Have you ever been told that you have a weak core and that all you have to do is strengthen it to solve all of your back pain problems?
Well, you’re not alone. Nearly every client that I’ve seen has been told to ‘strengthen their core’ in a bid to help alleviate or manage their low back pain.
And whilst developing core strength can almost certainly help you do this, from working exclusively one on one with clients, it’s actually only one small part of the solution….
My name is Julie...
I’m a fully certified pilates teacher that specialises in Pilates for Chronic Low Back Pain in Edinburgh.
I chose to specialize in this having suffered debilating chronic low back pain that started in my early twenties (I am now in my 40s).
What started as a ‘dull ache’ turned into 3 years of chronic pain and on-going physical therapy, work place adjustments, many changes to my daily life and a series of painful lumbar facet joint spinal injections as I struggled to get control of the daily pain.
Maybe that sounds familiar?
Having been there, I know just how crippling living with back pain can be; that it can impact your mood, your behaviours, your relationships and the things that you love to do in your day to day life.
I also know that it can breed fear; the worry that whatever you do, is going to make it worse; back pain is as much mental as it is physical.
And I definitely know that people who have never had back pain always think you are just moaning or complaining, which is in itself, upsetting; as if somehow the pain you feel isn’t real because it can’t be ‘seen.’
But the good news is, I managed to gain control of my back pain thanks to pilates and I no longer live in chronic pain and for the last 4 years I’ve been working with clients to help them achieve this too, so I know it can work for you as well.
The Healthy Backs Programme
My Healthy Backs Programme is a therapeutic pilates programme tailored to your own individual back pain issues and goals.
We’ll work together in a safe and graded way to help restore good movement to your body so as you can start enjoying life again.
Following a movement assessment and gathering some back ground information about you, we’ll train different parts of your body, aiming to get them moving well and addressing any postural imbalances along the way; building a more efficient body; one that you’ll have far better awareness of and more control over.
Each session serves as education for your body as you learn how to move, breathe, strengthen and release tension to create a truly healthy back and I’ll be there to guide you every step of the way.
A few surprising things you’ll also learn:
The joints that control movement direction in your spine and how they could be keeping you ‘stuck’ in your low back pain
The difference between developing functional core strength and just core strength
Why releasing work can often be better than stretching when you’re in a pain cycle
The unique role your breath plays in improving back pain
Why you need to consider your hips when it comes to back pain
How is pilates for chronic low back pain different from just pilates?
If a general pilates programme is helping your back pain then great – keep going! But a general class is just that – general.
I completed additional training in the field of chronic low back pain in order to help clients in a more specific and tailored way, and in a way that could not only help them get on top of their back pain quicker, but would also help educate them about it so as they can get out of the pain spiral.
If you’re wondering about the types of clients I work with, then have a look at section ‘who do I work with’ below - a general pilates qualification does not necessarily qualify you to work with the people on this list, nor does it train you to deal with the psychosocial factors of back pain, which is a huge part of the issue in itself.
In addition to my matwork qualification, I am certified in pilates for chronic low back pain and am registered as a Healthy Backs Practitioner with Backcare. I am also Level 3 certified in Pre and Postnatal Pilates and a Level 4 Movement student with over 4 years teaching experience.
Last year I helped to rehab my own mum, following two life saving colorectal surgeries, which left her with low back pain, loss of sensation in her pelvic floor and abdominal weakness.
And let’s not forget, I’m also a fellow back pain sufferer.
Benefits of the programme:
Understanding good movement is the key to managing your pain; pilates is just the framework.
This is my unique teaching approach.
My Healthy Backs programme is as much an education in how your body moves as it is about pilates and the insights given can often be a light bulb moment for clients; moments that have the biggest impact on their pain; as you read at the start – it’s not all about a strong core.
Is a Healthy Backs Programme right for you?
You might be wondering if you are a good fit for my Healthy Backs programme?
Well you will definitely benefit if:
You have suffered from back pain for > 3 months (and have had this medically checked out by your Doctor)
Recently postnatal (or experiencing prenatal back and hip pain)
You are returning to exercise after surgery (must be medically signed off by your Surgeon / GP)
You are experiencing pelvic floor dysfunction
Have hip pain or discomfort
Suffer from nerve root pain (sciatica)
You suffer from chronic stress and anxiety
You are doing a general pilates class and not seeing any improvements in your back pain
Please note that ALL clients have to be cleared by their medical practioner. Once cleared I am able to follow any instructions given by the medical practioner and can work on instruction from physios / osteopaths.
Who do I work with?
Here are just some of the clients that I have worked with on a one to one basis:
Simple back ache clients as follows:
Acute: current attack of < 6 weeks
Sub-acute: current attack 6 weeks to 3 month
Chronic: current attack > 3 months
Pre and Postnatal mums (I am fully certified Level 3 Pregnancy qualified)
Pelvic floor dysfunction
Diastasis recti recovery
Clients with osteoarthritis of the hip
Clients with lumbar facet joint stiffness
Clients who have had a spinal fusion
Clients suffering from sciatica
You do not have to live in chronic pain; pilates can and will make a significant difference to how you manage your low back pain.
The Healthy Backs Programme structure:
I offer a 15 Minute Complementary Discovery call where we can explore if Healthy Backs is the right approach for you. I'll answer any questions you might have - just book here.
Healthy Backs Questionnaire (mandatory)
Roland Morris Back Pain Questionnaire (RMQ) (mandatory)
Stress & Wellbeing Questionnaire (optional)
Establishment of client goals & Programme dates / times
In person sessions:
Movement Assessment (first session only)
Development of 6, 8 or 10 week 1:1 Healthy Backs Programme
Weekly in-person* pilates session (55 minutes)
Tailored weekly homework plan
In between sessions:
All clients receive a complimentary copy of The Back Book.
*due to its specialist nature, this programme is not offered online. All sessions are taught from a fully equipped pilates studio in the West End of Ediburgh.
Ready to take control of your back pain once and for all?
Space on my Healthy Backs Programme is limited but you can book a complimentary 15 minute discovery call with me to dig a bit deeper about the programme and ask any questions you might have.
Just follow this link and you’ll be taken to a Calendar where you can book a slot for us to talk.
For immediate availability & costs, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and allow 48 hours for a response from me as I am usually teaching.
And before go you, don't forget to read the testimonials below to see how the programme is transforming clients lives with back pain.
What Clients Say
Julie does not shy away from teaching you the ‘technical’ side of back pain and I think it’s this that has made the single biggest difference to my back pain. Having done pilates for a little while, I felt like my back pain was often getting worse and my sciatica was definitely not going anywhere. If you have chronic pain, I think it’s the individual approach that made a difference. If you are willing to learn, Julie will teach you how to not just get your core stronger but how to build a better awareness of how you move and if that’s helping or hindering your back pain.