Boy, does it hurt. Is there anything quite as debilitating as back pain? Yes, it’s true, there are some contenders. Toothache can drive you to the point of wanting to knock yourself out with a frying pan. Earache, especially when caused by an infection, can leave you feeling as though your brain is on fire. And then there are the kinds of pain caused by terminal illnesses like cancer. But for sheer agony, back pain is right up there in the Top Three of physical agonies. For some sufferers, it enforces a life of lying down, with simple actions like getting up and turning on the kettle requiring military levels of forethought, planning and strategy. Gay massage, shiatsu, osteopathy and other helpful treatments can certainly do a lot to diminish this most galling of pains. Now, however, a piece published earlier this year has given us a new insight into how we use our backs and what we should be doing to keep them out of pain’s way.
Fiona Wilson, associate professor and chartered physiotherapist at Trinity College, Dublin, wrote at length in The Independent and her advice makes for illuminating reading. Among sufferers of lower back pain, there is a prevalent notion, namely that the spine is one of nature’s greatest design disasters. Wilson argues, however, that it’s we who are at fault for the way we misuse this delicate instrument which, she insists, is actually perfectly robust. Common knowledge dictates that we mustn’t ‘put out’ our backs by lifting heavy objects. However, the reverse is true. We need to strengthen our backs with weight-bearing exercise, helping the spine become and remain strong. Loading the back with weight helps to ready the joints, ligaments and muscles, so that they can then cope with everyday tasks. It’s precisely because people don’t do weight-bearing training on their backs that they are then injured when they try to lift a heavy object in their day-to-day lives.
Avoiding loading has been proved actually to damage the spine and enfeeble us. People end up with muscle wasting, stiffness and bloated discs. The spine and back become weak. Of course, the picture becomes more complicated when we look at rowers, may of whom complain of back pain as a result of the way they load and flex their backs over and over again in the course of their chosen sport. Surely this contradicts the idea that loading is good? Well, no. What it means is that there’s a happy medium we should be aiming for – that sweet spot where we’re loading just enough but not too much. The spine is, in truth, very tolerant of weight-bearing exercise.
While you book your next gay massage London, and then enjoy 60 to 90 minutes of sensual therapy, which will include wonderful, soothing work on your back, why not consider whether you’re doing enough loading or whether it’s time to talk to a personal trainer, to help you make your spine as sturdy as possible.