Low back pain is seen everywhere and is probably one of the most common areas of pain in society today. We spoke to our resident health and wellness expert source, and she says Pilates is an excellent way to relieve tension in your lower back. Keep reading to learn more about Pilates and exercises you can do for lower back pain.
What Causes Low Back Pain?
Research shows that 4 out of 5 of us will experience lower back pain at some point in our lives. Our lower back is a massive area for pain and concern because most of us misuse our low back. With your spine, the smallest vertebrae are your cervical spine which starts at your head and ends at the top of your shoulders.
These are the most movable vertebrae as our neck was intended to rotate side to side. As we travel down, you encounter your thoracic vertebrae, which are larger than the cervical but allow mobility in the ribcage. Last, after your bottom floating rib, we have the lumbar vertebrae, which are the largest, and supposed to be the most stable vertebrae. But what happens if we tend to use these vertebrae for rotation this is one of the reasons we have low back pain and issues.
We would say most people on the planet are overcompensating rotation with their lumbar vertebrae instead of using their thoracic vertebrae. Some will be a short-term inconvenience due to faulty posture or a tight muscle, but others will have long-term problems with disc bulges, sciatica, and many other back conditions.
Using Pilates For Lower Back Pain
Pilates is the perfect exercise program for low back pain because it is low-impact, and anyone on the planet can do it regardless of age and physical health. Pilates has many benefits, such as improved core strength, flexibility and mobility, posture, and increased muscle strength. It’s a great exercise program while recovering from low back pain because of its significant focus on core strength.
Pilates exercises for lower back pain
It’s important to note that MANY THINGS can cause back pain, and we are just outlining a few exercises that could help. We encourage you to seek a certified pilates instructor with 500 hr and injury specialization training for further insight. If you continue to experience persistent or recurring back pain, we also encourage you to seek advice from a doctor before doing these exercises.
Our resident expert on staff recommends the below to help prevent and decrease pain in the lower back. These exercises will promote good posture alignment, strengthen the overall core, and provide gentle stretch and release for tight back muscles.
This is one of the first exercises taught in the Pilates program, as it shows you how to find and correctly engage your abdominals. Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet hip distance apart. Take your hands and place them on your ASIS (hip bone at the front of your pelvic). On your exhale breath, tuck your tailbone and push your low back into the floor. On your inhale, tuck your pubic bone and let your lower back arch off the floor. Continue alternating between the two for ten reps.
Upper Body Lift
This exercise looks similar to a crunch but is vastly different as it focuses on the engagement of the transversus abdominis and keeping the pelvis stable. Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet hip distance apart. Interlace your fingers behind your head with elbows wide. On your exhale breath, lift your head and chest towards the sky, keeping your chin out of your chest and your elbows wide. Imagine drawing your belly button down your spine and closing your rib cage as you lift. Inhale as you lower back to the earth and repeat ten times.
This is an incredible stretch for the muscles that run alongside your spine-like columns, known as the erector spinae muscles. Sit in a comfortable cross-legged seat and can use a pillow if needed. Take your right hand to the floor on the side of your right hip and extend your left hand over your head. Focus on creating length from your left sit bone to your left fingers. Keep your chest open and shoulder blades together with your eyes forward. Repeat on the other side and do 3-5 reps per side.
Low back pain is never fun, but Pilates is one of the best exercise programs available to help. We hope you enjoyed and learned from the above and are feeling pain-free!