42-year-old financier Liz had spent thousands of pounds on trying to fix her “bad” lower back.
She had tried physiotherapy, osteopathy, sports massage, a new office chair and steroid injections, and feared she was facing a lengthy lay-off, with back surgery in the offing. She was suffering from long term back pain and no one could solve her problem.
Luckily, before Liz took the final step, one of her work colleagues recommended me, and she came to see me. She was complaining of pain almost all the time, with sciatica in her left leg which got worse when she sat down for long periods. My professional therapy for lower back pain did its magic.
During the physio assessment, I noticed that Liz habitually stood and sat with her head too far forward, so that her chin was poking out, as if peering at a computer screen. Her neck and upper back muscles were severely hyperactive, and her centre of gravity was in front of her ankles – she looked as though she was on her toes, ready to leap into action. As a result of all this, her back muscles were very tight, causing compression of her lumbar discs and sciatic nerve.
When I tried to correct Liz’s posture, I found that her habits were so ingrained that the suboccipital space between her skull and neck was severely limited. Once I was able to open this area up, and Liz managed to balance her head directly over her hips when she was sitting, she was able to relax her back muscles – and eventually, as a result of this, her back pain started to settle.
Over the course of 3 months of regular physiotherapy and rehabilitation sessions, I was able to teach Liz to relax her neck muscles and retrain her postural habits. From there, I showed her how to build up the strength and coordination of her core muscles to protect her from future injuries, through spinal rehabilitation exercises.
Liz no longer has back pain when she sits at her desk, and has returned to her old hobbies of running and tennis.