So, I’ve been working meticulously through Coby Langford’s Back Pain Bootcamp and have passed the halfway point now. In terms of getting the exercises done, I’ve been astonishingly good for me! I’ve only missed 3 days so far – if you knew my past record at any sort of regime you’d realise how amazing this truly is!!
So what about progress with my back itself. Well it’s been up and down. Unfortunately I pushed things too far by doing a bit of a marathon at the end of the second week. I had a three hour drive, followed by 5 hours of standing to rehearse and sing a concert and then three hours driving home again. All this is mega-triggering on my back, and indeed it did set me into a bit of a state. Annoying but unavoidable. So, this resulted in my back going into spasm and I suspect rather undid some of my good work.
I contacted Coby about this, and I’m happy to say she responded quickly advising me on what to do. She explained that this is the most critical time because the incorrect muscles are in the process of relaxing, and the core stabilising muscles, although now activated, aren’t yet strong enough to really support things. So this means that everything is likely to be complaining, and it’s super-important not to give up at this point. I had wondered whether I should delay starting the week 3 strengthening exercises, but Coby explained that it was essential to start this as my back was currently unstable.
With the strengthening exercises, once again it is about training your brain to use muscles it has been neglecting for years, and in my case decades. Having started these exercises which simply go at the end of the previous week’s regime, I can absolutely say that I haven’t been using these muscles before! I’d like to add in here that it’s not as if I’d done nothing to try and strengthen my back in the previous years of pain. Far from it! I followed yoga, pilates and other modalities that claim to be good for strengthening the core, but they definitely did not use these muscles that I am not using, and only made my pain worse. So I feel this is yet more validation than Coby’s approach is reaching the parts that other treatments and exercise regimes miss.
I can definitely feel the difference in my body, even though I am still in pain. I am feeling straighter, and taller even. I can actually stand – something which I couldn’t do before. I can definitely feel the difference when I’m singing, being able to stand much more easily than I ever have before. My entire adult life I have shuffled my weight from leg to leg and could never stand straight. This has definitely changed and I can feel a new strength beginning to appear in my core. Indeed I think I didn’t even have a noticeable core before!!
So, I think that if I can just get past this transition, and get my core muscles strong enough to take on real load bearing, and then things will settle down. As with any tipping point, it’s a case of getting past that difficult point in order to really feel the benefits. I’m looking forward to getting there!