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Pilates and Back Pain

Have you ever felt debilitated by back pain? It seems that everyone in their life (me included) has had SOME form of back pain before. Where that back pain has come from is often unknown, but it can make everyday tasks such as walking, twisting and even sitting unbearable. It's estimated that 85% of people experience back pain or disc issues, not necessarily in their later years either. Back pain, as I’m sure you already know can impact your work, social life and overall health.


It’s a tough battle that we have with injuries, whether to rest or keep moving. When it comes to back pain I believe you’ve got to do everything in moderation. Whether that be exercise, movement or rest. Exercise and movement are so important for not only your physical health, but your mental health also. Not exercising can cause further health issues, often exacerbating the reasons for your back pain in the first place. So, how do you help your back pain then?


That’s where Pilates comes in. 


When experiencing back pain, most doctors, physios and osteopaths recommend avoiding strenuous exercise as you want to be careful to not make the problem worse. The Pilates method, based on the 5 basic principles, was developed to strengthen and lengthen the muscles around our spines and joints evenly. One of the main focuses of Pilates is to strengthen our deep abdominal muscles and pelvic floor, which ultimately help us to support our spine. While practicing Pilates it is so important that you have a ‘no pain’ tolerance. Yes, we want your glutes and abs to be sore, but neck, back and shoulder pain are not allowed! There are always modifications to support anyone through any exercise to ensure that you receive the full benefit of Pilates. We also believe it is very important to look at the whole picture. A well-rounded Pilates program helps to rebalance our muscles, reducing pain and discomfort all over. 


You’re convinced - I want to try Pilates!


That’s awesome. However, this doesn’t mean you should just jump into any old Pilates class. It is always advised to see your doctor or physio first, to gain more understanding of the injury and how it came about. We recommend, especially if you are a beginner, that if you are experiencing back pain you see a Pilates instructor privately. You get the undivided attention of the instructor as well as exercises programmed to you and your bodies needs specifically. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of the basic principles, meaning that when you do join into other classes, you’ll understand how to activate your muscles correctly in order to support you back. It is so important to set yourself up for success. 


“Change happens through movement and movement heals”- Joseph Pilates

- Sonia & Braidy

Pilates and Back Pain