Structural change: strained a muscle? Something out of alignment? Slipped a disc? If you are experiencing a lot of “new” pain, speak to an Osteopath, Physiotherapist or GP. They may be able to diagnose you via Zoom and help alleviate symptoms so you can move forward with recovery.

Stress: Will we return to work? Workload higher? Juggling kids, partner or confused pets? These can all add to muscular tension we’re not aware of. Find 5 minutes in the day for you to be still and clear your mind. Take a long bath, read a book, listen to music or try meditation.

Changes in lifestyle:sitting more? Trying new exercise or longer sessions? New desk? Looking at screens more? Laying in longer? All of these are changes for your back.

Nearly all of us suffer from over-used upper trapezius muscles in the neck rather than using the larger muscle groups in the back whilst all sorts of muscles support your spine, not just the obvious abdominals and back extensors but pelvic floor and even feet could be contributing to your discomfort.

Ask yourself the questions above then seek help from a movement professional. A qualified instructor, with experience and qualifications of dealing with injuries, will teach you targeted exercises and monitor how you’re performing them. Most lifestyle, stress, muscular and posture issues can be improved with good movement instruction.

Try Pilates! I know I’m biased but it really is an amazing form of exercise for everyone. As someone who has fully recovered from severely prolapsed discs, I know the power of this movement. Whatever you do, don’t suffer in silence and do seek help!

Zoe is the founder of ZAPilates studio in Caterham on the Hill. ZAPilates is currently offering live classes and assessments on Zoom. @zapilates


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