The important principles of Pilates are consistent with an exercise program that promotes back health. In particular, learning awareness of neutral alignment of the spine and strengthening the deep postural muscles that support this alignment are important skills for the back pain patient.
Patients with pain stemming from excessive movement and 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 wear and tear resulting from uneven stresses on the intervertebral joints and discs.
Pilates improves strength, flexibility of the muscles in hip and shoulder girdle areas. Fluid and supported movement through these joints helps prevent unnecessary torque on the spine.
The Pilates program also teaches awareness of movement habits that may stress the spine, and helps the patient change these habits to those that preserve neutral alignment. Awareness of excessive tension and the use of proper focus helps the patient use the body efficiently.
Before starting a Pilates exercise program, it is important to check that the potential instructor has received training in the Pilates exercise system, and that he or she understands any specific back problems. If a patient starts Pilates after physical therapy, the physical therapist should outline the exercise principles identified as particularly important for his or her rehabilitation.
When you’re doing your daily activities such as; cooking, cleaning, brushing your teeth — the lesson is to pull your stomach in and pull your shoulders down. There is an attention required doing Pilates that changes your awareness even after class.
More than pushing the benefits of Pilates for flat abs, we should be pushing the benefits of Pilates for a stronger, healthy back and body. Pilates strengthens the spine to be in neutral alignment where the spine is in the least stressful and most efficient position.
By using concentration in order to make a strong mind-body connection, you become more focused on where your body is in space in relation to what is physically going on around you. This leads to more balanced, graceful movements and reactions.