1. Your pectoral muscles (chest) are too tight. We live in an increasingly sedentary world, where sitting 10 hours a day in front of a computer or TV has become the ‘norm’. Over time, our body gradually adjusts to this stance and we acquire a forward hunch and our shoulders and upper spinal area (thoracic vertebrae) become rounded. This is turn allows our pectoral muscles to tighten, which pulls the spine forward and leaves us with rounded shoulders (guaranteed to age you ladies!). Try and take the time to stretch at least 5­ to 10 minutes every day – this will help improve your posture and in turn prevent or eliminate back pain. Give it a go – you will be amazed at how quickly you see results! Working long periods at the PC if your desk is at the wrong height can also have a huge impact on your posture and back comfort – check out this website, which helps you calculate the right ergonomic height for you http://www.thehumansolution.com/ergonomic-office-desk-chair-keyboard-height-calculator.html . You’re welcome 😉

2. Your shoes are not giving you enough support. As the foundation of your body, your feet are like the foundations of a house – and if a house is not properly supported, there is a risk it will crack and subside. And while you may not be noticing obvious signs of cracking and subsidence (well I hope not anyway 😉 – you may well be experiencing lower back problems. So make sure you replace worn out shoes regularly and that you are wearing the right size and type of shoe for whatever daily activities are ahead. You should definitely be wearing supportive trainers when working out, look out for trainers with a rigid heal and midsection, preferably with laces. Many good sports shops these days also have “gait analysis” machines that study how you run and detect any underlying problems such as under/over pronation – this may be causing problems which can be alleviated with the right running shoe and/or orthotic insoles. So if you’re having problems -why not check it out? http://www.sport-schuster.de/Service/Service-im-Sporthaus/Laufbandanalyse/ Sport Schuster in Munich have the expertise and equipment to get the right shoe for you!

3. Your hamstrings (rear side, top of your legs) are too tight. Once again, this is down to our increasingly sedentary lifestyle where we are stuck far too long in a seated position and our hamstring muscles are not extended to their full range. Naturally, our bodies adjust to this posture over time and our muscles slowly adapt to their new ‘normal” position, so that when you do fully extend to an upright position it can cause pain. Similarly, ladies out there who constantly wear high heels will also be familiar with problems wearing flat shoes/trainers – this is because over time their calf muscles become shorter and tighten, which in turn cause muscle imbalance and potential lower back problems. Simple stretching exercises are a great way to counteract both of these problems. Also, try and take short 20 minute (brisk) walks throughout the day and stretch where you can. Having a desk where you can stand instead of sit is also a great way to stretch those legs!

(check this out http://www.marieclaire.com/health-fitness/news/a9872/easy-leg-calf-ankle-exercises-for-high-heel-wearers/ )

4. Wearing the wrong bra size ­Yes ladies whether they are small boobs or big boobs, wearing the wrong bra size can still cause and exacerbate back pain. And not only back pain, it may also be the reason you’re experiencing headaches and heartburn – so there are endless reasons to get yourself measured and get those boobs looking nice and perky the painless way! I also cannot stress enough how important it is to wear the correct size sports bra. I train many ladies and I can tell when someone isn’t wearing the right size and, most importantly, doesn’t have that much need support! There is now a huge range of sports bras out there – suitable for every size and every budget – so no excuses ladies !

5. Lack of exercise – regular exercise gives your muscles the strength they need to support your body and keep it pain free. Being a couch potato from time to time is all well and good if you are counteracting it with an active lifestyle. Back pain is a huge problem and will affect most of us at some point in our lives – and regular activity is an excellent way to prevent that problem affecting you. So now is the time for change – get out there and get moving – join a yoga class, go running – COME TO ONE OF MY BOOT CAMPS OR BOOK A PERSONAL TRAINING SESSION – your body will thank you in the long run.

If you need more info and would like help in training to get your body back into shape and pain free the natural way (without painkillers or medicines), feel free to email me on jessica@soulshapefitness.com

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