Understanding lower back pain and what to do about it

I am one of those lucky people who have never had lower back pain through my life, and I am nearing 50. The other day I was in the garden doing hours of digging and I strained my lower back whilst being lassoed by a 5 year old (yes, really). I think that’s when it happened.

Having lower back pain is agony, every time I bent over I felt the strain and it was as if my abdominals had gone to sleep, I felt no support. That was 2 days ago and after my regular Pilates practice and teaching I am feeling much better. I am now beginning to focus exactly on the muscles on the left side of my lumber spine that need more strengthening.

The level of pain shocked me and I have renewed empathy and respect for anyone who lives with that pain, and I have renewed energy to share the solutions I have learnt to help you fix it. I don’t have a magic bullet, only a practice that if you do regularly like 3 or 4 times per week will reduce most back pain.

Back pain can be a mythical beast, Australian’s have a very high rate of spinal imaging for the world and yet often people with severe pain show nothing significant on their MRI’s or X-rays. Although often imaging can give some clear diagnosis to assist with treatment and exercise considerations.

There are some common pathologies that cause lower back pain:

Stenosis: Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spaces within your spine, which can put pressure on the nerves that travel through the spine. Spinal stenosis occurs most often in the lower back and the neck.

Protruding or bulged discs:bulging disc injury is a common spine injury sustained to your spine’s intervertebral disc. It can occur in your lumbar spine (lower back), thoracic spine (upper and mid-back) or your cervical spine (neck). A disc bulge (commonly referred to as slipped disc, can potentially press against or irritate the nerve where it exits from the spine. This nerve pinch can cause back pain, spasms, cramping, numbness, pins and needles, or pain in your legs.

Lumbar strain: A stretching injury to the ligaments, tendons, and/or muscles of the low back. The stretching incident results in microscopic tears of varying degrees in these tissues. Lumbar strain is one of the most common causes of lower back pain.

Sciatica: Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg. Typically, sciatica affects only one side of your body. Sciatica most commonly occurs when a herniated disk, bone spur on the spine or narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis) compresses part of the nerve. This causes inflammation, pain and often some numbness in the affected leg.

There are of course many more but for the purposes of this blog I will group these into two broad groups and then go into helpful movement considerations for these conditions:

  1. Conditions that cause nerve pain: Movement considerations:
    • Understand where the pressure on nerves is occurring
    • Minimise bending and stretching that increases pressure on nerves
    • Continue to develop spinal mobility without aggravating nerves
    • Develop movement patterns such as neutral spine and deep abdominal engagement to reduce impingement on nerves
  2. Conditions that lead to muscular pain
    • Encourage spinal mobility from the head to the tail
    • Release tight muscles in hips, gluteals and legs
    • Work to engage deep abdominals and deep back stabilisers

For more guidance on this seek out a qualified manual therapist or Pilates and movement therapy teacher.

Brigid Pearse is a Pilates and Movement teacher based in Lennox Head offering virtual classes during the lockdown. These are real time classes where Brigid leads clients through an all levels Pilates mat work and movement therapy via the internet. Check out the home page for more details.

Find calm and release pain -everyday

So, the world just got turned upside down by a tiny virus. The rate and extent of change to our lives is beyond anything we have seen in our lifetime. During times of turmoil and change it is routine and regular practices that can bring us a sense of calm and control. If you are seeking ways to look after your health over the next few months starting a movement practice is a great idea!

When things hit the fan it is always good to have a regular practice. This creates predictability for the brain and can calm the nervous system. I always found the practice of sitting meditation stifling, I enjoy the focus on my breath but I become much more settled if I can move. For me Pilates is a wonderful combination of breath focus and movement to bring me into the present moment.

A movement practice is a commitment. You decide how often you will do it, and stick to it. Every day, twice a day, every second day, once or twice a week. It doesn’t matter although you will get more benefits the more frequently you do it. What matters is that you SHOW UP on your mat to move. You can do this in a class with a teacher or with exercises you have learned and take home. You can do it for an hour or a couple of minutes.

