Pilates and Back (Spinal) Health




Share our post!

Published April 8, 2016

Back and spinal pain is extremely common in our modern day lifestyle. One in five of all Australians report persistent back pain and disc problems, and 85% will report back pain at some point in their lives. In this article, you’ll learn how Spine Pilates can alleviate back pain.

Back Pain – Risk Factors

It is important to recognise the following risk factors which can increase your chances of experiencing chronic back pain during the course of your life:

  • People with desk jobs
  • People who are inactive or overweight
  • People whose work requires them to lift loads, bend and twist
  • Middle-aged to elderly patients
Spinal Health Pilates Can

Back pain reduces the quality of life drastically, as it affects nearly all physical movement. Chronic back pain can also affect other physicals systems such as the endocrine and cardiovascular, as well as psychological health and family relationships.

Spine Pilates and Core Strength

Pilates is an exercise science based regimen of specifically applied movements which can extend and create new physical capabilities in core stability, strength and flexibility. Core strength built through properly delivered Pilates sessions with well qualified Pilates specific instructors can usually assist back and spinal health. Why is this? In the majority of cases, patients with back problems also have weak core and postural abdominal muscles. Deep core and postural abdominal muscles are not necessarily related to the well-understood notion of a ‘six pack’; these muscles are deeper and provide support to the back and hips, and are the mechanisms that create real core stability.

How Does Pilates Alleviate Back Pain?

By using techniques apparatus that target balanced strength, fluid functional movement and flexibility, Pilates builds the appropriate musculature around important joints such as the hip and shoulder. By enabling these joints appropriately, strain on the vertebral column of the spine is alleviated leading to the management of back pain and greater spinal health. Conversely, static exercises, or exercises with inappropriate loads can overstress and make back pain even worse. Pilates avoids aggravating positions and movements with emphasises on good movement habits which are specifically designed to relieve and manage back pain.

Patients that are at risk of back problems, or who already suffer from spinal pain and degenerating spinal discs can benefit enormously from a Pilates workout program with regards to an increased quality of life. Good physical habits are at the forefront of good back health, which is why Pilates teaches patients full awareness of movements which stress the spine, and counter-habits to preserve the natural alignment and strength of the body to thrive in everyday activities.

Consider Taking Up Spine Pilates

Generalised Pilates classes delivered by not so specifically qualified or experienced instructors, using the Pilates name as a marketing tool may not be suitable for people with existing back pain, chronic injury or the potential for this. They may aggravate your condition, and progress at a pace which is too fast, or too slow for you, or with exercises that are just not appropriate.

Pseudo Pilates Instructors in gyms, who have to contend with large numbers of people with all sorts of conditions, ability levels and experience (or lack of) in Pilates “labelled” gym classes are taking more risks with their participants’ health than is necessary. This situation can be at one end of the spectrum, dangerous for some individual gym goers and also at the other end, boring for those who are ready and able to move on to harder levels unencumbered by a constant stream of newbies “trying out” Pilates and “wearing out” the poor instructor who is doing their best in this lets say a “less than optimal” situation.

Conversely, a clinical PilatesCan.com.au exercise program or even a more generic PilatesCan.com.au mat work beginners course and progress through specifically levelled class formats will, depending on the nature and severity of your condition, enable you to manage back pain safely and successfully.

Before starting, our highly qualified instructors will identify problem points with your condition/s or in your posture. From there you will engaging learn how to properly engage your lower abdominal and pelvic floor muscles through supported exercise tailored for you. Depending on your condition and your need for increased personal attention our highly experienced Pilates specific instructors will advise you on an ongoing basis as to the what types of Pilates exercises will be most suitable for the current state of your body. If your condition is more vulnerable the risk of further injury and the likelihood of achieving successful outcomes can often be improved with the use of specialised Pilates large equipment such as Reformers, Trapeze Tables, Wunda Chairs, Ladder Barrels and more. In this situation our Pilates instructor will personalise a program and step you through exercises that are appropriate for you specifically, and that can be varied from session to session as required by where your body is at on the day.

Start with the Basics

Some of the Pilates movements can be quite challenging, and it’s very difficult to know what movements to avoid unaided to manage back pain. It can also be difficult to know if you are performing the movements correctly as some of the muscles activation that you are trying to include exclude in the movement can be very subtle and specific Our Pilates Can instructors enable you to master the clinical building blocks of Pilates first and then work your way up the degrees of exercise intensity in a social and supportive, but still clinically delivered environment. It is important to remember that the elements of movement important for spinal health are taught in the simplest Pilates exercises. That’s why getting these first steps right is extremely important. Ignoring this can make a bad situation worse.

To start your appropriately guided Pilates program in Canberra, you can engage a PilatesCan instructor via our contact form or call us on 0419 777 477. We have helped hundreds of clients over the last 20 years of delivering over 35,000 hours of Professional Pilates instruction in Canberra to assist Canberrans in managing and improving their back and spinal health. We look forward to assisting every new client inquiry in the most appropriate way for their current circumstances.

About the author 

Claire Gunther is a PAA Principal Level Pilates Instructor with over 20 years and 20k+ hours of professional Pilates delivery experience.


Talk to our friendly team to get your questions answered.

Find the perfect Pilates program to match your individual needs.

Call us now on 0419 777 477 or provide your contact details.

Register for your bonus* semi-private session.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Subscribe to our blog articles to receive Pilates exercises at home & more...