I learned a lot about myself and my health and fitness this past year. Like many of you I want to be better. I don’t want to settle. I was tired of my lower back pain and decided to do something about it. This is my story of how I got my life back on track by getting to the core of the problem.
My lower back has always given me pain. I can remember back in high school when my back muscles would spasms and my body would contort into a pretzel. My mother was concerned so I saw an exercise specialist who thought I was lifting too much weight in the gym. I stubbornly disagreed and carried on with my ways. I was a skinny kid. Let me tell you as a male teenager being skinny is not a good thing. I had my insecurities. I wanted to be big and strong. I would lift heavy weights and build muscle so I would feel more confident and comfortable in my own skin. The problem was I was training hard but not very smart. At the time I didn’t care about the repercussions.
Fast forward twenty years and now I have a clearer perspective. I did some serious damage to my back with incorrect lifting techniques, lifting too much, and just plain being reckless with my training. I was happy that I got big and strong, but I was ruining my back in the process. My back was taking a beating as the years went by. I didn’t respect my body. It was telling me to slow down and adjust and I simply ignored it. I looked into massage, physiotherapy, and chiropractic, but they did not resolve the problem. I was not ready to help myself at this time. It took me many years to address this fully, and I did it because I was in constant pain. I could not do the things I enjoyed such as playing soccer, lifting groceries, or playing with my nephews. I was very depressed because I couldn’t be active the way I wanted to be. I soon realized that I had to do something or I would just keep on being miserable.
I booked a MRI and then got a referral from a sports medicine doctor to Richard Gregory at Ottawa Osteopathy and Sports Therapy. He is amazing and helped me gain important insights. My back was in pain because I was hyper mobile. This means I could bend forward very far and touch my toes. However, this also meant I was not very capable of leaning back very far. My back would crack very easily with twisting. I realized I had very poor core stability. Things just were not held together at my core too tightly. I started doing core stability exercises daily and I soon started to feel some relief. These included planks, side planks, cobra, hip bridges, and bird dogs. I noticed over time that I was more focused on my core. Over time I slowly regained my curve in my lower spine and the pain reduced. I now have been able to return to playing soccer, and lifting bags without any sharp pain.
I then returned to my exercises such as squats with a new appreciation. No longer did I want to lift really heavy weights. I just wanted to get my body working together well. My core exercises helped me squat better because my mobility and stability allow me for better movement.
Overcoming injury is very rewarding. I now have a better understanding on how I can better help my clients benefit from core training specifically for lower back pain. I enjoy seeing my clients get more active and enjoy their lives pain-free.
If you would like more information on training and a program that would be right for you, please contact me:
I would be happy to answer any of your questions.
About Peter Koutras
Peter operates Fast Track Fitness at Prime Personal Training, a private studio located at 429 St Laurent Blvd in Ottawa, Canada. Peter is a Kinesiologist, and Wellness Coach. Peter’s mission is to empower people to achieve a healthier mind and body through fun exercise, delicious meals, and a positive mindset. He will keep you on track with a variety of custom programs and ongoing support. Peter is specialized in health and fitness programs for mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, and dementia. He also offers general health programs that focus on weight/fat loss, and injury/disease prevention and rehabilitation. He has coached hundreds of clients to stellar results over the last 15 years and looks forward to celebrating your success story.