Aug. 17 2011

Being a pilates instructor, I am in great shape—most of the time.  However, I recently threw my back out on the sofa.  Don’t ask.  (Well, if you must, my husband and I just recently got a new sofa-sectional and my back was inadvertently unsupported as part of the sectional separated while I was watching “Little Miss Sunshine” with my cats).  Anyway, I noticed the 2 inch gap, when I got up and immediately felt strain in my back.  Bummer.  What to do?

My work is very physical (by nature) and I am quite busy.  No time to be injured.  However, the best medicine was so simple—and—should not be overlooked.  My secret?  I rehabbed my back with rest and light stretching!

Rest.  And I mean no demonstrating!  Use this time as a perfect opportunity to hone your “verbal ques.”  It is also a great opportunity to use more advanced students in class as “exercise demonstrators.”  Take breaks between classes and lie down.  Use an ice pack, as needed.  Although rest is pretty obvious and we would without hesitation suggest it to our clients, we often don’t follow the same advice ourselves.  Be kind to yourself (especially if you are injured)!  Remember that good health starts with you.

Though rest is a pretty obvious remedy, stretching is what really got me “over the hump.”  I began doing Cat/Camel range of motion stretching, after a warm shower.  Then, for several days in a row, I warmed up on a treadmill for 20-30 minutes and stretched on the mat and employed a firm foam roller (my secret weapon).  Rolling back and forth on the foam roller “vertically,” so it loosened tension in my shoulders, mid-back, low-back and piriformis, was a life-saver!  I strengthened my hamstrings and stretched my quads a bit by holding a “bridge” for 1 minute.  Finally, fully stretching my hamstrings, calves and quads greatly helped, as well.  Sometimes the simplest solutions are truly the best!

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