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Yoga? Pilates? Spinal fusion? - posture

(28 Posts)
lougle Fri 13-Mar-15 17:53:38

I'm hoping I can get some advice from fitness savy people...

I'm 5'8", slim frame. I used to be quite under weight (49 kg before I had my 2nd baby) and couldn't put weight on no matter what I did. Since having had 3 children, my weight has gone up to a more normal 65 kg.

My posture is terrible. A manual handling trainer commented yesterday on my 'lumbar lordosis' and I know that I tend to bend my neck forwards. In other words, when I look at myself in the mirror I can see that I naturally slump into an 'S' shape and lose about 2 inches of height! When I straighten myself up, I can instantly see the improvement.

I'm aware that my core muscles are weak. I look around 3-4 months pregnant (mostly because I'm not busty and generally slim, so there's nothing to balance my stomach with my overall figure) as I'm pushing my abdomen forward as my tailbone tips outwards.

What would you recommend to correct my posture and strengthen my core muscles? A rod down my back would help but it's probably a bit extreme!

Suzannewithaplan Sat 14-Mar-15 09:56:48

Hi Lougle smile
would you be able to go to classes?‎
I think either yoga or pilates could work, also some resistance training could be helpful.
Depends a lot on what is feasible for you?‎

nochocolateforlentteacake Sat 14-Mar-15 10:02:07

Yoga isn't great if you have a knacky back. There are some things I just can't do in yoga (pre back issues my nickname was 'pretzel'). Pates is fine though (my chiro agrees).

Alexander technique us supposed to be very good for posture.

nochocolateforlentteacake Sat 14-Mar-15 10:02:54

Pates? Pilates!!!

NorbertDentressangle Sat 14-Mar-15 10:03:27

Definitely try Pilates as that is all about core strength.

I used to go to Pilates classes for quite a few years and over that time there were a lot of people with back problems, some caused by poor posture, that attended the class.

Have a look around in your area as here, for example, there's a group of Pilates instructors who are qualified and practising physios who do classes across the area. Obviously they know their stuff and can advise individuals accordingly.

AuntieStella Sat 14-Mar-15 10:04:10

I'd suggest a few Alexander Technique sessions. It takes a while to unkink, but this will help you find a more balanced posture.

lougle Sat 14-Mar-15 10:52:04

Thanks for your replies. So would pilates be compatible with the Alexander technique? I might be able to fit a class in somewhere.

Littlepumpkinpie Sat 14-Mar-15 12:36:06

To improve your posture you need to strengthen your back first and foremost. Weight lifting will do this it won't be instant but over time you will naturally always stand tall

ThatBloodyWoman Sat 14-Mar-15 12:37:51

You mwy be able to get a physio referral via your gp.

Thisishowyoudisappear Sat 14-Mar-15 17:19:41

Alexander Technique first, then whatever you do afterwards will be easier and more beneficial.

lougle Sat 14-Mar-15 19:31:12

Thank you all, this is so helpful. Are there any exercises I could do in the mean time to get me started?

Suzannewithaplan Sat 14-Mar-15 20:06:07

general strengthening exercises might help, perhaps have a browse on youtube, eg

Rocktheboat73 Sun 15-Mar-15 08:26:41

i have the posturecise DVD and do the exercises every morning as well as pilates mat and reformer classes (3x a week). I look totally different and feel so much better for it too.

DustingOffTheDynastySuit Sun 15-Mar-15 08:38:16

I would start with a Chiro assessment to se if you have any underlying stuff just needs sorting out, then Pilates in a reformer class (the one with the bars and stuff, not just mat work)
Are you in pain?

lougle Sun 15-Mar-15 20:55:00

Oh thanks -I'll look that up.

Dusting, I wouldn't say pain, but I get a lot of low level back/neck ache and I suffer chronically with migraines, which I wondered if my neck could be contributing to in some way.

DustingOffTheDynastySuit Sun 15-Mar-15 21:03:44

Yes! Definitely. And toothache. All connected!

Suzannewithaplan Sun 15-Mar-15 21:15:49

OP, I don't see how anyone on an internet forum can 'definitely' know the cause of your migraine etchmm

As for chiropractic...afaik some would put it firmly in the category labelled 'woo'

CaffeineDeficit Sun 15-Mar-15 22:44:06

Yoga's recommended by the NHS for strengthening backs. I've got excessive lumbar lordosis (and a multitude of other back/neck/shoulder issues) and have found yoga really helpful. However, it has required a bit of trial and error to find the right teacher.

