In this blog, I will be exploring the use of Pilates in the management of lower back pain.
As society changes, so does people lifestyles. We have all become less active and spend more times on our phones and computers. Unfortunately as a result of our reduce activity our muscles have become weaker. These muscles are key in maintaining the support of our spines.
Pilates which was first developed to help dancers improve their performances, has now become very popular for all those suffering with back pain.
The idea of Pilates is very simple, encourage the deep abdominal muscles (core muscles) to work. By performing 10 minutes of Pilates based exercises daily, you can significantly reduce you lower back pain. Pilates can be divided in 2 types, mat Pilates and machine based Pilates.
The beauty of Pilates exercises can be performed at home, you don’t need any equipment. By using your own body weight you are using a easy and functional type of resistance training.
These exercises can be used in isolation to keep you body in good shape or utilised in conjunction to traditional gym exercises and strength training. During my 17 years Physiotherapy experience, I have found that combining these two, can significant decrease injuries and provide good support of you lower back.
Incorporating Pilates in your existing Exercises
Pilates exercises can be used before running, before tennis and before going to the gym. By activating the deep core muscles, you can provide protection and support of your spine, thus diminishing the risk of developing a back related injury. Pre-activation is key to allow the correct muscle sequencing and ensuring you lower back is not expose to unwanted loading forces.
It will only take 5 minutes to activate the muscles and protect your spine, after a few weeks, your body should become more efficient and able to protect your spine.
Why Pilates Works for Back Pain
We know that people that suffer with a recurrent lower back pain, suffer from actual physiological changes to their muscles.
Research has shown that the deep abdominal and spine musculature become less efficient and loose their ability to activate at the correct time. The function of your deep abdominal muscles is to activate a few milliseconds before you move to provide support of your spine.
Bu using Pilates exercises, we are able to target these muscles in an isolated and structured why. We can encourage your central nervous system to adjust the way it controls your muscles, thus normalising your trunk musculature response to every day challenges.
Fix Your Back Pain with Reformer Pilates
Reformer Pilates can help you build up core strength, flexibility and improve posture. It provides a resistance based, which is able to specifically activate you deep abdominal and spinal musculature in isolation. It can be utilised both as a injury treatment modality, injury prevention or just as a strength training method.
Using a Foam Roller
Foam roller are great in allowing you to perform both flexibility and strength training exercises. You can use them to keep you middle back loose, open up the tight chest musculature and hip flexors. You can also use it to encourage the activation of you deep abdominal muscles.
Pilate Exercise Ball
Pilates Exercise Balls are also a great way to keep fit by activating your deep abdominal muscles and improving posture.