Back Pain and Sciatica:


So WHY would you throw away the ‘bracing’, the ‘form’, the postures that have kept you in a safe place all this time with your back, and start moving like when you were young? That would be crazy right? Well maybe not. The old way of thinking was to watch your posture, brace your core, be careful with bending and lifting.  But the research is clear. This approach is not working and that more people than ever have back pain and sciatica.  It is currently the No.1 cause of disability in the world!  So we clearly need a different approach.  That’s where we come in.  As back pain specialists with years of experience in chronic back pain, we move with the evidence and the new way of thinking.

Worryingly, most people see the back as being vulnerable once it’s been sore.  Though the back can get really painful (highly sensitised), it is a strong, robust structure!  But the back can feel really sore and sensitised.  And we know that the natural reaction is to start being careful and avoid things that hurt.  This might be useful for a day or so but this can lead to overprotection if it continues.  That can feel like an ache or pressure in the spine.  You can’t freely bend, lift and twist.  All these movements are vital for a healthy back.  Imagine you prevented your elbow from bending after an injury, or stopped lifting? It would get stiff and sore! Same goes for backs. 

A New Approach

The NEW way of thinking is that to recover we must start to expose our backs to all movements, and not continue to avoid, clench or protect.  Get back to moving more like a child!  This can be really hard and this is where our back specialists can help.  Here are our top tips.

  • Relaxed sitting is how our back decompresses and the muscles stretch. So if you have started sitting up straight all the time to protect it, start to experiment with softer sitting.  The best posture is varied – not military!
  • If back movements are painful, is it the way you are moving?  Are you tense? Holding your breath?  Experiment with different ways of moving.
  • Evidence suggests lifting with a rounded back is safer than we thought (a round back is actually more efficient!) as long as you start doing it with a manageable weight and build gradually.  Vary your spinal lifting position to make it bulletproof in all ranges!
  • Are you walking about with your core clenched? Working out your trunk muscles is a great idea with exercise, but tensing a muscle doesn’t protect your back, it just adds pressure.  

If you think we could help, we want to hear your story.
Call 0141 370 1256, or email:

manage pain west end physio

West End Physio
510 Crow Road
G13 1 NU

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