There is at least one essential ingredient for a movement practice. A focus on and control of your breath. Controlling our breath or breathing with conscious and curious attention brings us present with our bodies and into the present moment. This aspect of a movement practice is essential.

To begin a movement practice you will need:

  • A space to move where you can swing your arms and legs;
  • A mat to be comfortable on the floor
  • A series of movements to repeat.

It doesn’t really matter what movements you repeat. You can do yoga poses, Pilates routines, stretching from the gym or a combination of moves you remember from all over the place. There are only three things that really count when developing a movement practice:

  • A focus on the breath
  • A willingness to listen to what feels good in your body and what doesn’t
  • And showing up regularly.

My movement practice started when I was about 7 years old, I started ballet at the local church hall and I haven’t stopped moving since. Regular movement has helped me weather many storms in my life. I hope the idea of a movement practice is useful to you during this crazy time. Try it and let me know how you go.

X Brigid

Mental health: 3 tips for lock down

These are unprecedented times. COVID 19 has us all changing our way of life and moving in to lock down, and rightly so given the rate of spread and risk to lives. For many of us the loss of our usual routine, the lack of our usual supports such as schools to look after our children or even a coffee with friends, life can feel out of control. This has us all off-balance right now, so how can we look after our metal health during lock down?

Tip #1 Understand what you can control. This situation reveals to me the very uncomfortable truth that we are not in control of much. If this is also hitting you in the face at the moment lets look at things a bit more closely.

I love the image above as a way we can map our circle of influence over things that we are concerned about. There are things we have influence over (the good news!) and they go in the centre of the circle. These are the things we can do for ourselves. The things that really have no influence over go outside the circle and these are the things we need to let go of, as worrying about them will not change them.

Tip #2 Create a routine. Have a rough plan for each day that balances tasks that need to be done and time for self care. Things like walking in nature (if you are able to leave the house) exercise (more on this in the next tip), taking a bath, watching a favourite movie or cooking a favourite meal are all ways to give yourself care.

Tip #3 Move to Nurture yourself. Exercise is absolutely essential for mental health. As a Pilates teacher I recommend Pilates as an amazing practice to maintain wellness. Did you know Joseph Pilates was a POW in WW1 and while he was incarcerated he developed the traditional mat series that is now practiced around the world? These exercises were developed for people in very cramped conditions that were not getting other normal exercise. The health of prisoners that were doing these exercises was noted by the British Army at the time. Whatever you can do to move your energy right now is fine, dancing around the lounge room, stretching on the floor or doing an online class. Move and breath.

Here are some ideas to be mindful about our mental health as we move into lock down. With a few tips to keep us on track we can do this. If you are seeking further resources please check out https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/looking-after-your-mental-health-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak

Take care and move to nurture yourself,

Brigid

Brigid Pearse is a Pilates and Movement teacher based in Lennox Head offering virtual classes during the lockdown. These are real time classes where Brigid leads clients through an all levels Pilates mat work out via the internet. Check out the home page for more details.

Group exercise and COVID 19

As the COVID 19 virus moves into the community and self-quarantine is the way to stop it spreading, where does that leave people who do group fitness regularly to stay well? I am based in Lennox Head which may be the group exercise capital of the Northern Rivers. We know how beneficial exercise and especially group exercise is but with the requirements of ‘social distancing’ what are the implications for your exercise program?

Whilst schools and other major institutions remain open it is likely that your local gym, yoga or Pilates studio will stay open unless they themselves need to self-quarantine due to illness or travel. When you are attending group exercise there are a few precautions you can take to minimise the spread of the virus and protect yourself and others.

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water on arrival
  2. Ensure all equipment you use has been cleaned before you touch it or bring a towel to cover any surfaces you will be lying on.
  3. Use hand sanitiser liberally after touching equipment that others have touched
  4. If you exercise in bare feet, wear grip socks
  5. Wash your hands before, after and maybe during your workout
  6. If you are sick, stay at home.

