backpain2Studies have shown almost 80% of people experience low back pain at some point in their life. Most episodes settle within 4-6 weeks. A course of physiotherapy results in a quicker recovery and a reduced likelihood of recurrence and chronicity.

There are body structures which may cause back pain either directly or indirectly, along with help from the central nervous system. These may include overly tense muscles, faulty nerves and sensitive joints. Back pain may also arise from organ's such as the kidneys, blood vessels and tumours which makes a thorough examination by a medically trained professional essential.

With regards treating lower back pain, both acute and in particular more long-standing or 'chronic' low back pain benefits from active movement. In addition to everyday movement, PhysioPilates as an exercise system will also help restore flexibility to areas of the back which may have stiffened, as well as restoring strength to area's of the spine which may have weakened. These problems may have been part of the cause, or otherwise a result of your back pain. In either case the PhysioPilates exercise system is a safe and effective way to fix the problem under the guidance of a Chartered Physiotherapist.

Movement - Motion is Lotion!

Most recent research has shown that movement for mechanical back pain is beneficial and leads to quicker recovery regardless of the cause. Movement activates a powerful pain relieving response driven by the central nervous system as well as improving blood flow which may help with healing and repair. PhysioPilates is a safe and effective way to introduce gentle movements to the lower back and upper spine. There are many different exercises used in PhysioPilates which help to mobilise the spine, for example the cat stretch, the shell stretch, the spinal rotation. 

Core work

The so called 'core muscles' form a cylinder of support around the spine. The pelvic floor muscles are at the bottom of the cylinder. The deepest layer consists tummy muscles, known as the transversus abdominus as well as the multifidus muscle which sits alongside the spine. These form the sides of the cylinder with the diaphragm the top and the pelvic floor muscles at the bottom. In PhysioPilates specific exercises are used to improve the strength and endurance of these core muscles. If these muscles are working properly they will help to protect the lower back by improving stability. This may have a benefits treating as well as preventing back pain.

Posture

PhysioPilates is also an excellent way to improve posture by strengthening muscles in the core and improving flexibility in the spine. Poor posture when sitting or standing can contribute to back pain. Research has shown that a 12 week programme of Pilates is effective in improving upper trunk posture which can prevent the occurence of back pain.

Results - Practice Makes Perfect

The best thing about PhysioPilates is that excellent results can be achieved by exercising in a safe and well supervised setting. At the start of a course of PhysioPilates you may find that you feel particularly stiff or tight when doing certain exercises. Over time and with practice the exercises will become easier as mobility and strength improves. You may also find doing a particular exercise very difficult and challenging if there is weakness in the core muscles, and again, over time and with practice the muscles will become stronger and the exercise will become easier.

From personal experience I have treated clients with PhysioPilates exercises and the majority my clients show improvements in pain levels as well as improvements in mobility and strength. Since starting a PhysioPilates course some clients have managed to prevent any episodes of back pain recurring and therefore the need for Physiotherapy appointments.

For more information on PhysioPilates at our clinic, please go to www.mmphysiopilates.com

I look forward to seeing you in class. 

Tricia.