Studies have shown almost 80% of people experience low back pain at some point in their life. Most episodes settle within 4-6 weeks with a course of physiotherapy allowing for 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 which may contain trigger points, 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 particular movement which feel generally comfortable and has no effect on or helps the pain feel better. In addition to 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. This problems may have possible caused, or been a result of your back pain. In either case the PhysioPilates system is a safe and effective way to fix the problem under the guidance of a Chartered Physiotherapist.
Most recent research has shown that movement for mechanical back pain is good and leads to quicker healing and recovery regardless of the cause. Movement activates a powerful pain relieving response driven by the central nervous system as well as introducing blood flow which may help with healing and repair as well easing tense or tight muscles. Pilates is a safe and effective way to introduce gentle movements to the lower back and upper spine. There are many different stretches in PhysioPilates which help to stretch out the spine for example the cat stretch, the shell stretch, the spinal rotation. These exercises are simple but effective in improving range of movement through the spine.
The core muscles form a cylinder of support around the spine. The pelvic floor muscles are at the bottom of the cylinder. The deepest layer of the tummy muscles, known as the transversus abdominus as well as the multifidus muscle which sits alongside the spine forms the sides of the cylinder and the diaphragm the top. In PhysioPilates the exercises are very specific to improving the strength and endurance of these core muscles. If these muscle are working properly it will help to protect the lower back as there is improved stability. This may have a benefits treating as well as preventing back pain.
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.
The best thing about Pilates is that excellent results can be achieved by exercising in a safe and well supervised setting. At the start of a course of Pilates you may find that you are particularly stiff or tight doing a movement. Over time and with practice the movement 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, with practice the muscles will become stronger and the exercise will become easier.
We have treated clients with PhysioPilates exercises and the majority of clients show improvements in pain levels as well as improvements in movement and strength. Since starting a PhysioPilates course some clients have managed to prevent any episodes of back pain recurring and hence avoided any GP or one to one Physiotherapy appointments.
For more information about our PhysioPilates service, please go to www.mmphysiopilates.com