From next week, Move to Nurture will offer skype (or zoom) access to mat classes for clients who are in self-quarantine. That way our clients don’t miss their Pilates practice when they need it most and no one else is put at risk.

In our Pilates studio in Lennox Head every piece of equipment is cleaned between clients and hand washing is expected before and after each session.

If your gym or studio has not updated you about their cleaning procedures then do ask the question. It is important to stay calm but also be smart and take precautions. Staying fit through regular exercise is a great way to boost your immunity and group exercise helps most people do this. Don’t stop exercising just ask the questions and take sensible precautions.

The keys to immortality

Okay, maybe this won’t make you immortal, but if you want to know how to keep a spring in your step as you age, this is for you. Active ageing is all about giving people the keys to stay independent for as long as possible.

This is not just for older people. If you are in a desk job and sitting under stress for long periods, if you have kids and do a lot of lifting or if you have a love of shoes that aren’t great for your feet then check out the functional movements below and self assess to see if you have the foundations of healthy movement.

There are a few functional movements that we need every day to do basic things in life. Things like sitting in and getting out of a chair, or reaching our hands back to do up our own bra strap or rolling from our heel through to our toes to take each step.

These are movements we mostly take for granted until we get an injury and can’t do them. If we don’t heal properly from injuries then these movements can become harder to do and we lose mobility.

1. Hip crease – a good hip crease with a long, neutral spine can protect your lower back and strengthen your legs and deep abdominals. This is a simple movement of folding at the top of your legs (hip crease) as you bend your knees and sticking your bottom out to keep the spine long. Click here to watch a video of this exercise.

You can use a hip crease in your everyday movement, whenever you go to bend down and pick something up, or getting down to and up out of a chair. Using this movement everyday will teach your body good disassociation of the hips from the legs which will require you to use the hamstrings (back of the legs) and the deep abdominals.

2. Shoulder glide – with your arms straight out in front of you at shoulder height, reach your fingers forward. To do this you have to glide your scapula (triangular bone in the back of your shoulder) over the back of your ribs. Click here to watch a video of this exercise.

I teach a lot of people who are not able to do shoulder glides. Either they have shoulder injuries that have restricted their range of motion or they have very tight thoracic spin (back of the ribs) that has made shoulder glides very difficult. If you can do them, keep doing them, make a point of it. This will maintain range of movement in your arms for a long time to come.

3. Walking in place – standing with feet hip width apart, bending one knee to come up on the ball of one foot (other heel stays planted on the ground) then come up on both balls of the feet to switch and bring the other heel to the ground. Click here to watch a video of this exercise.

Walking in place helps us to mobilise through our feet. Getting a good roll from the ball of the foot to the heel and back again is important to make walking easy as we age.

Okay these are not the only exercises you will need to stay mobile well into your nineties but they are a good start. Everyone will need slightly different exercises to stay independent because we all have different strengths. Moving everyday is a definite step towards life long mobility and independence.

Contact me on the details below if you would like help to build strength and flexibility to stay mobile for longer. My fully equipped Pilates studio in Lennox Head provides a range of supported exercise options to cater specifically to your needs. For more information on staying healthy as we age sign up here to receive a fortnightly newsletter with inspiring reflections to encourage your healthy life.

5 exercises that are great to do after having a baby

So you have been cleared for exercise after baby and you want to get started with exercise safely. Firstly, well done you!! Birthing a person is pretty major so now that you are ready to getting reconnected with your core I want to offer you some great post-natal exercises to get you started.

Hopefully you have caught my last two blogs on this topic ‘5 Signs that your post baby body isn’t ready for your workout’ and ‘5 exercises to avoid after having a baby’. Now let’s get to the solutions.

