The importance of good posture
Maintaining good posture is so important to your overall health. It keeps your bones well aligned with the rest of the body, keeping tension in your muscles and ligaments correctly distributed. Basically, it keeps your body in its rightful position with minimal stress. You can understand therefore why poor posture is such a major contributor to both neck and back pain.
The constant sitting, driving, working at desks, being on our phones and tablets and the natural ageing process, it’s no wonder we get aches and pains. Pilates is recommended for so many reasons and one is to improve posture and correct muscle imbalances created through our different lifestyles. It has so many wonderful stretches and movements that really focus on strengthening the core and back muscles to improve our posture and reduce joint discomfort including neck and back pain.
If you suffer from lower back pain then you may not feel like exercising, but research proves that movement and exercise really are the key to easing it. If you read the NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) guidelines on what is the best treatment you will see that exercise is recommended. The less you move the more likely the pain is to get worse. Try not to be fearful of it. We were designed to move so the advice is to start slowly and build up gradually. Pilates exercises when done correctly are an extremely effective means of increasing core strength and endurance which in turn helps to alleviate lower back pain and discomfort. It’s the perfect starting point!
How to get it right
It is important you have a good instructor and are taught the pilates principles and basic exercises well and not pushed on too quickly. It isn’t always easy to find the right muscles and work them correctly. Less is more in Pilates and you are after a low level of contraction of your core muscles for them to work effectively. If you jump forward too quickly or maybe even, try too hard with the exercises you could increase the strain on your back instead.
Strengthening the core is not the only way to help to ease back pain. Stretching is vital too, especially of the lower back, the muscles around the hips and pelvis, and the hamstrings.
Keep moving and don’t sit for too long!
It is important to keep moving. It might be that a combination of controlled Pilates and other forms of low impact exercise would be beneficial, such as walking, swimming, or cycling. You need to find what works for you and makes you feel comfortable. Above all you need to enjoy it!
Try some Pilates for back pain.
Within the online and on demand library of classes on the website is a 6 Week Programme designed specially to help ease you low back pain. It may take longer than 6 weeks to complete depending on your level of commitment and progress, but you should notice a difference reasonably quickly. Pilates may become a long term means of managing your back pain as you enjoy the benefits, and start finding yourself able to increase your activity levels. You can read more on this on my back pain page.
Also, in the on-demand Pilates, there is a range of 20-30 min stretch classes that will complement the work you do in the back pain programme.Favourite?