Lower Back Pain and Pilates

Lower Back Pain and Pilates

How many of you have experienced lower back pain? Maybe only for a short period or maybe you suffer from long term back pain, or maybe even (ladies only) you suffer back pain with your menstrual cycle. It can be really debilitating. Rest assured you are definitely not alone approximately 2.5 million people in the UK suffer back pain every day. That is a lot of people! The causes of back pain vary but 95% are caused by non specific lower back pain (a generic term for nothing serious). Although having said this when you have prolonged pain or suffering caused by back pain it may seem more serious and despairing.

Evidence suggest that back pain responds best to trying to be as active as you can, maintaining daily activities, using pain relief during acute flare ups of pain. For more long term management and maintenance, keeping back pain at bay, Pilates has been shown to be very effective. There are numerous studies that show the effects Pilates has on back pain. Recent studies were reviewed by Cochrane UK which gathers high quality evidence to inform health care decision making. They found that after reviewing 10 randomised control trials, looking at Pilates intervention on back pain that:

  • “Pilates is more effective than minimal intervention for improving pain, disability, function and global impression of recovery at short-term follow up and these improvements are seen for pain and disability at intermediate-term follow up”

So how does Pilates help, it is described by Joseph Pilates himself as the “art of controlled movements” It helps to improve flexibility, builds strength and develops control and endurance in the entire body. The fundamental principles that apply look at correct alignment, breathing and developing strength in the deep abdominal muscles and improving coordination and balance.

From personal experience I know that Pilates has improved my own movement patterns and has changed my own body awareness and those times that I have had back pain I’ve turned to Pilates to help get me moving and ease my symptoms. As a pilates teacher and physiotherapist I’ve also seen first hand the effect that Pilates can have on the body and those that suffer back pain.

Now that I’ve finished ‘bigging up’ Pilates it’s time to try it! We run classes in the Dunfermline area so get in touch to book your space.

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