Several health care professionals recommend Pilates for those suffering with back pain. Yet how does Pilates help so many people who suffer with back pain?

Pilates is a gentle and effective way to help strengthen muscles to support the back. The Pilates exercises can easily be adapted, ideal if you are suffering with back pain, as it offers you options. Clinical Pilates are small classes, maximum of 12. To ensure everyone receives the adequate time and attention, especially with back pain.

Pilates focuses on strengthening the abdominals and back muscles, yet at the same time, it looks at the whole body. Our bodies are designed to move and when we stay in certain position for a long period of time, i.e. sitting this can cause discomfort and sometimes back pain. Sitting poorly for a long time will cause some muscles to overwork and some to underwork. This creates a muscle imbalance and over time creates uncomfortable tension and pain, specifically in the lower back area.

Standing for long periods of time can cause discomfort in the back area. The areas to work on are strengthening muscles to support the back, improving posture and developing balance.

In Pilates classes the exercises will be in a number of different positions, to offer variety and a balance approach when working the body. Equipment can be used, which offers support, progression and help you to become more body aware.

How can Pilates help you, with your back pain?

– is something we do every day in our movement, yet is something which can be overlooked and so we become unbalanced. It is an area that once developed, helps the body to move freely and improves co-ordination.

Flexibility – be able to keep a good range, especially around the joints

Breathing – how we breathe is key to our overall health and is an essential part of Pilates. As human beings, we can get caught up with the hustle and bustle of life and shallow breathe, only using the top part of our lungs. Yet by being aware of our breathing and when we breathe this helps to engage the abdominal muscles and maintain this connection, whilst doing Pilates.

Strengthen – abdominal and back muscles to reduce aches and pains. However, Pilates is a total body workout.

Posture – do you sit and stand in alignment? When we spend time in a position, out of alignment, this is where aches and pains can develop. The Pilates exercises help you to maintain your natural posture and help you to become more aware of your posture and postural habits.

Sleep – quality and time improves, from attending 1 hour class a week.

Medication – may reduce or not even required. The Pilates exercises are a way some people have regained control over their lives and now able to manage back pain.

Body aware – are you? Pilates encourages you to look at your movement patterns. So, do you start walking with your left foot or your right? When you fold your arms, try folding your arms the opposite way, does it feel strange? There should be no difference between which leg we move first or indeed which way we fold our arms, yet we are humans and we get into patterns and routines. These tiny things all have a ripple effect on the body and Pilates helps us to become more aware and teaches us how to create balanced movement, thus reducing back pain.

If any of this has resonated with you and you would like to see if the Pilates classes at Rowan House are suitable for you and how it can help with your back pain. Please contact myself Anna Ryan on 07516 471735 or email.