• Samantha McPherson

Did you know? – Your Back is Incredibly Resilient!

Whilst it can seem a bit mysterious, hidden away somewhere back there, your spine is one amazing bit of kit. Made of skin, tissue, muscles (big movers and deep postural), the vertebral column, ribs, spinal cord and not to mention all those nerves and blood vessels! It’s pretty awesome, and most importantly…was built to move!


Full of joints, shock absorbers and muscles, your spines’ life mission is to ‘move and protect’. I say, we give it what it wants.


Anyone who has ever had back pain will know, it’s scary and the temptation is to avoid all movement in the hope that it goes away. Just in case you make it worse. So we stop moving until is it ‘better’. This is a problem – the spine was designed to carry you around, bend, exercise. If we stop this, then any movement becomes fearful and more difficult.



Long gone are the days of advising people to lay on the floor and rest with back pain. This is the opposite of what the spine needs. In fact, moving around, getting back to work and exercise are exactly the answer for an unhappy spine.


With my patients I talk about ‘re-introducing movements to a protective spine’. Imagine your spine is in ‘protective mode’ and your job is to thank it for doing such a great job and coach it into normal movements but gently relaxing and moving around. Even a little self-chat of ‘it’s ok, we’ve got this, breathe…and move’ can a go a long way in reducing the fear of, say, bending’. This is one of the things that I see the most. My patients stop moving, worried that something with ‘go’, ‘get worse’, ‘pop’. Here’s the big news…it won’t. This tough, reliable, resilient structure holds you up and enables you to live your life. Every. Day. All your spine asks in return is that you keep if fit and moving. So whatever you do, don’t lay on the floor!

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