PILATES AND BACK PAIN
Many people that we see in the clinic suffering from back pain, neck pain or any other musculo-skeletal ailment often have an underlying cause for their imbalance. If the body is not capable of holding itself efficiently then it cannot function properly. Pilates helps to address the underlying structural imbalances in the body.
We often talk to them about Pilates or Core Strength exercises and can guide them through some simple ways to improve their core strength. This helps them back to optimal spinal health.
The core is essentially defined by the abdominal wall, the spinal musculature, the pelvic floor and the diaphragm. In other words, the area below the ribs down to the hips is your core. There are many muscles that are essential for movement and good posture within this area and Pilates helps you to work on these.
People often talk about posture and think they have poor posture. What they mean is their ability to align all of the different parts of their body properly. Good function is more than this though because we don’t often stand still. We need good alignment or good posture whenever we move. We need a good dynamic posture. This allows the body to function normally and allows it to perform daily tasks more efficiently.
The muscles which are largely forgotten are often the most important. Many of us wish we didn’t have a flabby tummy but instead wish we had a flat “six pack”. This leads us to hold our tummies in using our six pack muscles (rectus abdominis). Unfortunately, the muscles we should be using are much deeper than this and cannot readily be seen. Developing core strength allows the correct muscles to be strong and work together well. It allows them to work to their optimum level at the right time.
By increasing the efficiency of the body’s movement and reducing the strain on the spine and joints we give our body the chance to become more flexible. It no longer has to work to hold you back from potential injury but can stretch confidently, in the right direction, supported correctly by the other muscles and can achieve better flexibility.
Because we sit for hours in front of computers or do lots of lifting in our jobs we put a great deal of strain on our body without providing it with the strength to be able to cope with those demands. We also ask it to perform tasks outside of work that are totally different to the ones it is used to doing. For example, commonly people sit at the desk all week then go and dig the garden at the weekend. Consequently many people suffer greatly with back pain.