At Connect we see a high number of clients who are experiencing back pain. Back pain can be debilitating, and can impact our freedom of movement and our ability to complete daily activities and enjoy life.
Back pain is a complex area and there is a vast array of reasons to why back pain occurs including:
Lack of body awareness
Bending, flexing the spine with poor technique
Overuse of global muscles
Weak glute and abdominal muscles
Tight hamstrings and hip flexors
Congenital back issues
Can you relate to the above? Then Pilates may be for you. Keep reading to learn how we address back pain through the Pilates method.
Improve body awareness and technique
Pilates addresses back pain by improving body awareness and technique. Pilates classes move at a slower pace then other forms of exercise to allow us to focus on moving with control and precision. Moving at a slower pace allows you to focus on the right technique and it supports you to engage the right muscles. Pilates focuses on small stabilising muscles which support your spine and can reduce back pain and reduce the risk of future strains and injuries.
Focus on spinal articulation
The focus of spinal articulation is to get all parts of the spine moving in all planes of movement: flexion, extension, lateral flexion and rotation. Different parts of our spine have different ranges of movement in the planes mentioned. For example, we have the greatest rotation in our cervical spine (neck) followed by our thoracic spine (upper back) and our lumbar spine (lower back) has the least amount of rotation. Spinal articulation allows us to distribute load through our spine and access the parts of the spine that gives us the greatest range of movement for the task required. E.G. rotation through cervical and thoracic spine to check your blind spot when driving.
Strengthening the muscles that support the spine
When we have weaknesses in our small stabilising muscles they switch off and our global muscles take over. When our global muscles get tired and overworked this is when muscle strain and injury including back pain can occur. Pilates works on getting the smaller muscles in your glutes and abdominals firing to allow your global muscles to go back to the job of moving the body rather then stabilising the body.
Tightness in our lower body including hamstrings and hip flexors can cause tightness up into our lower back, this is particularly true in my case! In Pilates we use dynamic stretches to move your muscles and joints through their full range of movement gradually increasing your range overtime.
Addressing the above areas will support in reducing back pain and preventing further injury or strain. What I love about Pilates is it’s functional and the techniques taught in class will support you in completing your daily activities and getting back to enjoying life without discomfort.
At Connect we believe that your body shouldn’t hold you back from doing the things you love. If you are experiencing back pain and what to know if Pilates can help you please contact us.
Thanks for reading!