These 5 simple exercises you can do every day in 5 -10 minutes (it’s got to be quick right?). Over time you will start to notice a subtle change in your body where your back hurts less, your body stands up taller on its own, maybe your low belly pooch decreases or your diastasis begins to reduce in width, your pelvic floor functions better and overall you just feel better

I know you boot camp peeps may scoff but you’ll thank me when your core, pelvic floor and hips are actually strong enough to do your boot camp exercises correctly without pelvic pressure, back pain or doming in the abdomen.

1. Transverse Abdominus/Pelvic Floor activation – Also known as Hug the Belly. #1 best thing you can do to restore your core strength after baby. a)Seated in a chair or stability ball or on knees, start with a theraband, belt or strap wrapped around your waist at your belly button.

See images below, I have done the exercises without the band so you can see what’s going on. The band offers you a bit of sensory feedback but you can do it without.

Post natal breathing

b)Inhale and feel your ribs expand 360 degrees and relax your pelvic floor fully. (This may be hard to feel and don’t push down, just imagine that you are releasing all tension from your tailbone to your pubic bone and between each of your sitz bones)

Post natal breathing

c)As you exhale feel like you are drawing your pelvic floor in and up (Not a clench. Imagine your pubic bone, tailbone, and each sitz bone drawing towards the center then lifting from the basement to the 3rd floor in an elevator) d)Peel your belly button straight back and away from the band while stitching your ribs together and keeping shoulder out of your ears. (not a suck in). Do 10 – 20 a day.

2.Leg Slides

a)Begin laying flat on your back with knees bent and each foot on apaper plate or wash cloth. b)Settle into neutral spine (where you feel like you are flat on the back of the sacrum, and have a small grape in your low back. Don smash the grape and don’t let it roll away.) Maintain this position and don’t rock side to side as you complete the exercise. c)Inhale (like in the previous exercise) to slide 1 leg away.

d)Exhale, feel the connection of the pelvic floor and low TVA first, then begin to draw the leg in. It’s important that you feel the connection a split second before you move.e)Alternate side to side 5 – 8 times, as long as you can maintain core connection and neutral pelvis.

3. Hip abduction/ adduction

a)Lie on mat on your side. Line up back of head, ribs and pelvis in a straight line. Bend bottom knee forward for support and reach top leg long and in a straight line. Hug the belly to avoid collapsing into bottom side.

b)Slowly lengthen the top leg and float up to hip height. NOTE: Keep the pelvis and waistline steady, do not let bottom ribs drop into mat and fold at the hip only. You should feel this in your glutes. c)Complete 5 – 8 reps on each side. You can add to this with small circles in either direction.

4. Mini swan with rib lift

a)Lay on stomach, forearms down by your side. b)Reach through the crown of your head to lift your head and bring your gaze to the front of your mat but not too far and begin to slowly peel your chest up.

c)Hold here and inhale 360 degrees letting the belly and pelvic floor relax. d)Exhale, lift the pelvic floor in and up and begin to peel the ribs and belly away from the mat. Repeat 5 – 8 times.

5. Side Lifts

a)Lie on your side with elbow or hand under shoulder. Line up back of head, ribs and pelvis in a straight line. Bend knees forward and line up heels with sits bones. Hug the belly (see exercise 1) to avoid collapsing into bottom side.

b)Exhale and lift hips straight off the mat using bottom oblique and glute. Inhale at top. c)Exhale to lower down. Complete 5 – 8 reps on each side.

While these exercises may seem small, they will help to rebuild your core from the inside out and will aid not only in gaining back that flat tummy after having a baby but also building the most important muscles for you to be a strong and resilient mum. Because ladies, MUMMING IS HARD WORK! You need your body to work for you and not against you. So let’s get you there!

Xo Brigid

Contact me on the details below to discuss your exercise needs to rebuild your strength after having a baby. All my Pilates mat classes teach correct core engagement and offer modifications for post-natal mums. I have a class especially for mums on Thursdays at 2pm in Byron Bay. My home equipment studio in Lennox Head can provide smaller group classes or private sessions for more support.

