Winter Olympians and back pain

‘Bend your knees’ was the advice I was given when lifting heavy produce when I worked for Sainsburys at the ripe age of 17. The same advice is given to a lot of manual workers to help protect your back,… but do we over-emphasis this in work and society? Are we becoming scared of bending? Should we be able bend forward?… I hope you answered ‘yes’ to each of those questions because I believe so too…

Linking in the title of this blog, the Winter Olympics is always exciting with a never-ending whirl wind of sports that involve high-impact and high-speeds. This year at Pyeongchang in South Korea is no different with ice hockey, the skeleton, freestyle skiing and snowboarding, and speed skating to name a few of my favourites!

Having been watching the Winter Olympics this year, I have come to notice a common position the Olympians put themselves in: a bent forward, rounded spine position. Note the pictures on the right, ice hockey players often leaning over to win the puck back from an opponent, the sweepers in a game of curling hunched forward rubbing ferociously at the pebbled ice or the speed skaters aiming to be as aerodynamic as possible by bending from the hips and backs. These are just a few of the many examples of how we can bend!

I know that these people are not your average Joe and they have trained for years to master their craft but I hope it emphasises how bending forward is a normal and natural way to move. These athletes were able to bend before they became athletes! Everyone has the capacity to do it.

If you are struggling with lower back pain or fear of bending forward because of what it might do to your back, you are not alone.

I can help you bring your confidence back to your back and relieve your pain.

If you would like to learn more, please contact me at The Forest Foot and Health Clinic.

Nathan the Osteopath