Back & Neck pain
Back & Neck Pain Podcast Cover Image

Back & Neck Pain

We are a team who understands that a problem doesn't walk through the door, but a person does. Most of all you will be actively involved in the whole process, it is ultimately a relationship, without your trust we are nowhere!

Clinical Director, Nick Potter, specialises in the treatment of neck injuries and conditions. He is fondly known as ‘Nick-the-neck’ by his patients and colleagues. He enjoys meeting the challenges such conditions present and in one neuro-surgical centre reduced surgery by 85%. He has conducted research into and specialises in the treatment of upper cervical problems and lectures on the ‘upper cervical syndrome’ which causes a unique set of symptoms and usually follows trauma. He spent 4 years working in Formula 1 racing treating such conditions and rehabilitating drivers. He sees many patients from the horse racing and Polo arenas. He has also pioneered the role of breathing pattern disorders in the cause of chronic neck pain.

Back and Neck Pain is a tricky and fickle creature. It can appear from nowhere and be gone just as quickly, or hang around for months or years. It demoralises the mind and induces a feeling of being ancient within days. If it hangs around long enough, it can even affect your sleep, libido and ability to make decisions. It costs the UK £5 billion annually and 85 % of the population will suffer with it at least once in their lives.

So that is the bad news, but here is the good news, fear not there is an answer.

Back & Neck Pain

The secret to fighting back pain is to know your enemy. Traditionally back pain has always been seen as a 'structural' problem, in that it was believed to be due to something anatomical in your spine failing or breaking (eg a disc, ligament or muscle). Certainly it can be down to physical damage, but this is normally done during a strenuous activity or sports trauma. The injury is obvious from the out set and will ultimately, in most cases, heal and resolve within weeks.

The biggest population of low back pain sufferers however, do exactly the opposite; they do very little at all. They sit at a desk all day, spending hours at a screen, stressed and pressed developing 'issues in their tissues'.

We don't realise it, but most of our lives involve only moving in one plain of movement (forward and backwards) and do very little side bending or twisting. As a result the complex group of muscles which control these movements get weak. So no wonder, when those of us who do sporty things at the weekend, wonder why something they have not used all week, goes twang or protests when they suddenly ask it to swing a golf club, tennis racquet or lift in he house or garden.

The rest do more of the same...diddly squat. Worse still, our kids will be a new generation of sufferers, as they play less, do less and sit more.

Here is a universal truth guys... we were not designed to do nothing. We were put here to run, jump, kill, push and pull, and our bodies thrive on it. Yes we developed a big brain that allowed us to outwit rather than overpower or outrun our predators but it still needs the body to pump and thrive in order to stimulate and support our little grey cells.

(90 % of the nutrition to the brain is from the function of the spine)

On top of all of this, we add in stress. The most evil killer of all and probably responsible for more heart disease and cancer than anything else. The problem is we don't have a pill for it and drug companies would rather give us a painkiller, anti inflammatory or muscle relaxant than actually empower us to understand and take action against it coming on the first place.Its a massive industry for them.

Stress causes us to tighten our muscles, hold our breaths (literally) or breathe too fast and erratically. This makes our muscles ache, compounded by lack of movement allowing toxins to build in them and irritate nerves. Almost all low back pain is due to soft tissue pain (muscles ligaments etc) and not your bones or discs. The brain quickly becomes sensitised to the pain and forms a habit of it.

We get locked into the vicious cycle of high stress, miserable pain and poor sleep. Add in coffee, fags and chocolate (all stimulants which heighten pain) and hey presto the perfect mix for a miserable day.

The answer..? Not to subsidise your physical therapists spa holidays and mortgage.

Stop it happening in the first place.

You have to see yourself as a finely tuned sports car. You can either go on to become an equally tuned vintage car, admired and coveted by all or end up a rusty old chassis that belongs at the crushers. Its all about maintenance; for the sake of a bit of servicing and a regular polish, the engine will go forever and the body work will look great for its years.

You can moan at the boss about desks and ergonomics, but you are driving the car and are responsible for it.

You have to attack low back pain with a multi-pronged approach.

  • Move, exercise and stretch more; Particularly the muscles which shorten from sitting all day. Don't fear pain and know that it very rarely means harm. It is in fact your brain screaming at you to take action.
  • Sleep smarter. (Read our sleep section) Adhere to certain rules about sleep 'hygiene' and you will sleep more efficiently and recover better
  • Learn to breathe properly, know how to check it and change it when it isn't right.

Even better ... Get Bakpro our amazing has all the answers and will show you how.


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