Using Pilates to Relieve or Avoid Back Pain



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Many individuals use Pilates to help relieve back pain or to avoid back pain. Back pain usually happens because of structural imbalances that lead to back pain. Lack of core support, instability in the pelvic region, muscular imbalances, having poor posture and a lack of body awareness can also lead to back pain.

Pilates can help to relieve back pain by correcting poor posture, correct structural imbalances, and increase core support. Pilates also stabilizes the pelvic region and strengthens your muscles.

Back pain also occurs when individuals sit, stand, or lie incorrectly also known as poor posture. Individuals tend to have poor posture when they tuck or tilt the pelvis causing weakness on one side of the body with tight areas on the other side of the body. This can create pain up the spine and even in the neck area. There is an awareness of body placement while going through the Pilates exercises.

To avoid back pain by developing core strength requires aligning all the muscles of the trunk and helping them to be strong, flexible and working together to give both stability and strength to the spine. The back muscles, buttock muscles, and the muscles of the abdominal often referred to as the “6-pack” are what makes up the core strength. It is when all these muscles are strong not just the abs that there is real core strength. It is the core strength that lends real support to the spine, which avoids back pain.

When we are flexible we enjoy true mobility and avoid back pain that comes form being inflexible. Pilate’s promotes flexibility by allowing the spine to curve forward, and to bend backward, to twist from side to side without pain or discomfort. When recovering from injury Pilate’s exercises can be easily modified so as to strengthen without causing further injury or pain. Everyone can develop spinal strength and flexibility at their own pace and ability.

Whether you have acute or chronic back pain it is important to see your doctor before starting any exercise program. Back pain can occur for many reasons including injury, bad posture, and aging. Your doctor can determine the cause of your back pain and can help you to determine if Pilate’s will help you to improve your strength and flexibility in order to relieve your pain. When doing Pilate’s you become more aware of your body and the position that you are moving your body parts. This awareness allows you to know how the body parts are being aligned which helps when posturing in the future, which may help to avoid back pain in the future.

If you suffer from back pain, talk to your health care professional about Pilates.

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Originally posted 2008-11-06 11:13:25.


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2 Responses to “Using Pilates to Relieve or Avoid Back Pain”

  1. [...] Pilates to Relieve or Avoid Back Pain Jon [...]

  2. I have a tip that may help people who have experienced chronic back pain. I bi-laterally ruptured two discs in my lower back a few years ago. I was told by 2 neuro- surgeons that I needed surgery and would never walk right again. The third one, luckily, said he would operate as a last measure and directed me to walk as much as I could tolerate everyday. It took a while to get better but today I am walking just fine!

    I still occasionally have back pain but I found a chiropractor who showed me how to alleviate my own pain immediately. His technique never treats the site of pain but rather the protective neurological mechanisms behind the pain. When you are first injured, there are nerve circuits which go into action to protect you…when those guarding mechanisms stay in the “on” position, you feel pain. He likens it to a fuse that blows in your home and short circuits the electricity. Once the fuse is treated things run like they should again.

    So one of the keys is to treat the mirror image of the pain you are experiencing. If you had low back pain, you would find the spot that is the most sore probably somewhere below your belly button. Then massage to your level of pain tolerance for 1-2 minutes. You should experience immediate pain relief.

    If you want more information/research, you might want to check out the study by Dr. Gary J. Bennett, a McGill university pain specialist, whose research provides the “first conclusive proof” that trauma on one side of the body can cause opposite-side nerve damage.

    I hope this helps someone.

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