Pilates is an exercise program that focuses on the core postural muscles that help keep the body balanced and spine supported. In particular, Pilates exercises teach awareness of neutral alignment of the spine and strengthening of the deep postural muscles that support this alignment, which are important to help alleviate and prevent back pain. People who have pain stemming from excessive movement and/or degeneration of the intervertebral discs and joints are particularly likely to benefit from a Pilates exercise program. In addition, postural asymmetries can be improved, thus decreasing the wear and tear resulting from uneven stresses on the intervertebral discs and joints.
Before starting any new exercise program it is advisable to check with your family doctor or meet with your chiropractor. Dr. Matthew Gloin is one of the chiropractors at Live Well Chiropractic and Pilates Center and he will gladly examine you and then speak with the instructor about specific areas of strength and/or flexibiltity and exercises to include while doing any Pilates treatment sessions. As a general rule, back pain patients should avoid exercises that push the spine into extremes of flexion or extension, or combine flexion with side bending or twisting of the spine. These motions place excessive stress on the intervertebral discs and joints. Precautions for each patient will vary and so do the goals that ultimately need to occur for function and posture to improve.
The exercises in Pilates classes or private sessions should be challenging (both mentally and pysically), but not so difficult thay they may cause anyone to struggle. If an exercise causes pain, it is best to stop and tell the instructor. The exercise may be too difficult or the form may not be correct thus causing further irritation. How long will it take to see a difference? Just as problems that create most back pain problems happen gradually over time, learning to use one’s muscles in a way that supports rather than stresses the spine takes time and focus. At Live Well Chiropractic and Pilates Center we are here to help you in a variety of ways that include chiropractic care, Pilates rehabilitation, Pilates Classes, acupuncture or massage. People like that we offer a variety of ways to take care of a problem and we hope that you will too!