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Pilates for Lower Back Pain

What is the problem?

Did you know that 60-80% of adults will experience lower back pain during their lifetime?

In Australia, it is the second leading cause of disease burden. Approximately 4 million Australians had back problems between 2017-18 including 181,000 hospitalizations. Lower back pain in one of the most common causes of pain worldwide, so it’s not surprising we are used to treating it at Pilates Can! 

Lower back pain can be acute or chronic and covers a range of injuries and conditions related to bones, joints, connective tissue, muscles, and nerves. There are many causes for back pain. Factors relating to age, fitness, lifestyle, weight, or occupation can all impact the onset and severity of lower back pain. In Australia, most lower back problems present after the age of 24 and are slightly more common in males.

(Source: Prevalence of back problems by age group and sex 2017-18 AIHW)

Just because lower back pain is common, it does not mean it is normal and there is nothing you can do. In addition to the physical pain, back pain can cause significant limitations to body function and movement. It also can take a big toll on someone’s mental health— the rate of depression can be as high as nearly 50% in people with lower back pain! But it’s not all bad news, with the right help and persistence, lower back pain can be significantly reduced or even completely rehabilitated.


How Pilates can Help?

Pilates is a great evidence-based tool to fight lower back pain

It differs from other exercise because it targets functional movement. Pilates exercises are designed to strengthen and increase movement in key muscle groups that support healthy everyday movement. By rebuilding the strength and movement in the lower back and muscles that support the lower back, Pilates can safely rehabilitate lower back pain.

Don’t just take it from us— systematic research shows a strong link between Pilates and lower back pain improvement. Of course, not all Pilates practice is the same. The best results are achieved through individualized practice with experienced clinically trained practitioners, as well as utilizing speciality Pilates equipment.

Every lower back injury is different, whether it presents as different pain or is caused and trigger from different activities. It takes a specialized and personalized approach to really make a difference. At Pilates Can, we start with a thorough assessment of lower back pain, including medical history and pain onset. We then develop a tailor-made Pilates program designed to rebuild and maximize movement based on the specific problem areas.

We have seen so many success stories using Pilates to rehabilitate lower back pain. We love seeing the improvements in our clients and hearing how Pilates has improved their quality of life.

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Case study

Cat (43) has been doing Pilates to manage reoccurring injuries since 2003.

She developed a chronic lower back injury from sedentary desk work and high-pressure sports, which then worsened through pregnancies. During both her pregnancies, Cat relied on crutches to get around. In the years following she found it difficult to walk and preform everyday activities.

She was found to have an unreliable sacroiliac joint (SJI) that was easily aggravated. Cat committed to and persisted with rehabilitation using Pilates, physio, and massage therapy. She credits Pilates for rebuilding and maintaining her back strength through increased her body awareness, movement, and control. Pilates also saved Cat from a major surgery involving fusing her pelvis together. With the help of Pilates, Cat now freely enjoys walking, swimming, and playing golf, and is committed to keeping up her Pilates program to prevent further injury.

“Pilates has been critical in allowing me to manage my injury… It’s also amazing to know that if it does flare up, I have a place to go that will make it better”

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- cat stuart

There are so many stories like Cat’s that show how Pilates can make a long-term difference to lower back pain.

You might be our next one!


If lower back pain holds you back, reach out to our Pilates Can team for a Pilates assessment and personalised program


Chat to our team ( 0419 777 477 or provide your contact details),

or find out more about Healing Pilates here.

 

Sports Prehabilitation & Injury Prevention with Pilates

Photo credit: D-eye Photography

What if you could prevent injury before it happens and stops you doing what you do best? 

Pilates is widely recognised for its role in sports injury rehabilitation, but it’s also a great tool in injury prevention and maintenance for athletes and sportspeople.

But what exactly is prehabilitation, and how can Pilates help?

Prehabilitation (pre-hab) is the process of increasing the body’s capacity and movement, allowing the body to maintain a higher threshold for activity. By increasing muscular strength and stamina, the body can perform to a higher capacity, while reducing the incidence of new injury. Every sport is different, in the same way that every sportsperson has different strengths and weaknesses. Certain sports target different muscles groups and are more prone to certain injuries. For example, ankle or Achilles injuries are common in netballers, whereas wrist and back injuries are more associated with tennis players. Every person is different too. Our bodies are not perfect and may be prone to injury re-occurrence like ligament sprains and muscles tears.

