Most people will experience some sort of a back pain or discomfort during their lifespan.
Why does this and how can we avoid being one of these people?
The amount of back pain people experience is alarming, it is raising every day and has started to become a new pandemic.
People lead more sedentary lifestyles, spending most of the day sitting. Trying to then “make up” for the sitting by going on weekend exercise marathons.
It doesn’t matter if you exercise for an hour a day or the entire weekend. In contrary, binge exercise can strain our muscles and joints and leads to more pain and injuries.
Because of the new dependency on technology, more people, especially young ones adopt incorrect postural habits.
It doesn’t take long for the body to adapt to the new external forces, such as slouched shoulders, overextended neck and pelvic desalignment.
Some muscles become long and weak and the opposite ones tight and short.
This process shifts the muscles functions and the mobilizes often switch roles to become stabilizers and vice versa.
The change of the soft tissue, caused by poor posture, eventually leads to permanent structural deviations of the spine and the other joints.
It’s quiet alarming that there is a new condition, called a “tech neck”, mainly because of excessive use of electronic devices.
The forward head postural deviation is characterised by the muscles of the front of the neck being elongated and weak, while shortened and overworked on the back.
It often comes with stiffness, tension and pain around the neck, shoulders and the upper back.
For the older population, back pain can be caused by arthritis, trauma, old injuries, bad postural habits, osteoporosis and general lack of core strength.
Even depression and other mental problems can be related to back pain.
How can PILATES HELP YOU with prevention and healing of back pain?
Even one single pilates lesson can help you gain better body awereness.
By focusing on our form during pilates, we learn proper body mechanics and proprioception.
It means that we become more aware of where our limbs are in space and how we can balance from our core.
The mind – body connection becomes stronger and we are more conscious of the movements we do in our daily lives.
Practicing Pilates teaches the body to use the correct muscles in a neutral joint alignment.
For example, it makes you feel what is “wrong” and after a while you instinctively going to avoid shifting your hips forward, locking your knees or collapsing your ribcage.
The small changes in the way you hold your body will automatically make your back feel better.
The Pilates exercises emphasize NEUTRAL SPINE.
This is the shape of the spine, when all the forces are balanced around the natural, mostly genetic curves of the upper, middle and lower back.
Only a few pilates moves can bring a back pain relief by stretching the tight muscles and releising tension.
For longevity, one should practice pilates 2 – 3 times per week for
30 to 45 minutes. Nothing beats consistency and if you are serious about improving your back condition, you need to make a COMMITMENT to yourself and not miss your classes.
However, not every pilates exercise is suitable for back pain suffereres.
For example an extreme flexion should be avoided with a herniated disk (Neck pull).
For osteoporosis, the pilates student should avoid rolling into the spine (Rolling like a ball) or extreme rotation (Saw).
If you suffer from back pain, first consult your doctor.
Once you have a green card to do pilates, inform your teacher about your condition.
The great news is that the pilates exercises can be adapted to suit different needs and abilities.
You may need to start from the basics on the Mat and progress on the apparatus, as you get stronger.
At Nova Pilates we are knowledgeable and competent pilates instructors, who are skilled to combine traditional mat exercises with equipment work for the most beneficial workout.
If I can give you one piece of advice, it will be to listen to your body!
If something feels uncomfortable, stop! Pilates is not meant to hurt!
Pilates is a long term holistic approach to prevent and improve back pain!
– Sunny Trifonova