Pilates and Back Pain
The main reasons people come to my studio are to get fit, strengthen their core, get rid of their belly (even when there is no evidence of one!) and because they have back pain.
Does Pilates help ease back pain?
In my experience, Pilates can ease back pain quickly and effectively, even with people who only do one class a week.
However there is no ‘one size fits all’ Pilates class; the beauty of Pilates is that it is so adaptable; from being challenging enough for Olympic athletes, to gentle enough for rehabilitation purposes. So it’s important to do the appropriate level Pilates; if you have back pain and your doctor tells you to do Pilates, do not go and do a group Pilates class at your local gym! Find a well qualified and experienced teacher and start with private classes.
What I have found works most successfully is this:
1. Start with a basic level Private Pilates class 2 times a week, gradually building up strength, flexibility and body awareness.
2. Once you can do the basics and move without pain, join an appropriate level group class if that is your preference.
3. On the days you don’t have a class, do a series of simple Pilates exercises. Think you don’t have time? Stop making excuses! You only need 10 minutes. One of the biggest stumbling blocks is your attitude; if you have the right attitude, it will show in the results.
4. Pilates will help with all other movements you do and it’s important to have varied movement in your day. Increase the amount and variety of movement you do each day: walk more, stand instead of sitting, sit on the floor instead of on chairs, reach your arms up more, learn to squat. Start gently, move mindfully, and build it up.
Living with pain is stressful and depressing; it’s worth a little effort to liberate yourself from pain and make friends with your body at the same time.