5 exercises to avoid after having a baby

In my last post I talked about signs that your post baby body is not ready for your workout. It was great to have people reach out and thank me for sharing important information for women’s health. So here’s more. If you are postpartum and have been cleared for exercise there are some things you can start with but there are some exercises you should avoid until your deep abdominals have recovered.

“But Brigid I need to lose the baby weight!” Well first of all, no you don’t but that’s another conversation for another time. Remember you just created life inside your body and then brought that life to the outside world through your body and now you are feeding and caring for that life with your body! And while I don’t want you to focus on postpartum exercise for weight loss, I am a movement educator so I do want you to move.

I hear this question all the time. How soon after giving birth can I exercise? Well it depends on what you are defining as exercise. There are few things you can do right after delivery through the 6 or 8 week mark when you are officially cleared that I will cover in a future post. This post is focused on the after 6 or 8 week postpartum check-up where your doctor “clears” you for exercise.

The first 4 months after having a baby matter the most in building a solid base! Spend this time working on rebuilding your strength from the inside out and avoid exercises that put additional pressure downward on your recovering pelvic floor like jumping, or outward on your rectus abdominus (or6-pack muscle) like sit-ups. Check out the previous post about the signs that you are doing too much or incorrectly.

Here are 5 exercises I suggest to avoid in the first 4 months after giving birth.

  1. Running! – Running within the first 4 months after giving birth can put added stress on an already strained pelvic floor potentially resulting in or exacerbating a prolapse or incontinence. Even after 4 months if you haven’t done what is needed to rebuild a strong pelvic floor and deep core muscles, leaping back into running could still result in these things. If you have any symptoms like leaking, pressure, feelings of heaviness then you probably aren’t ready to train for that first after baby 5k.
  2. Plyometrics (jumping jacks, box jumps)– Same as running, these high impact exercises put pressure downward and outward on weak and injured pelvic floor muscles and deep core muscles. Best to avoid until you have done the work to rebuild this strength and connection.
  3. Planks or Burpees – I’ve got a theme going here. Planks and burpees can create additional intra-abdominal pressure. Intraabdomiwhat? Basically when you don’t coordinate your breath and movement you create pressure that pushes down and out on the pelvic floor and rectus abdominus – creating or exacerbating diastasis recti, pelvic floor symptoms or even hurting your low back.
  4. Ab flexion against gravity (Sit-ups) – I know ladies you want to get rid of that baby belly pooch and it seems like sit-ups would be the exact way to do that, but in all honesty doing these too soon and incorrectly can actually make that pooch worse, exacerbate a diastasis recti and cause harm to your low back. There are other safer and more effective options for flattening the tummy and we will get to that next blog.
  5. Hot anything (Pilates, yoga, etc) – Working out in a heated room relaxes your muscles and ligaments which may seem like something you want given how tight and sore you are from breastfeeding and baby carrying. But you will still have the hormone relaxin surging through your body, especially if you are breastfeeding, creating laxity and instability in your joints. Adding the heat in these exercise can create additional instability resulting in injury particular in shoulders and hips. Best to do these exercise without the heat.

If you are in a group class that includes any of these moves consider skipping or modifying until you no longer have symptoms. You will be able to progress back to these things when the time is right. But only after you create a solid foundation from the INSIDE OUT!! Sign up to get the next blog in this series ‘5 post natal exercises to strengthen the core’.

Contact me on the details below to discuss your exercise needs to rebuild your strength after having a baby. All my Pilates mat classes teach correct core engagement and offer modifications for post-natal mums. My home equipment studio can provide smaller group classes or private sessions for more support.

5 Signs your post baby body isn’t ready for your exercise program

A friend of mine just had a baby. She had a pretty tough labor and ended up having a c-section. Her doctor “checked” her at 6 weeks and said “things look fine” and then at 8 weeks she got the go ahead to exercise again. With nothing more than that. No check for Diastasis Recti. No review of pelvic floor dysfunction or prolapse. No guidance on what to begin with. What NOT to do. No details on parts of the body to focus on first and areas to go slower on. Literally nothing! Sound familiar? And if you had your baby years ago and feel like you haven’t ever fully recovered this one is for you too.

