Back Pain Resource Center - movement therapies to help reduce back pain
What do I mean by movement therapies? I am talking about a very broad category of therapies which help you learn to move more efficiently and pain free as well as get those stuck parts moving again. While most back pain sufferers have gone through physical therapy, here we will talk about some lesser known, although very powerful, techniques for getting you back in action. For resources on finding a practitioner in your area, see our Resources page.
Boy do I love Feldenkrais! It is a gentle movement therapy that somehow magically works to increase flexibility and movement where more physically intensive stretching fails. Feldenkrais requires patience since the movements are slow and require attention. The idea is that the movements actually help your nervous system to learn how to relax the muscles and let you move as you naturally should. The results are very interesting - when I was totally spasmed, Feldenkrais was the only thing that would get the long muscles in my back to relax. Since I have been recommending Feldenkrais, I have found lots of people just really enjoy learning the movements. I got my mother to try a class, and soon all her friends were going and loving it. Find a good instructor, (see the Resource page ) and give it a try.
If you ever get a chance to see a picture of Joseph Pilates, the founder of Pilates, at age 75, you will understand why Pilates has become one of the hottest workout trends in the country. Lets put it this way, no one was kicking sand in his face. He invented a whole raft of specialized pieces of equipment, chief among them - the Reformer, that let you work out in very unique and effective ways. Pilates movements are like Ballet on a machine, which uses springs as resistance. For years it was the secret training technique for the Ballet world, but now, thanks in part to Hollywood's interest and lots of P.R., it is exploding. It is really a unique and demanding workout that I just loved. Finding a good instructor is vital - some of the movements can be scary and they are only safe for back patients when done with an experienced instructor. I have seen Reformers for sale in specialty catalogues with instruction tapes. I would urge you not to consider buying the equipment and learning on your own - it would be almost suicidal for a back patient to try some of these moves without as expert's assistance. To find a practitioner see the Resources page.