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Pilates and how it helps with Back pain

You may have heard Pilates is an excellent way to recover from back pain. Well, it’s true.

As long as it’s done the right way.

One reason that back pain occurs is a lack of core strength. This means that when you move, your back is essentially under strain.

If you think of a human skeleton – legs, pelvis, spindly spine, ribs/arms and head. The middle bit, where your back is, has no bones that hold you up other than the small

vertebral or spinal bones. The work is done mainly by muscles – ideally, a balance between

the strong abdominal muscles and the trunk muscles along your body's posterior (back-facing) side of your body.

If the core is not working correctly (and there are many reasons why this might happen)

then the back muscles take all of the load of holding your upper body up against gravity -

all day long.

So if your core is not doing its fair share of the work of keeping your body’s posture and

movement, then the back muscles are overloaded and strain the discs and joints

and bones of the spine are under strain, things start to hurt, either suddenly or


So, how does Pilates help?

One of the core principles of Pilates is to learn how to activate your core

muscles again, and then activate the core before all movements. So this means that your

transversus abdominis muscles, pelvic floor muscles and multifidus (deep back muscles),

also known as the most helpful muscles of your core, are trained and activated before you

start to move your body.

Now interestingly, in scientific research, special electrodes are used to see that in people who

don’t have back pain (the ‘control’ group), with the core muscles coming on before movement, and people with back pain (the ‘experimental group’) don’t.

By activating tired unused, traumatised ( from pain or surgery, for example) muscles to switch on and get stronger, we can help to reverse one of the significant causes of pain.

Pilates as an excellent way to help your back? Try, One-on-one or small classes, and have an assessment done. This helps determine exercise frequency,graded load progression and the level to begin exercises.

And you may have heard that Pilates is fun. This is also true. What could be better?

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