Pilates and Back Pain

Updated: May 27, 2020

Working with a physical therapist trained in Pilates is an exceptional way to promote back health. For a back pain patient, It is important to learn neutral alignment of the spine and how to strengthen the deep postural muscles. If you have pain after excessive movement and have degeneration of the intervertebral discs you are a definite candidate for a Pilates exercise program. Postural imbalance can be improved, which can decrease wear and tear resulting from uneven stresses on the joints and discs.Pilates improves flexibility, strength and helps to open the hip and shoulder girdle. It's important to keep these joints fluid through supported movement in order to prevent unnecessary torque on the vertebrae.

Working with a physical therapist trained in Pilates for rehabilitation is especially helpful when learning body awareness as you could stress the spine based upon unhealthy ways of movement. A physical therapist helps you to change bad habits to those that will support neutral alignment of the spine.

Pilates for Rehabilitation

If you are experiencing significant back problems, you may benefit from several one-on-one Pilates sessions with a physical therapist. Working with a physical therapist to learn the exercises correctly is well worth the time, effort and expense as doing them incorrectly can make back pain significantly worse!

Back patients should avoid exercises that push the spine into extremes of flexion or extension, or combine flexion with side bending or twisting the spine. These movements will place excessive stress on the intervertebral discs. Mental and physical fatigue can also be harmful for back pain because proper form is lost and injuries are more likely to occur.

It may take time and patience for the full benefits of a Pilates exercise program to be realized. Remember, back pain problems tend to happen gradually over time. It can also take time to learn how to use your muscles in ways that support your spine. A physical therapist can keep you engaged in proper technique and motivate you as you continue your healing journey.

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