Back Pain? You Should Try Pilates

9 Aug, 2023

It should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the non-ergonomic positions of modern life that back pain is on the rise. In fact, this condition is experienced by more people in the U.S. than not, and remains the leading cause of lost work days. The prevalence of chronic back pain has many people searching for holistic, natural ways to feel like themselves again without having to resort to pills, which can be habit-forming, or invasive surgery that takes them off their feet for a long time. Medication only treats the symptoms, and surgery is a last resort- the best thing to do is to heal the body and begin with the root cause. Pilates is a form of exercise that can strengthen and balance the stabilizing muscles in your body to prevent and reduce back pain. Here’s why.

How Pilates Helps Back Pain

Pilates is so often recommended for back pain because it directly strengthens the core. Your core consists of a group of muscles that act like a corset around the trunk and pelvis and stabilizes your body. Every time you stand up, sit down, etc. you’re using your core muscles- so it makes sense that a stronger core equals less back pain. Plus, Pilates is a yoga/dance like activity that makes practitioners more aware of their posture and thus leads to healthier body mechanics. By sitting or standing with a “tall” or elongated spine, space is created between the vertebral discs, reducing pressure and wear-and-tear that causes chronic back pain. By strengthening the core and lengthening the spine, you build a stronger, more flexible back. 

Pilates Corrects Bad Back Habits

Back pain isn’t just due to problems with your back, but potentially also an imbalance in your pelvis or hips. Many unconscious habits – like crossing one leg over the other when sitting down, or sinking into one hip when standing- build up over time and accumulate into back pain. The good thing about Pilates is that it doesn’t just work while you’re practicing, but crosses over into your everyday life to address such postural imbalances and counteract bad posture. A knowledgeable pilates instructor is able to pinpoint problems with your overall body balance, like having one leg that works harder than the other or a hip that sits higher than the other hip. You can then practice exercises and stretches that stabilize and align the pelvis and legs to lessen the strain on your back muscles that are unfortunately picking up the slack with these bad habits and imbalances. Consider it an “antidote” to our sedentary modern lifestyles. Weak gluteal muscles and tight hamstring muscles are common side effects of sitting at a desk or driving for long periods, as these actions pull the lumbar spine (lower back) and mess with our posture. Pilates can help you with that.

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Bad posture and problems with bodily alignment can be corrected with Pilates to prevent or reduce back pain. If you are having problems with chronic back pain, call The Spine and Scoliosis Center to schedule an appointment today.

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