Pilates and Back Pain

Back pain is a general term used to describe a myriad of problems that the human body deals with on a daily basis. For some, aging or sitting at a computer for too long merely bring general aches and pains that need to be maintained. For others, back pain can be debilitating due to pre-existing conditions such as scoliosis, results from a car accident, or even bearing a child. In the worst cases, surgery is the only option, but before that step is taken, be sure to have exhausted all possibilities. 

Can Pilates Help Reduce Back Pain?

This depends on what exactly is wrong and how one goes about practicing, but most doctors and instructors believe that Pilates can be a great tool to help reduce back pain no matter the cause. As we’ve discussed previously, Pilates focuses on precise movement and the entire center of the body, providing greater core stability. Back pain, while varied in reason, can usually find a connection in issues surrounding the core. Those with scoliosis can experience back pain early in life, and are able to find comfort after building up their core muscles. Pilates is a perfect way to build up the core, and would be a great asset for those dealing with scoliosis.  

What Concerns Should I Have When Practicing Pilates?

When it comes to practicing Pilates, the biggest concern outside of matching the right cause and need, would be the practice and instructor style. Many newer Pilates studios may not be as adept at the true Joseph Pilates teachings, and they may include more general types of training and exercise. While that may be fine for many, for those dealing with specific issues, the proper Pilates method is imperative. One-on-one sessions would also be important, as the full focus of the instructor would be on the student and their specific issues. Graduating to group classes can occur, but only after a good foundation is set, based on the needs of the student.

What About Yoga?

We’ve previously discussed the differences and commonalities of yoga and Pilates, and stated that a combo of the two can offer a well-rounded health routine. This is no different for anyone experiencing back pain. Between the core work and alignment exercises in Pilates and the meditation, breathwork, and clarity provided by yoga, a student can experience decreased pain in the lower back as long as they are following direction properly from both their instructors and doctors.

As you can see, when practiced properly, Pilates can be a wonderful option for dealing with back pain. Of course, you should consult your physician before starting any particular exercise regimen to ensure all potential issues are discussed. It is also important to find the right Pilates studio – Dynamic Fitness promotes the original Pilates method and suggests private sessions for anyone dealing with debilitating pain. Contact us today for a consultation!

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