Pilates is a form of exercise that is predominately carried out on the floor either on your back (most common), side or front. It can also be adapted to include exercises in standing. It has long been fabled as a ‘core’ workout, and as such it has been used for people with back pain.
Now depending on who you read in the rehabilitation/physiotherapy world determines how much influence you put on core exercises as a means of reducing spinal pain. Some people recommend various bracing techniques, whereas Pilates companies advise on the importance of maintaining an aligned pelvis and spine to ensure control.
However, the more people research, the more we realise that pain, especially spinal pain, is multi-faceted. This means that a number of factors such as beliefs, length of time pain has been present, anxiety, stress or sleep deprivation can alter our neural pathways and change our experience of pain. This is true with or without a specific injury being detected on a scan such as an MRI.
So why Pilates?
Pilates is a great exercise for those who may have some apprehension about movement due to pain and fear that they may make it worse, as it focuses on control, and breath support allowing you to feel your way into the exercises. It is also a full body exercise regime, not just focusing on the ‘core’ muscles as is often perceived. This means that your strength and muscle control can be worked on through all joints and muscles making it a great full body workout.
Is Pilates the only thing for back pains?
No! There are lots of different types of exercises and support depending on the nature and causes of the pain. As an experienced physiotherapist I can give advice on the appropriate types of treatment you may benefit from. Pilates may help but every patient is different and that is why at Pinches we use an integrative approach. This means we will consider all the factors and not just focus on one element of a patient.
Is Pilates only for people with pains?
No! Pilates is great for people with pain, but it is also excellent for those of us without any niggles, aches or pains as it’s a great way to stay fit. There are various levels and progressions of the exercises meaning that it can be made easier or more challenging depending on the individual. Also, it tends to take place in a class setting for most of us. This means that it’s a very social exercise, which is great for not just our physical health but also our mental health and wellbeing!
Come and join one of our classes and see for yourself!
Tuesdays 5:30 pm to 6:15 pm
Thursdays 10:30 am to 11:15 am