I tried all the different classes at my gym, and went with the teacher who seemed to "get" back issues and often suggested modifications to postures for people with issues with <insert relevant body part> during her classes. Interestingly, she's also a qualified pilates teacher, but focuses on teaching yoga. It might be worth searching for someone like that near you?

nochocolateforlentteacake Sun 15-Mar-15 22:54:15

I've had horrible back problems since my early 20s and tried chiropracy, osteopathy and physio, and despite my sleep deprived dozeyness of my post above, its osteopathy that works best for me.

I did try chiropracy for years but it didn't help all that much really (although my friend swears by it for her sciatica).

Check with your doc (oh yes, tried that too - useless painkillers) with regards to exercise and make sure whoever is taking the class is fully aware of your condition. I just couldn't do half the yoga class these days - the bending and twisting is agony. Pilates seems to be far gentler on the spine.

lougle Mon 16-Mar-15 09:49:49

I think I need to start researching the difference between osteopathy and chiropracy, etc. It's all quite expensive so I don't want to just dabble here and there!

StrawberryTallCake Mon 16-Mar-15 09:54:28

I was exactly the same as you and now have had some improvement with both pilates and yoga. Make sure you're drinking enough water too!

Pilates has strengthened my back and my shoulders naturally fall backwards and down now pushing me into the right posture. Try it as you'll see a difference after the first class.

Quangle Mon 16-Mar-15 10:45:31

I have a bad bag too (lordosis and probably some arthritis) and have been back and forwards between physios, osteopaths, pilates and yoga for the last year but have just been advised to stop the yoga as I am quite flexible (probably too flexible) and the yoga might aggravate. I'm sticking to the pilates (and weights) for the moment but not really getting anywhere.

Previously osteopaths have worked really well for me but this time they are not. I would really like someone to tell me the difference between osteo and chiro - I tend to use them interchangeably.

makeusabrew Mon 16-Mar-15 11:38:36

This is so similar to me, for me my bad posture and lack of core strength gives me problems in my lower back.

I was referred to a physio via my doctor, who advised weight training and pilates. So, I joined a gym, turned out the trainer who gave me my induction is also a pilates and yoga instructor, so on top of the weights work, she has given me some mat based pilates exercises too. She actually said yoga may not be best as some postures can put a lot of pressure on a back (if it's already weak, yoga in itself can be great), and many people I have spoken to since have said great things about pilates too.

I personally wouldn't bother with paying out on osteos or chiropractors unless you've got a diagnosed medical back problem (not just bad posture I mean!). Pilates and weights work can easily be done at home with a DVD, although I recommend a few classes with a professional first.

Good luck, I'm about six months in to my new programme and it definitely works, and I'm looking more toned for it too (roll on summer!)

nochocolateforlentteacake Mon 16-Mar-15 12:33:52

In my experience:

Chiropractic - crack, press, crunch, owy owy, manipulates your joints back into place, hurts for a bit afterwards. Think, bear hug - you are a rag doll.

Osteopathy - press, rub, wobble - far more gentle and I actually will let the osteo near a slipped disc. I usually feel better walking out if the clinic, a little stiff for a day or so.

Both should be qualified - I'm aware it can take a long time to do this, so its not a case of anyone can just set themselves up as a practitioner.

Hospital - you don't want to know where they stick their fingers for a sore back. Painkillers.

Physio - 'does it hurt when you do that?' (Sob, whper) 'yes' 'don't do that then'.

studiovie Sun 22-Mar-15 20:31:55

Hi, I own a Pilates studio, so I thought I'd let you know what Pilates is about and how it can help you.

Pilates will help strengthen your muscles, reduce back pain as well as many other pains in the body, it will help realign the posture. It will increase your mobility and flexibility and lastly it makes you feel good. That's the short simple guide to Pilates.

The are many different styles of Pilates so its important to find one that you enjoy, some instructors put an emphasis on breathing, some don't, we all teach differently and put our own spin on it, some classes can be quite slow and some can be quite up tempo. They are generally run in courses and I'd find a class with a maximum of 12 people per class, I'd avoid pay as you as sometimes they'll be classes with large numbers of participants. Most instructors will allow you to try the class before committing to the course, but i wouldn't judge Pilates by going to one class you do need to give it ago. The changes you'll experience are subtle but long lasting once you get into it.

Anyway, I think that's enough for now, hope that has helped.

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