well as physically making sure we use the equipment in the right way and are positioning our bodies in the right way. She is always cheerful and always gives a varied routine each week
John Kimmance
John K.
Sam was a great pt, was incredible at helping me with my hip problems. Would really recommend her to anybody, so sad I’m to far away to see her at the moment.
Charlotte Robins
Charlotte R.
Sam is very friendly and knowledgeable and a great PT. Can't recommend highly enough!!
Andrew Malem
Andrew M.
Jacqueline Dramby
Jacqueline D.
Sam is a fantastic trainer - really knows her stuff, happy to explain everything, and has taken the time to really understand my needs. Most importantly, I am seeing the results I had hoped for. If you need a trainer, go for Sam!
James Harrap
James H.
Samantha Crane Personal Training is rated 5 out of 5. Based on 11 reviews.