Why is it that postpartum exercise isn’t given more attention from our health system. It can help so much but it can hurt even more in the long run if you choose the wrong path. And it doesn’t help that there is a societal expectation that you look like you didn’t have a baby the day you have a baby. Like seriously so unrealistic! You are bombarded with all of these messages and offers of what to do to get the baby weight off FAST!

I know it’s hard to fight the temptation to jump (literally) back into your old fitness routines or a new fitness routine that promises sweat and soreness and dropping kilos, but doing so could actually do more harm than good. Your body has been through a lot with pregnancy and childbirth. Like A LOT!! I know modern society likes to downplay or ignore the magnificent feat that mothers go through to GROW and bring life into this world but ladies – this is a HUGE thing!!

You may not get the information or support from your doctors or your mum or grandma or even your friends but I’m here to tell you start small, build the foundations. Doing so will make your future exercise that much more effective. Because if you go too far too fast you risk serious and possibly lasting injury like Diastasis Recti, hernias, pelvic organ prolapse, SI Joint injury, etc. And then you have to take many, many steps backward or even have your future exercise options changed forever. Why not start at the start and care for your body like you would if you had an injury (pregnancy and childbirth is equivalent!).

Here are 5 symptoms to look for as you get back into exercise that suggest you are pushing yourself too far too fast.

1) Incontinence/Leakage is a sign that your pelvic floor muscles and deep abdominals are not yet strong enough to handle the exercises you are doing.

2)Pelvic pain, pressure or a feeling of heaviness in your pelvic floor is a sign of pelvic floor dysfunction or prolapse. If you have these symptoms, it is important that you visit a pelvic health physical therapist to assess what is going on and work with you to remedy the situation.

3)Doming or coning through the middle of your abdomen is a sign of a diastasis recti or separation of the linea alba between the two sides of the rectus abdominus (6-pack abs), which is normal for all women after pregnancy but doing the wrong exercises that create this doming effect can result in a prolonged or permanent diastasis that can lead to the low belly mummy pooch, back pain, and pelvic floor dysfunction.

4)Low back or hip pain is pretty common as a new mom but if exercise causes you more discomfort in these areas then take that as a sign that you need to slow down or modify your workout routine.

5)Exhaustion, out of breath, overly sore muscles is a pretty obvious sign that you’ve pushed it too far. Remember you are recovering from a major physical change and possibly major abdominal surgery as well if you had a c-section. Give yourself some grace and slow down so you can properly recovery.

If these are the signs your body is giving you, no matter how long since you gave birth, it’s time to listen and adjust your exercise program before you do long term damage.

This is one in a series of blogs on post natal recovery, to receive the next two instalments ‘5 exercises to avoid after having a baby’ and ‘5 Postnatal exercises to strengthen the Core’, sign up here.

Contact me on the details below to discuss your exercise needs to rebuild your strength after having a baby. All my Pilates mat classes teach correct core engagement and offer modifications for post-natal mums. My home equipment studio can provide smaller group classes or private sessions for more support.

Reach out, get help and move to nurture yourself.

Brigid

I have a shoulder injury, now what?

As we age shoulder injuries can become more common especially in women from 40-65 years. Shoulder injuries can be very painful and can limit natural movement significantly. Shoulder injuries include frozen shoulder, osteoarthritis, rotator cuff injuries and bursitis. This article will outline how Pilates can help avoid these injuries and if you have one what to do about it.

The shoulder joint is made up of the collarbone, upper arm bone, and shoulder blade. Gradual wear and tear can lead to arthritis in the bones and tears in the rotator cuff—the group of tendons and muscles that helps you raise and rotate your arm. Other problems include inflammation in the bursa, a small cushion that reduces friction between tendons and bones, and tendinitis, inflammation that comes from overuse of the joint.

