Pilates foundations

Non specific lower back pain risk factors and how Pilates can help

Low back pain is really common. You probably experienced already at least one episode of low back pain. It is usually non dangerous. Most cases of lower back pain are non-specific. Other times, low back pain is the result of an underlying and existing condition that needs to be treated and diagnosed by a specialist.

The are many factors that can contribute to non-specific lower back pain. Below some examples:

  • Bad technique when doing specific movements like bending
  • Incorrect posture: when we are sitting at work, driving, in a slouched position.
  • Repetitive movements
  • Loaded movements: lifting or carrying heavy loads and movements involving twisting and overreaching
  • Obesity: very common factor as the overweight puts more strain on the spine
  • Pregnancy: Similar to obesity, more weight puts more strain on the spine. Also the pelvis naturally tilts anteriorly, increasing the lordotic curve.
  • Smoking and medication
  • Stress and depression

There are a number of treatment options available that your doctor will advise that could include pain relief, physiotherapy, and exercise and lifestyle changes, includin practising Pilates.

If you have a nerve-related or ‘red flag’ pain or any other symptoms you must seek advice from your GP or physiotherapist.

A GP may recommend Pilates as it is a great form of exercise that helps to reduce low back pain as it contributes to:

  • improved flexibility and muscle strength and tone
  • increase focus
  • improve proprioception
  • balanced muscular strength and control
  • stronger muscles, healther spine
  • improved stabilisation of your spine
  • rehabilitation or prevention of injuries related to muscle imbalances
  • improved physical coordination, proprioception and balance
  • relaxation of your shoulders, neck and upper back
  • helps with joint rehabilitation
  • prevention of musculoskeletal injuries
  • increased lung capacity and circulation through deep breathing
  • improved concentration
  • contributes to stress management and relaxation.

A Pilates professional can create a Pilates plan, tailormade for you, with appropriate modifications and props, with a gradual progression.

Remember: Always listen to your body and the advise from your personal GP when doing physical activity.

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