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Back Pain & Postural Problems – Musculoskeletal Assessment & Scientific Core Conditioning

Did you know that at some point in their lives a whopping 80% of people in the western world suffer from back pain at some time in their lives!

In our hectic modern lifestyle postural problems & back pain are rife! Stress, bad digestion, poor posture, a weak core, sitting down all day & poorly designed exercise programs on top of all of this creates the perfect storm for a dicky back.

With sitting being touted as the new smoking & with much of our population sitting for extended periods of time the figure above starts to make a little more sense. Common consensus is that our sedentary lifestyles are often to blame.

You can think of the back a little bit like a ship’s mast – for the ship to sail nice & straight without difficulty (I.E. performing our day to day tasks pain free) the mast needs to be supported on all sides by ropes, big & small. If the mast is made of the vertebrae of the spine then the small ropes help to keep the vertebrae together. This is what we know of in the body as the “inner unit” which is comprised of the deep abdominal musculature (TVA), pelvic floor, diaphragm, internal obliques & multifidus which runs alongside the spine protecting it. The inner unit gives stability to entire system & protects the spine & lower back – you cannot fire a cannonball from a canoe!

The big ropes holding the mast up we can think of as the “outer unit”. These muscles comprise of the external layers of the abdominal musculature as well as the arms & legs which are essential for movement & survival. The outer unit coordinates intimately with the inner unit to create stable, efficient & strong movements & lifts while protecting the back & spine at the same time.

Now imagine if one of these ropes or wires is not functioning properly & the inner & outer units stop talking to eachother, what might happen?

If the mast or spine does not have the support it needs then the other muscles have to do the job & pick up the slack which often results in pain! Also an effect from sitting causes the pelvis to tilt forward bunching up the spine & creating an excessive lumbar curve – a common problem that I see time & time again from my clients who spend a lot of time sitting at a desk. Also since the digestive organs share the same nerve channels as the core musculature if we have poor digestive health, constipation, IBS etc this can actually serve to turn off the musculature, taking away the ropes & causing pain.

The body is extremely intelligent – if a muscle does not function correctly then the body will use an alternative path to create movement. Unfortunately while doing this it recruits muscles that shouldn’t be recruited to do the job which can easily overload & injure them. A prime example is the hamstrings taking over the job of a weak core resulting in them tightening up. The most common injury in football is that of the hamstrings & this hyper recruitment because of a weak core is a big part of that!

Does this sound like you or someone you know? An uncomfortable back niggle that always persists in the background made worse by sitting or lying in certain positions? If so then sign up on the below form to apply for a 90 minute assessment session:

One potential scenario;

Joe Bloggs has a very hectic & busy life, a demanding job, Mrs Bloggs is away on a business trip, he is not sleeping or eating well & his kids all have chicken pox to boot! To make matters worse Joe has just developed a bad back pain, poor bloke!
Here’s how his back pain may have happened: The stress in his life has caused his digestive system to not work correctly as he is in a constant fight or flight response. That coupled with all the processed convenience foods he eats has created the perfect storm in his gut & he often feels bloated & constipated.
Nerves come out between the gaps in our spinal cords to innervate & control the various organs & muscles around the body. Certain nerves will go to certain digestive organs as well as the muscles in our back being on the same loop. The 5-9 thoracic vertebrae serve the small intestine & the mid back muscles while the 9-12 thoracic & 9-3 lumbar vertebrae serve the colon & lower back muscles.
Because the organs & muscles are on the same loop the body does not distinguish the one that is in pain & shuts down both the organ & the muscles as a protective measure to stop damage in the area taking away some ropes from his mast.
To compound this chronic sitting has tightened up his hip flexors (psoas), quads & TFL pulling his pelvis forward while switching off his lower abdominals – another rope! Sitting has also caused his hamstrings & bum to fall asleep through inactivity – more ropes gone… Because his upper back muscles have also fallen asleep through slouching there is even MORE load on his poor lower back!
So you can see that Joe needs to look at several factors to help his back get back fighting fit!

What to do about the problem?

There is never one thing that causes good health & there is never one thing that causes poor health & pain – it is always a combination of factors which must be scientifically assessed & analysed. Since every case is different every case should be treated completely differently which is why it can be a seriously bad idea to just look up “how can I fix my back pain” or “top 10 yoga poses for a bad back” on google without having any scope of what may be going on, the combinations of which can be endless!

If you suffer from back pain, a weak core or postural problems that won’t seem to go away then perhaps I can help!

I take a scientific approach learnt from my numerous studies of the applied kinesiology of the back & core at the CHEK institute to identify the root cause of your back troubles.

In a 90 minute biomechanical pain & posture assessment session I will identify the key issues that may be contributing to your back pain challenges. Once identified will prescribe a corrective exercise program to get your back fighting fit again!

Some results that others have experienced by working with me;

  • Resolved back pain
  • Strengthened the core
  • Activated dormant muscles that are designed to protect the spine
  • Improved posture
  • Improved mobility

I have designed this session to be standalone – most cases walk away with enough information to make a significant improvement to their pain & a corrective exercise program.

If this is something that may be of use to you then sign up below to apply for your 90 minute assessment session;

All the best,

Jess Farmer

Holistic Lifestyle & Body Transformation Coach.


Here are some of my previous clients experiences;

Cannot recommend this lovely gent highly enough! So intuitive, so focused and obviously loves what he does which shines through and makes sessions fun as well as super informative.

Jess totally sussed me out in the first hour and identified areas I needed to work on from a fitness and strength perspective as well as asking the right questions from other angles to make me understand exactly why some aches and pains were persisting and helping me understand that everything’s connected and sometimes you’ve got to step back and reassess what you’re doing in order to progress.

A refreshing, accessible, holistic approach – go see him!

– Philly

Jess’ training takes what I would call a “full person” approach. It is an integrated scheme which helped me achieve my goals, in both my fitness (the body) and with my self-development and inter-personal effectiveness (the mind). The body problems for me are mostly postural. I not only have out turning feet – duck feet – I also have a forward arching head and rounded shoulders. Jess’ exercises and training plan (both in and out of the Gymbia) have significantly improved my posture in 5 months! From a mind-set perspective, Jess sat down with me and really listened, before we worked on a new year’s resolution plan. This work has improved my focus toward a long term goal we set. In particular it became clear how achieving our goals, and being conscientious in the way we go about achieving them, will hugely benefit both ourselves and the people of whom are integral in our lives. Thanks Jess, I look forward to many more 2 hour journeys just to train with you!

– Dan

Jess was great! I was looking to get back in the gym so when I won two training sessions with him I took it as a sign. He was really attentive, took my niggling back issues into account and totally helped my weightlifting form. Recommended!

– Alexander