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21 Nov 18 How Can Pilates Help My Back Pain?

How Can Pilates Help My Back Pain?

Many people suffer from daily back pain. Pilates can help relieve your pain and strengthen your core to prevent future strain.

Is pilates good for lower back pain?

Pilates is an exercise method that combines cardiovascular activity and core strengthening. Many people wonder if pilates can help relieve them of their back pain. Because a strong core is crucial to back support in everyday activities like walking, maintaining good posture, and sitting, pilates is a great form of exercise to improve your back pain.  Be conscious of your daily habits. Do you slouch when sitting and standing? How often are you walking? Does your job involve sitting for long amounts of time? All of these common stressors can contribute to back pain. As you explore pilates for back pain relief, you will be able to watch as your posture improves and your pain is eased.


Which pilates exercises will help my back pain?

Many different pilates movements and exercises can improve your core strength and alleviate back pain. Reformer machines allow you to lay down while performing the exercises, which removes compression and helps to elongate the spine. The following exercises can help you treat and prevent your back pain:

  • Bridge Lifts: Start lying on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Bring your pelvis up towards the sky. Slowly lower your pelvis back down to the floor. This exercise strengthens the lower back and core.
  • Kneeling Arm and Leg Reach: Start on your hands and knees. Extend your left arm forward and your right leg backward. Alternate on the opposite side. This strengthens the muscles running along the spine as well as abdominal muscles.
  • Supermans: This exercise makes you look and feel like Superman! Lay on your stomach with your arms outstretched in front of you. Simultaneously lift your arms and legs off the ground, leaving only your core and pubic bone on the floor. This focuses on the back specifically and helps to strengthen the back.
  • Plank: Although simple, this exercise is actually more advanced for those with back problems. It is important to maintain a neutral spine (straight back, no arching and no sagging). Start on your hands and knees, then extend your feet behind you. You should feel like you are at the top of a push-up. Hold this position. This exercise targets your abdominal muscles and your lower back muscles.


What can I do outside of pilates class to improve my back pain?

We know that strengthening your core and back through pilates can improve and prevent back pain. But there are other steps you can take outside of class to continue to improve your pain.

  • Drink plenty of water: We know, we know, everyone tells you to do this. But there is a reason, in addition to the countless other benefits, staying well-hydrated helps your muscles to heal themselves and stay pliable. This allows your back muscles to stay more flexible and be less prone to injury, as well as recover from any previous injury.
  • Watch your posture: Maintaining proper posture is difficult. Why? Because it takes strength. By checking on your posture throughout the day and correcting any slumping or slouching, you are continually strengthening and working the muscles that are needed to hold you upright and in alignment.


Can pilates hurt your back?

You may be concerned about whether exercise, including pilates, can cause more harm to your back and exacerbate the pain. That answer lies with your healthcare professional. It is not recommended to start a new form of exercise without consulting a healthcare professional if you have an injury or recurring untreated pain.