Repetitive movement patterns in sport can place significant strain on the body.

Pilates techniques can be used to prepare the body and correct imbalances to maximise sports performance. Sportspeople can increase their range of motion and strength, particularly in problem areas of the body. By targeting injury prone, or potentially problematic areas of the body, you can reduce the chance of future injury. Using the previous example, a netballer might look at improving their ankle stability, and the tennis player may want to strengthen their back to improve their serve.

A Pilates pre-hab program not only helps to prevent injury, it can create a routine for faster injury recovery and for preventing the exacerbation of chronic injuries.

Pilates can even act as a diagnostic tool to help athletes and sports people find areas of weakness to then target.

Because Pilates exercises challenge specific muscle groups, you may find you have strengths and weaknesses you had not considered before in your chosen sport! This can have a wide range of benefits in your sporting performance and general health and wellbeing.

At Pilates Can we have seen how Pilates can benefit athletes in their chosen sport. Roller derby enthusiast Tara, AKA ‘Fast and Furiosa’, joined us in 2017 to help manage injuries and improve her derby performance.

Full contact sports like roller derby can be hard on the body and often require frequent management of injuries, strains, or sprains. In addition, Tara is hypermobile and manages femoroacetabular impingement, scapular dyskinesia and Osgood-Schlatter disease (knee condition).

Pilates pre-hab has helped Tara with injury prevention, recovery, and maintenance. She credits Pilates with helping her improve flexibility, strength, balance, body awareness and endurance. Her body anatomical structures are now conditioned enough to load simultaneously to withstand the repetitive knocks and crashes common in derby, preventing common acute derby injuries.

 When she developed scapular dyskinesia in her right shoulder in the lead up to her team’s international derby debut in 2018, she was able to recover using physio and Pilates to reduce pain and increase movement. Regular Pilates not only helped get her shoulder under control, it has also been essential in maintaining her other conditions that stem from hypermobility. Pilates keeps her muscles and joints moving within a controlled range which is essential in maintaining her health and sporting performance.

“Regular Pilates sessions have helped me get to the stage where my hip pain doesn’t leave me limping around for days after a weekend long tournament, and my shoulder doesn’t require any extra physio on top of Pilates anymore.” – Tara 

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- TARA SMITH aka ‘Fast and Furiosa’

Since adding Pilates to her exercise routine, Tara has moved from a B-Grade Div-2 roller derby team to a local WFTDA team currently ranked 14th worldwide. Her team won the 2018 North American West Continental Cup, and she was voted Canberra Roller Derby League’s Jammer of the Year in 2019. Tara enthusiastically recommends Pilates to other players looking to take their game to the next level.

“I am constantly recommending Pilates to other derby players. The good core strength is vital for absorbing hits, and the control and body awareness gained have been invaluable… Pilates is enough to keep my issues stable enough for me to train and skate as furiously as I need to” – Tara

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- TARA SMITH aka ‘Fast and Furiosa’


The best way to target injury pre-habilitation is to start out with a personalised private Pilates assessment

The best way to target injury pre-hab is to start out with a personalized private Pilates assessment. The experienced Pilates Can staff can assess your body’s movement and capacity to develop a tailor-made program to meet your sporting goals. This pre-hab program will allow you to feel the benefits of increased movement and strength,
keeping you on the track or field for longer!


To get started on your injury prehabilitation journey, talk to one of our friendly team

  0419 777 477 or provide your contact details.

Pilates Can Awarded by the Mental Health Foundation Australia

Thanks very much Mental Health Foundation Australia, for your recognition of our efforts through your “Certificate of Appreciation”. We were thrilled to receive this and will display it proudly.

We wondered who nominated this for us, and whilst still not knowing who this was, we are further gratified by the knowledge that it could have been one of many in our community.

Thanks again to whoever it was. It has given us a boost.

Thanks for being part of our wonderful community.

Claire & David Gunther – Directors – Pilates Can Pty Ltd

mental health award
mental health award

It’s been so wonderful to keep in touch with so many of our clients during these unusual times and help them to maintain their excellent Pilates exercise habits, and the response from the clients has been incredible to hear. We are thrilled to be able to still help so many people during these uncertain times, and even keep in touch with current or former clients who are interstate and even overseas! You can read some of those testimonials from our online clients on our homepage.

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