Poor posture also plays a role in shoulder pain. When shoulders are rolled forward and rounded, the scapular muscles in the back of the shoulder get overstretched and weaker. You’re stretching the muscles for a long time, and it hurts, like trying to hold a laundry basket out for a while. If you don’t use your shoulder because it hurts, the muscles and ligaments will shorten, causing more pain.

In fact the things we do during recovery from shoulder injuries are the same things we can do to prevent shoulder injuries.

What to do?

If you have pain and loss of range of movement in your shoulder it is important to see your doctor and get imaging of the area to clarify exactly what is causing the pain. Many shoulder injuries can look quite similar however treatments do vary depending on what the issue is and how severe it is. Most shoulder injuries can be treated without surgery.

Shoulder injury recovery will focus on three areas:

Learning good posture and healthy movement patterns are the keys to avoiding shoulder injuries and part of the process of recovery. Learning to feel the correct position of the ribcage (the anchor for the shoulder) and the optimal place for the arm to sit in the shoulder joint are important to reduce wear and tear on particular ligaments. Pilates can teach you correct alignment and how to feel it.

Stretching muscles that are shortened and over worked. The pectoral muscles in the chest often become stronger than the tendons that stabilise the shoulder because of how much time we spend sitting and a little hunched forward. Releasing and lengthening the pectoral muscles helps to find the optimal position for the arm and allows the important rotator cuff tendons to do their job and get stronger. Pilates is designed to balance the body, front to back and side to side, props such as balls, bands and muscle release tools can help to achieve this balance.

Strengthening the tendons and muscles that support the optimal position of the arm in the shoulder is the work that needs to be done to fully recover from a shoulder injury. These exercises need to be done with precision and focus to ensure that new patterns are being developed and we are not simply reenforcing the patterns of movement that damaged the shoulder in the first place. Precision of movement is a fundamental principle of Pilates and is fostered by a good teacher.

Whilst these general steps are true for many shoulder injuries there are phases of trauma that tendons move through during recovery and it is important to work with an Osteopath / Physiotherapist and trained Pilates and Movement teacher to ensure the right challenge and load at the right time as you recover.

If you are struggling to recover from shoulder injury and you need help with developing new movement patterns to get stronger seek out a qualified Pilates and Movement teacher to support you from diagnosis to recovery.

For more blogs on how Pilates and Movement can help you stay well click here.

Brigid Pearse is a Pilates and Movement teacher at her home studio in Lennox Head and she runs Pilates mat classes in Ballina, Newrybar and Byron Bay.

Schedule your exercise like you schedule work, cos it will pay you more!

Time is limited! We all get the same 24 hours. If ‘not enough time’ is the reason you give for not getting to exercise I want you to think about how you value time. There are some things I always make time for. Work, playing with my little boy on the beach in Lennox Head, food shopping, domestics AND PILATES!

I see friends and family choose other things to fill their 24 hours. We all get to choose. I notice in myself that work comes pretty high on the list, partly because it pays the bills and partly because I love it. What if exercise was just as important as work?

The thing is that exercise will pay you, probably more than your job ever will. Exercise will pay you by making you calmer, happier, stronger and more confident in your body. It will pay you the day you do it and it will keep paying you weeks, months, even years after.

These benefits may not be cold hard cash but they are currency. This is what my clients say about the value they get from doing Pilates with me:

I get a bounce in my step that lasts all week

Jenny

I feel so alive after Pilates with Brigid that I move more in the rest of my life

Emma

The classes have made me more aware of my body so I can feel myself moving better and holding myself better

Cherie

Helping my clients get these benefits is what motivates me as a teacher. I love hearing people say they feel more aware, energised and comfortable in their own bodies. And I know these feelings and experiences make life richer and more wonderful.

So schedule your exercise with the same importance you schedule work and get paid well into the future.

Brigid Pearse is a Pilates and Movement teacher in Byron Bay, Ballina and Newrybar offering all levels Pilates mat classes at carefully selected halls and equipment classes in her home studio in Lennox Head.