Do you suffer from backache? Pilates can help!

04 March 2021

Do you suffer from backache? Pilates can help!

Do you suffer from backache? Pilates can help!

As Joseph Pilates said: “Contrology develops a uniform body, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, restores the mind, and elevates the spirit. You are as young as the flexibility of your spine. ”

Low back pain (backache) is currently a highly prevalent condition that affects about 80% of the population and is considered one of the main causes of absence from work and professional incapacity, which significantly compromises the quality of life of the affected individuals.

Its causes can be diverse: from muscle weakness of the abdominal and vertebral muscles, inadequate postures, overweight and lack of physical exercise, as well as of unknown or occupational origin. Sometimes, there may be degenerative processes already associated such as: herniated discs, osteophytes, rheumatic diseases, among others, of an inflammatory state.

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In these more severe cases, the pain may not be limited to the lumbar region but may affect the lower limb (leg and foot). Thus, you may feel tingling and loss of muscle strength. Backache is often associated with the inability to stabilize the lumbar spine, this is due to the lack of strengthening of the deeper muscles of the abdomen, such as the transversus.

Currently, according to scientific evidence, Pilates has proven to be quite effective in health promotion, prevention, rehabilitation and treatment of low back pain. The Pilates method is used as training for individuals of all ages who want to improve flexibility and mobility of their body (spine), but it is also used as a therapeutic means for the recovery of lower back pain.

During the execution of the Pilates method, the following principles are used: concentration, fluidity, diaphragmatic breathing, strength, precision, control, body awareness and relaxation, seeking to develop musculoskeletal balance and postural alignment.

The exercises are adapted to the conditions of each patient and the increased difficulty of the exercises must respect their individual characteristics.

Its therapeutic purpose is based on postural correction through muscle strengthening and stretching, working the body as "a whole ". This method created by Joseph Pilates consists of a program of physical exercises that aim to improve body awareness, work the power house (deep abdominal muscles), Core, abdominal, lumbar and gluteal muscles, in a static and dynamic way, since they are responsible for stabilization of the body, promoting the maintenance of a good posture. It aims to promote the realignment of the body by correcting muscle imbalances, improving flexibility and strengthening postural muscles.

It is extremely important to activate and strengthen the Power House, as it is the one that gives the lumbar spine the necessary stability. The more strengthened the core (abdómen) is, the more fluidity of movement and consequent decrease in pain.

Thus, the method appears in order to restore lumbar function and prevent the onset of pain. Main benefits of Pilates for backache:

• Increase spine stability (lumbar)

• Greater control of movement

• Improves posture and thus promotes greater space between the vertebrae, decreased pain

• Muscle strengthening

• Improves flexibility

We leave some therapeutic exercises that you can do at home to relieve low back pain and stay active:

Ex. 1 - Mobilization of the lumbar and pelvis

1-Lying on your back, with your feet flat on the floor, with your knees bent. You can also add a folded towel or an overball.

2-Inhale, and on exhalation, perform the pelvic retro and anteversion movements, that is, take the pelvis forward and back, alternately.

Ex. 2 - Shoulder Bridge

1- Lying on the floor face up, with your feet resting on the floor and knees bent, mobilize the spine, raise the glutes and spine, vertebra by vertebra, to the shoulder blades and then descend, articulating the spine always.

Ex. 3 - Bird Dog

1- With the 4 supports (knees supported and hands on the floor) do the extension of the right leg and at the same time will stretch the left arm. Perform this exercise 10 x for each side.

By Carina Santos, Physiotherapist

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